Tuesday, November 13, 2012
3-point shot: The NCAA's glacial pace
By Andy Katz
1. The NCAA enforcement process continues to evolve and adjust to the changing time. But the NCAA isn't the law. Yet one of the most consistent constructive criticisms of the process is the glacial speed at which decisions are made -- often pushing the start of a season or shortly thereafter. The latest example is the case of Shabazz Muhammad. The NCAA stated it finally got all the facts of the case which were agreed to by UCLA and the NCAA. The statement said the NCAA made requests for the information on July 31 but didn't get a response with the information until Sept. 25, and then again on Oct. 10 and Nov. 1. The NCAA interviewed the Muhammad family last week before rendering an amateurism violation and ineligibility ruling. But why not set a deadline? The NCAA may have come to the point where it set a time limit for all the information and interviews, and if it isn't received then the player could be ineligible until further notice. That sounds harsh. But there clearly needs to be a sense of urgency on all parties to get the information to the NCAA to speed up this process. Both sides tend to be at fault for the pace of progress. The information the NCAA requests can range from ridiculous to basic. At times there is a standoff, especially if it involves personal matters like bank statements. Still, the common refrain from the NCAA in these cases is that it didn't receive the necessary information to make a decision. Deadlines may need to be set in the future to speed this up or more delays will occur. Meanwhile, a timeline on a final resolution in Muhammad's case is still unknown.
2. Wisconsin senior forward Mike Bruesewitz has recovered well after playing 13 minutes and scoring 10 points in the season-opening win over SE Louisiana. It was his first game back after needing a month to recover from surgery to repair a laceration in his right leg. He tore his leg in a freak accident by running into the basket standard during a workout on Oct. 9. Bruesewitz was sore Monday but practiced later in the day and the plan is still for him to play at Florida Wednesday. Getting Bruesewitz on the court against the Gators gives the Badgers a chance. His presence in practice, let alone during the game, gives the Badgers an emotional lift. Bruesewitz made all three shots he attempted.
3. Obsessing about March is easy to do in a sport that has the best postseason tournament. But for the players, the coaches and the fans, the regular season matters. And that's why UConn and Central Florida have plenty to play for this season. Both schools have been banned by the NCAA -- the former for poor academic scores and the latter for NCAA violations. Yet, each school has plenty of pride. The Huskies and the Knights had two of the most impressive wins in the first weekend of the season. UConn beat Michigan State at Ramstein Air Base in Germany while UCF knocked off rival South Florida, which was in the NCAA tournament last season. Credit to UConn coach Kevin Ollie and UCF coach Donnie Jones for having their teams ready to go on Day One. The Huskies have a set of guards and a pestering, pressure, turnover-driven defense that will challenge every team in the Big East. UCF has two of the best players in CUSA in Keith Clanton and Isaiah Sykes. Expect both to be in the hunt for a top five finish in the Big East and CUSA, respectively.