The NCAA will not allow North Carolina and South Carolina to play a men’s basketball exhibition for hurricane relief.
After Hurricane Florence hit the Carolina, and caused significant damage last month, the two programs, along with North Carolina alum and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, agreed to play an exhibition for charity at the Spectrum Center in downtown Charlotte.
According to a report from David Cloninger of The Post and Courier, the NCAA wouldn’t allow the proposed exhibition since the Tar Heels and Gamecocks already have two scheduled exhibitions this preseason — as both programs didn’t want to give up previous commitments.
The NCAA has approved several charity relief games over the past few seasons — notably the comeback of the Kansas/Missouri “Border War”, along with South Carolina hosting Virginia Tech in a hurricane exhibition last season. But the NCAA would not budge on the proposed battle between the two Carolina schools, even with the backing of such an influential figure like Michael Jordan.
As Cloninger notes in his story, the NCAA also approved of Penn State and West Virginia playing an exhibition with the proceeds going to the American Red Cross this preseason. Clemson and UNC Wilmington also have a charity game approved.
While it’s understandable that the NCAA is trying not to give North Carolina and South Carolina an unfair advantage of a third exhibition game, this ruling is also ridiculously stupid. A hurricane had massive implications on the region and the NCAA is holding back an opportunity to help over a silly exhibition rule.
What are North Carolina and South Carolina supposed to do? Cancel previously scheduled preseason commitments because a hurricane hit their region just last month? Are schools supposed to hold an exhibition slot open in future seasons in case some other catastrophe causes damage and they want to help with a charity exhibition?
It’s not as if these two schools are trying to provide relief for something that happened a long time ago. The Carolinas are hurting with damage and flooding. An influx of college basketball fans selling out an NBA arena — while spending significant money in Charlotte before and after the game — would have only helped an area that could use some positive news.