Sports

UConn Basketball Coach Punished For Congratulating Little League Pitcher

Seth Richardson Contributor
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UConn’s Geno Auriemma is in hot water. The NCAA has him right where it wants him and is going to pounce at any moment. Old rule-breaking Geno, the Iago of college basketball. What’d he do this time?

He congratulated outstanding Little League pitcher Mo’Ne Davis last month.

That’s according to the Hartford Courant, which reported Friday that the team was cited for secondary violations.

Phew. Got him. You think you can pull one over on us, Geno? Just because you’re from Philly and she’s from Philly doesn’t mean she warrants a congratulations for breaking barriers. We know you’re recruiting. You’re always recruiting.

Unless you’re likely to believe the crock that UConn Athletic Director Warde Manuel cooked up.

“Prior to attempting to reach Davis, Coach Auriemma checked with the UConn compliance department and was advised such a call would be permissible since Davis is not considered a prospective student-athlete by the NCAA and the call was to be congratulatory rather than recruiting in nature,” he said in a statement.

Well, that is … strange. But how did all this come about? Only because some school objected to the call. Davis is a fan of UConn, and said she dreams of playing for Auriemma and eventually the WNBA. But she’s also 13 years old. I’m pretty sure when I was 13, all I wanted to be was an NFL linebacker, astronaut and millionaire. I still want to, but I’m more realistic about my odds now.

Furthermore, Auriemma said he’s never seen Davis play basketball and is a little confused by how this constitutes a violation.

“So what does this mean?” he said to the Courant. “If a kid wins a swimming contest somewhere and is wearing a [UConn] sweat shirt and I call to congratulate her in seventh grade, is someone now going to say you are not allowed to do that? Well, why not? Isn’t that unbelievable?”

No, it’s not unbelievable, Geno. You’re a bad guy, according to the NCAA. Everyone is a bad guy to the NCAA. No talking to anyone unless you are legally allowed to recruit and herd them like cattle. You can’t break the NCAA. Just ask Ben Laures, an Oklahoma State wrestler who launched a Kickstarter to fund his own business idea. It was promptly shut down because Ben is not allowed to use his own face for anything. It makes picking up chicks at the bar really hard.

So kudos, NCAA. I’m glad you’re protecting me from … myself? Wait, protecting the student athletes from something. I don’t know what it is yet. Sharks? Yeah, let’s go with sharks. Plus, we can’t have everyone running around like the wild west. There have to be rules, no matter how arbitrary and asinine. Otherwise it’d be fun.

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