I've been thinking a lot about the news that Syracuse Orange center Chinonso Obokoh has lost a year of eligibility over an NCAA ruling that he was misclassified while in high school.
I don't know if there is too much to say that hasn't already been said. I thought Jay Bilas summed it up pretty well in a tweet...
NCAA dislikes "one and done," but also appears to discourage "too much" education. http://t.co/rOjSQq6vu2 NCAA needs common sense here.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) April 9, 2014
I think the one thing that's worth noting here, besides the irony of the NCAA punishing a kid for getting "too much" education, is what this ruling says about how the NCAA truly looks at student-athletes.
It presumes guilt and puts the burden of proof on you to prove you're innocent.
The reason this ruling came down is because the NCAA thinks something shady happened here, right? They're working under the assumption that the school conspired with the basketball coach in order to get Obokoh more time there in order to prop themselves, and him, up.
There's no other explanation for why they'd do it. Either they have proof that this was done maliciously or they're just assuming that it was. And that's good enough for them.
I thought about that last night and I woke this morning to read the Daily Orange's piece on the situation. In it, former Bishop Kearney High School head coach Jon Boon talked plainly about the situation. While he had been quoted by Syracuse.com, he was apparently much more worked up over the matter by the time the DO came calling.
"This is the NCAA," Boon said. "This has nothing to do with us. Ask the NCAA for their policy on Nigeria. I’ll save you a phone call. They don’t have one."
"Here’s a kid who does everything he’s supposed to do, and they punish him," Boon said. "Then you have all these idiots that go to 15-passenger van schools where they don’t even take the classes.
"You’re talking about the NCAA," Boon said. "They’re not consistent about anything. They just make up sh*t as they go."
Sounds about right.