Men’s Baskbetball Scandal

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As an alumnus who played college athletics, I am ashamed of the scandal that has enveloped our Men’s Basketball program. My anger is on two levels. First, it simply amazes me how these twelve players (or any college athlete for that matter) can violate such a simplistic rule. As far as the NCAA is concerned, IF IT’S FREE, IT’S ILLEGAL! It’s that simple. The fact that these players also apparently stole the code from an athletic department employee also shows an embarrassing level of deception and selfishness on their part. This behavior goes against the fundamental values that our Catholic University stands for. My second level of anger deals with the fact that the University decided to stagger the suspensions in order to field a team. The coaching staff and the Athletic Department handled this scandal expeditiously, honestly and with a great deal of class. However, the decision to field a team was a poor one, and, in my opinion, based solely on financial concerns. First, to have to witness seven suspended young men in shirts and ties sitting on the bench during two nationally televised games was utterly embarrassing. Why were they even rewarded with the chance to continue traveling with the team? Couple that with the fact that the players in both games were part of the suspended twelve was intolerable. The Athletic Department and the University rewarded these players for their conduct at the expense of the University’s reputation. Despite the fact the staggered suspensions were done with the blessing of the NCAA, the University should have held these student athletes to a higher standard and forfeited the remaining games to begin the suspensions immediately. Let’s be honest, if these students were anyone other than scholarship basketball players, they would have been kicked out of school. It is time for universities to hold student athletes to the same standards, and to hold them accountable for their misconduct. The fact that Villanova did not do that in this instance has tarnished the University and what it stands for.

Joseph M. CorazzaClass of 1996