Chip Towers explains why.
So, just to get this straight, the worthless courses that these basketball players were taking to maintain their eligibility were NOT a violation of NCAA rules because regular students also took them. OK. Got it.
I bet Jim Harrick and Georgia basketball fans might like to hear a little more about that.
You might recall, the Bulldogs got burned badly about a similar issue. Only, basketball players weren’t routinely earning degrees in what amounted to be a bogus major.
No, UGA’s basketball program was pretty much torched because Jim Harrick Jr., Harrick’s son and an assistant for the basketball team, taught a physical education course for one semester that counted for one hour of credit called “Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball.”
You’ll no doubt remember it because so many people – including late-night talk-show hosts — had fun with one of the questions on Harrick Jr.’s final exam for that class. It was: “How many points is a 3-point shot worth?”
A lot of people got a big laugh out of that at Georgia’s expense. But the Harricks always maintained that no wrongs were committed with that course because the roll included only three basketball players and about 100 other regular students. And the reason everybody got such a big laugh out of that joke of a question included on that exam is because that’s exactly what Harrick Jr. intended it to be — a joke!
Meanwhile, everybody in the class received an A for the course. Not just the basketball players but everybody. So it wasn’t like UGA basketball players were enjoying an extra benefit.
Yet the NCAA denied UGA’s appeal of the case and went on to issue a seven-year show-cause order against Harrick Jr.
“Given the serious violations affirmed above, we find that the seven-year, show-cause order was neither excessive nor inappropriate,” the appeal committee said in its report.
As a result of that decision, UGA had to vacate 30 wins – 11 from January on of 2002 season and all 19 from the entire 2002-03 season – for playing what the NCAA deemed were ineligible players during that span. Meanwhile, Harrick resigned, and the Georgia basketball became a dumpster fire that Dennis Felton was charged with putting out over the next three seasons.
We’re told the reason that the Bulldogs were hammered so hard was that the school admitted academic fraud. They thought they were doing the honorable thing and going to earn some leniency and respect from the NCAA by admitting wrongdoing. It could’ve been worse, then-President Michael Adams and the UGA legal team bragged to us.
The difference, I’ve been led to believe today, is that North Carolina never admitted to academic fraud. [Emphasis added.]
They bragged about it. Pride, with no results. That’s the Georgia Way, peeps. (And note this is long before Greg McGarity’s triumphant return to Athens.)
We are such chumps.