There’s no ignoring the fact that folks have become more and more frustrated with the way in which the NCAA handles the enforcement of its rules, but a decision handed down on Friday may have taken the cake.
While most were focused on the NCAA’s decision to declare UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad ineligible, Akron learned that junior forwards Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell would be suspended for three games apiece due to a clerical error by the school’s compliance department.
According to a statement released by the school neither player received final amateur certification clearance before the start of the 2011-12 season, something that’s required according to NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199.3.
Prior to engaging in practice or competition, a student-athlete shall receive a final certification of amateur status based on activities that occur prior to his or her request for final certification or initial full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or II institution (whichever occurs earlier).
Akron appealed the decision, citing the fact that neither player was at fault for the violation, but the plea fell on deaf ears and the appeal was denied.
Harney and Treadwell had nothing to do with the paperwork needed to ensure their amateur status not being completed, yet the NCAA deemed it necessary to have them sit three games.
Not sure what’s worse here: the penalty itself or the fact that someone in charge decided that it made sense to punish Harney and Treadwell. And you wonder why people are growing even more disenchanted with the way things “work” with rules enforcement.
“I feel badly for Nick and Demetrius because this oversight happened as a result of no fault of their own,” head coach Keith Dambrot said in the statement. “They did everything that was asked of them by our Athletics department and coaching staff. We were in constant contact with our compliance department to make sure they fulfilled their obligations.
“Unfortunately, a clerical error occurred that led to this situation. We will continue to focus on winning these next three games and look forward to getting them back on the court next week.”
Unfortunately for the Zips they dropped their season opener 74-70 at Coastal Carolina on Friday night, and they could have used both Harney and Treadwell. Harney averaged 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season, and Treadwell finished with averages of 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest.
Akron’s next two games are against John Carroll on Monday and Oklahoma State Thursday in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, meaning that Harney and Treadwell will be able to play in the team’s final two games in Puerto Rico.
Last week featured two Indiana players being suspended for a receipt of improper benefits that was triggered by the purchase of alumni bumper stickers by the wife of their legal guardian before either of them were born. And the week ended with two Akron players suspended due to a clerical error that wasn’t their fault.