Archive for Thursday, June 13, 1991

SHAME ON YOU, SOUTH CAROLINA

June 13, 1991

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I'm outraged that South Carolina would even consider Larry Brown as a possibility for its basketball coaching vacancy.

I'm steamed that the NCAA would allow South Carolina to court Brown.

And I'm waiting for Kansas University to issue a formal protest.

It isn't right.

As long as Kansas remains on NCAA probation the Jayhawks' three-year sentence doesn't expire until Oct. 31 for violations committed during his tenure, Brown should be declared an NCAA untouchable, off-limits to any NCAA-affiliated school interested in him.

But, of course, that isn't how NCAA justice works.

LARRY BROWN escaped to San Antonio and the NBA before the ax fell on Kansas. Then Brown had the chutzpah to announce he never would have left if he had known the NCAA would march Kansas to the brink of the gallows. Yeah, sure.

Now that Brown has been interviewed by South Carolina officials shame on them he has announced he wants the Gamecocks' brass to talk to the NCAA because, he said, ". . .a lot of that stuff wasn't talked about. It's important to me it's cleared up."

What wasn't cleared up? I thought the NCAA Infractions Report was pretty darned clear except for naming names. And everybody knows Vincent Askew, a Memphis State guard who said he planned to transfer to KU, was the focal point.

HERE ARE the violations listed by the NCAA in its report dated Nov. 1, 1988:

That Brown gave Askew $366 to make a Kansas City-Memphis round-trip flight to visit his grandmother "who was ill."

That an unnamed KU assistant coach paid for Askew's one-way ticket from Memphis to Kansas City ($183) so he could work in Lawrence during the summer.

That a KU booster gave Askew $350 to pay his grandmother's electric bill.

That a KU booster bought Askew $231 worth of clothing.

That Askew was hired to work in a KU athletic department office and was paid at least $297.12 for work not performed, including pay for a period when he was in Memphis.

That Askew lived in Jayhawker Towers for nine days on credit arranged by the basketball office.

That Askew was given a new pair of basketball shoes when he told an assistant coach he didn't have any.

SIX WEEKS after the NCAA announced the three-year probation and the stiff one-year sanctions Kansas couldn't defend its national basketball title or pay for a recruiting visit Brown spoke at a function in Kansas City.

"I'm not ashamed of anything we did," he told the KC gathering. "The sad thing is it (the NCAA) didn't come out and explain what actually happened. It shows how ridiculous the NCAA is."

Who's ridiculous? The NCAA explained everything. The NCAA detailed each and every violation. Brown claims there were extenuating circumstances. Fine, but rules are still rules.

"Actions known by assistant coaches and the head coach to be violations were not reported to appropriate members of the administration," the NCAA report stated, "even when there were apparent mitigating circumstances explaining the actions."

TOO OFTEN when the NCAA penalizes a school, the individual offenders mitigating circumstances or not are long gone. It's a flaw in the system, and nobody knows how to fix it.

Thus it's possible for South Carolina to hire Brown even though Kansas, the school he helped put on probation, is still officially in the NCAA slammer.

As they say every day down at the alligator farm, that's a crock.

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