Bring it on. Because you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna tell on you. That's right. Be Scared.
Anyways, this will most likely be one of the only times I will write about sports, or any activity requiring more than a little athletic exertion, but it's a story that needs telling. The University of Memphis Men's Basketball Team suffered a huge loss yesterday as the NCAA ruled that all wins (38) from the 07-08 season will be officially wiped from the record due to allegations that star player Derrick Rose (now playing for the NBA after one year of college play) let someone take his SAT for him. This means that their Final Four Championship run never happened, that they are no longer hold the record for most wins in a season, and that coach John Calipari no longer claims the most wins of any Memphis coach. In a city that worships the Tigers, this is not only a huge blow to the team, but a huge blow to University and the renowned fan base across the city. Needless to say, there will be an appeal. President Shirley Raines has unequivocally stated in a press conference that the University of Memphis followed all rules of eligibility, and while they are disputing the charges, the penalties are overly harsh. This is far from over.
But it got me thinking. Who really is suffering from the punishment? As a fan, I can tell you with 100% certainty that we had an unbelievable season leading up to the Final Four and ultimately a tragic loss to Kansas in the championship game. This happened. We all enjoyed it, the entire city had a huge boost in morale, and nobody will forget that. Official or not, we won 38 games. Derrick Rose certainly isn't suffering. After his fantastic first year at Memphis, he was drafted by the Bulls as their No. 1 pick and proceeded to win rookie of the year. That leaves two groups of people who actually are feeling the hurt. The players, especially outgoing seniors Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier, who both have records for most wins in a college career, are definitely hurting. The University is giving back the banner, the Final Four trophy, and the roughly $615,000 won in the Final Four.
If Rose cheated, he should be punished. He isn't going to be. If Cal played a known cheat, he should be punished. He isn't. If R.C Johnson (Head of the athletic department) knew about the cheating, he should be punished. He isn't. instead, the players and the school as a whole are being punished for the act of one or two people.
This is all assuming there was foul play. Keep in mind that the NCAA cleared Rose twice before Memphis decided to play him. Also keep in mind that Memphis didn't play two players because they hadn't been cleared yet. After telling Memphis they could play Rose, the NCAA is now saying he was in fact ineligible, And that retroactively the wins are now forfeits. Take the heat, NCAA! If you screwed up, own up to it! Don't let innocent people suffer because of your oversight.
To all the people who are calling Cal a cheat and the U of M tigers cheaters, remember that we're dealing with one player who may have cheated on his SAT. Even if he did, the university was acting on the clearance of the NCAA. Coach Cal made this team an unstoppable winning force, and to take that legacy away over a disputed case of cheating before Rose even started college is just ludicrous. Y'all are just jealous.