CalTech’s snapped losing streak in jeopardy?

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You know that our country’s system of collegiate athletics has major problems when CalTech — yes, that CalTech — is getting hammered with NCAA violations:

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) lacked institutional control when it allowed 30 ineligible student-athletes in 12 sports to practice or compete during four academic years, according to findings by the NCAA Division III Committee on Infractions. Penalties, including those self-imposed by Caltech, include three years probation, a postseason ban, a vacation of athletics records, and recruiting limitations.

If we can’t trust the engineers at CalTech to run a clean program, who can we trust?

Well, it turns out that the issues here had less to do with CalTech circumventing the rules as it did with CalTech simply not knowing the rules:

The student-athletes were ineligible due in large part to Caltech’s unique academic policy that allows students to “shop” for courses during a three-week period of each quarter before finalizing their class schedules. During those three weeks, because they were not actually registered in some or all of the courses they are attending, some students were not enrolled on a full-time basis.  Other student-athletes failed to meet good academic standing requirements.

The committee noted that Caltech’s failure to have procedures to verify the full-time enrollment status or academic standing of the student-athletes contributed significantly to the lack of institutional control. Caltech did not have a written process or procedure in place for performing certification duties and ensuring the eligibility of all student-athletes.

In other words, CalTech didn’t lack institutional control, they had an abundance of institutional apathy towards athletics. They didn’t have procedures in place to verify enrollment or academic standing? I guess that’s why eight athletes that participated in the 2010-2011 season were found to be ineligible.

The big news here, however, is that apparently at least one basketball player participated while ineligible. The NCAA’s release in unclear about dates, but this could be devastating news for the CalTech program. You see, in the final game of the 2010-2011 season, the Beavers snapped a 26 year (26 years!), 310 game (310 games!?!) losing streak in SCIAC play. If an ineligible player participated in that game, than — officially speaking — CalTech still hasn’t won a league game in January 23rd, 1985.

Am I the only one hoping that the NCAA doesn’t vacate their win?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.