I passed the word around to some of the more influential college basketball writers, and a few of them were gracious enough to write about it and spread the word a little bit. I will link to three here.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports:
What's especially frustrating for Huse about the NCAA's decision is that Fall does not fit the profile of the type of kid the rule is aimed at keeping out of college athletics.Matt Norlander of CBS Sports (emphasis mine):
The purpose of the rule is to prevent an athlete from playing a few extra years of semi-pro football or club baseball and then use that extra experience and physical maturity to gain an advantage in college athletics.
Fall, by contrast, had virtually no organized basketball experience in Senegal and learned the basics of the game in his home country by watching YouTube clips. He came to the U.S. from Senegal to pursue his education and realized quickly that a basketball scholarship would be his most affordable means to do so.
The NCAA's kangaroo court has reached another infuriating verdict...Raphielle Johnson of NBC Sports:
Let's learn about the tribulation of Mohamed Fall, a Montana State big man who won't get to play his senior season there because his junior season became his senior season once the NCAA ruled that two offseason quasi-exhibition games Fall played in, in the greater Washington, D.C. area four years ago, triggered a season of eligibility. Two games equals 30. That's how the NCAA sees it. Fall had no idea of the consequences at the time, and the coaching staff at Montana State was equally clueless, so much so that they didn't know Fall had played in the games until the NCAA notified the school last summer.
Two exhibition games? Really? There has to be more. Tell me there's more. Tell me the NCAA can't just do this and kill another college career too early because it stupidly thinks a player getting involved in two not-for-pay exhibition games should cancel out an entire season's worth of collegiate competition. Turns out, that's really all there is to it. An African kid trying to use his skill to earn an education plays in some offseason hoops in hopes of getting noticed...
Montana State said it would honor Fall's final year of scholarship, but that's for naught. The kid wants to play hoops. He intends to transfer to a D-II or NAIA school, which he doesn't want to do, but has no choice. The reason Fall picked Montana State was in part because of the Agricultural Business program the school offered. Now he'll have to likely change his major. He probably won't graduate by the spring of 2013, which would have been the case had the NCAA removed its face from its rear in regard to another ridiculous rule.
Fall played in a pair of showcase games in hopes of earning a scholarship and he accomplished that.
Is such an action, especially when the player isn’t aware of what the ramifications could be, worthy of a season-long suspension?
Hopefully there’s an appeal process for Fall because the numbers simply don’t add up here.
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