We all know that Kentucky fans can be overly sensitive.
They are the most passionate fan base in the country, but it isn’t a secret that if you need a traffic bump on your website, you write something overwhelmingly negative about the Cats. They’ll crash your servers faster than you can say Kelenna Azubuike.
Perhaps the most insane example of Kentucky fans getting upset came this week, as Big Blue Nation got upset at UPS. For an ad. The anger made it all the way to the state government:
“I think it would be wise for them to pull the ad,” said state Sen. Ernie Harris, a UPS pilot, UK graduate and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
The ad, which first ran Sunday during CBS’ Selection Sunday show that introduced the tournament field, features video of the winning shot by Duke University’s Christian Laettner in the 1992 East Regional over UK. The 104-103 result has been called the greatest college basketball game ever by some.
Harris said he voiced his displeasure to a lobbyist for UPS, which has a hub at Louisville International Airport.
But UPS plans to continue running the ad, and two spokesmen for the company said it was not meant as a slight to UK or its fans.
I mean, come on. This was one of, if not the greatest moments in the history of college basketball. Do Kentucky fans simply want us to forget it ever happened? Should the “Unforgettables” be renamed the “Unmentionables”?
My favorite part?
UPS tried to ingratiate themselves to Kentucky fans by having a Kentucky fan more or less apologize on their blog. (Click that link. Read the comments. You’re welcome.)
Life can never be simple in Lexington, apparently.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.
Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.
“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.
“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”
Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.
This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.
Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.
“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.
This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.
He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.
The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.