Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vacate This, NCAA

So this story came out today about Memphis --

That the NCAA might "vacate" its wins during the 2007-2008 season, when Derrick Rose led the team to the Final Four. Apparently there were all sorts of recruiting shenanigans, including payment to Rose's brother and some questionable SAT scores.

What makes me laugh is the idea that you can "vacate" wins. I guess that's NCAA lingo for telling the university, "those wins will be stricken from the record books, as if they never happened."

Which is an appropriate punishment if you are viewing the Memphis basketball program from 200 years in the future and come upon the wikipedia entry on your in-brain computer and note that the team went 0-43 for the season and wonder "what happened to those guys?"

But for people who lived through the season, like Memphis fans and players and everyone else in the country who follows college hoops, those wins certainly did happen and saying that they are now "vacated" no more takes them away than me stomping my feet and saying the 1979 Pirates really didn't come back from down 3-1 to beat the Orioles in the World Series. I was 9. I was heartbroken. I am now vacating the Pirates World Series Championship!

Doesn't work that way, does it? No matter what the NCAA says now, Memphis went to the Final Four and their fans went along for the ride and you can't vacate that, it happened.


bl said...

Abes - You may have a case. I heard that there were recruiting shenanigans with the '79 Pirates, including payments to Willie Stargell from Sister Sledge.

Anonymous said...

Am, I the only person that feels that the word "vacate" is the wrong word to use here? Are they leaving those wins?