The Louisville Cardinals Men’s basketball team have a self-imposed post-season ban in hopes of lessening the fury with which the NCAA comes down on the program. Rick Pitino still claims he doesn’t know about anything and the players continue to get screwed (pun intended).
Was what Louisville did wrong? And should the players involved (though only one class still on campus was there for the years in question) be punished? Yes and yes. But does punished mean hurting an entire team?
Well, we got our answer to that when Penn State was let off probation early after the whole Jerry Sandusky saga. Punishing innocent (at least in this issue) players doesn’t solve anything and doesn’t make the NCAA look or feel any better. From now on, something different needs to take place.
Instead of having ESPN analyst Jay Williams make excuses about single-family homes and the lure of big-time college sports, let’s not even open up that discussion. It’s the program and it’s coaches that should pay.
Even if these players aren’t in college study or even really to play college basketball, the memories they could make are important. Let the kids play. Reduce scholarships. And take money out of the coaches’ pockets. Recruiting is tough. Make it tougher. Or at least make it honest.