The more I think about it, the more disappointed and upset I become. My alma mater has gotten some press this week, but it hasn't been the good kind. Head basketball coach Jim Harrick was suspended yesterday, amidst allegations of academic fraud and other wrong doings. As an alum, this saddens me. The basketball program was beginning to make a name for itself. Alas, that name has come with a price. The team will also not compete in the 2003 SEC Basketball Tournament or the NCAA tournament, which they were a lock for an at-large bid, at worst.
As an athletic administrator this troubles me. We've seen several basketball scandals this year, and it really makes you question why we are doing what we are doing.
We aren't saving the world. We aren't birthing babies. We aren't finding cures for horrible diseases. We are a part of sport, of games. GAMES. College athletics, at least at the top level, is no longer just about games. It is about winning. It is about recruiting. It is about money.
Now, Harrick hasn't been found guilty of any wrong doings yet, but the writing is on the wall in CLEAR red and black ink. He did things he thought would give him an advantage over the Kentuckys and the Floridas. He knew he had to come into the SEC, which is a now thriving basketball conference, and win games. He had to compete for SEC titles, and make NCAA tournament berths. All he ended up doing was hurting the very university that gave him another chance and the kids he thought he was helping.
I'm sickened by all of this. I really am. I hate it for various reasons. I'm an alum. I'm a Georgia supporter. I love the fact that I was a part of that university. I have many good friends in the athletic department. I hate they are having to deal with this.
But with every screw up, there are lessons. Rules are there for a reason, and NO, they aren't made to be broken.
I feel like this is starting to ramble. I do hope the ship gets turned around there. I hope all of my good friends there are able to weather the storm.
Back to life ... this week is going to be relaxing for a change. I was supposed to go to Cleveland for the MAC Basketball Championships, but I have decided against it. It'll be good to stay here, get some work done and just rest. I deserve it, right?
I hope all is well with you, my friends and family. I hope sun shines on you ... Lord knows, it isn't shinning in Athens like it used to.