When the NCAA ruled Baylor forward Perry Jones ineligible for the Big 12 tournament, it set off a series tweets and stories that the move wasn’t a surprise. Even we got in on it.
The school pleaded the move was unfair. Also in that camp? Sporting News writer Mike DeCourcy.
At issue is this: Jones, the Bears’ highest-rated recruit ever and possibly the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, reportedly received impermissible benefits or preferential treatment from an AAU coach before enrolling in college.
At issue are three 15-day loans his mother received while Jones was in high school. Baylor says the loans were repaid in a timely manner. His AAU coach also paid for Jones’ travel to a preseason NFL game in San Diego before attending Baylor.
The school likened Jones’ situation to that of Cam Newton, who was deemed eligible to play for Auburn last season despite alleged improper benefits his dad, Cecil, wanted in return for his son to play football.
DeCourcy says Jones’ situation is no different. How is Jones to know what his mother’s financial decision entail? From his column:
So now it is the athlete’s responsible not only to stay out of trouble and to achieve on the court and in the classroom, but also to run the business affairs of his parents.
If they attempt to barter his athletic ability to benefit their own situations, it now is his fault. He is to blame.
What a pathetic course college athletics is following. What chance does a Perry Jones really have?
If Cam Newton is any precedent, DeCourcy’s reasoning is sound. Should Jones know what his mother is up to? Probably not.
But then, I’m not sure Cam Newton really sets the proper example in decisions like this. Just when will someone be held accountable (if there was anything done wrong, of course).
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