I have you now, goazcats.com!
Yesterday the NCAA check-raised Arizonas self-imposed sanctions on some recruiting violations committed prior to the 2007-08 season. The total sanctions amount to 19 vacated wins from the 07-08 season, 30 less recruiting days, a limit of 6 recruiting visits over the next year, and a couple of removed scholarships. No death penalty (which likely would have been overkill,) but still a significant blow to a storied program.
So what caused this reaction from the NCAA? A slew of violations, actually. From the ESPN report:
According to the NCAA, Olson improperly helped promote the Cactus Classic and the GOAZCATS.com Showdown in 2007 by allowing the promoter to speak on four separate occasions at board meetings for Rebounders, an Arizona booster club. Olson also urged board members to “step up” and sent them a letter urging their support of the tournaments.
The NCAA’s report found that $197,000 was donated to the promoter to assist in the four events, with some of that money being used to pay for prospective players’ lodging, meals and local transportation.
The NCAA also found that incoming assistant coaches Russ Pennell and Mike Dunlap participated in coaching-related activities with two enrolled student-athletes near campus at Olson’s urging prior to their start dates. They were also found to have evaluated recruitable prospects at the 2008 Cactus Classic during a quiet period in the NCAA’s recruitment calendar.
The most damming of which, to me, looks like the $200,000 spent on recruits.
So, let me ask. Where is the outrage? Andy Katz released a piece asking if Lute’s reputation becomes tainted because of this, but left the question open ended. Dana O’neil, in her response, asks ‘who cares?’ about the vacated wins. Can you imagine either of those being written if something had come from the Eric Bledsoe situation earlier? I actually understand their points of view, and I’m not faking outrage at them over this. But it certainly seems like a double standard from the WWL.
In an unrelated note: Watch these two weasels fight for, you guessed it, fifteen seconds.