Cheaters never prosper in college basketball.
That is, as long as they never get caught.
March is the time of year when college basketball is supposed to shine in the national spotlight, instead it has a shiner. Programs such as Georgia State, Bonaventure, Fresno State and Michigan are all currently going through investigations of alleged cheating.
What is sad about this whole scenario is instead of hurting the universities all these violations are hurting the players, of which they had no part in any wrongdoing.
Michigan is an excellent example of the travesty that has become NCAA sanctions. The Wolverines took themselves out of any possibility of postseason play before the season even started for things that involve Chris Webber and his fellow teammates.
When Chris Webber was at Michigan, all the current Michigan players were still in elementary school. But for seniors like Lavell Blanchard, Gavin Groninger and Rotolu Adebiyi, what could you tell them? “Yeah, we are forfeiting our postseason eligibility this year so the NCAA goes easy on us next year.” For them there is no next year, there was only this year to relish in their dreams of college basketball glory.
As sad as the Michigan story is for the image of college basketball, the story of St. Bonaventure is even worse. The Bonnies played hard and competitively all season and were in good shape for qualifying for the tournament until the news of Jamil Terrell was leaked to the public.
Nothing could be more embarrassing than allowing a guy with a certificate in welding into “a catholic university in the 750 year-old Franciscan tradition of learning.”
Well maybe the cover up that led to Terrell getting into St. Bonaventure could be. Head Basketball coach Jan van Breda Kolff was so desperate for an inside presence that he recruited Terrell from Coastal Georgia Community College even though it was known that he only had a certificate in welding.
What is ironic about the situations at Michigan St. Bonaventure, Georgia and Fresno St. is that we as a society wonder why so many high schools want to have nothing to do with college basketball. It is a very simple answer: why go to school be forced to study, and have to put up with all the drama of rules when I can get paid.
-Will Brown, 18, is a freshman broadcast student from Rockledge, Fla. He is The Famuan’s assistant sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.