Mo’ne Davis will just have to take a number and get in line.
The Little League World Series heroine and fireball hurler, who mesmerized a whole nation earlier this summer in leading her South Philly team to Williamsport and the realm of national consciousness, pronounced herself “sad” this week upon learning how the hypocritical granddaddy of all sports governing bodies conducts its business.
The NCAA announced it was slapping Coach Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut women’s hoops program with a secondary violation after the Huskies had dared to care enough to phone Davis to congratulate her on her historic accomplishments and encourage the 13-year-old to keep shooting for the stars. Seems in all the unending interviews Davis was deluged with in the midst of her rise, she mentioned something about being an UConn fan and perhaps someday wanting to play for the most decorated program of her time.
But even more than that, it would appear it was just about a coach trying to provide an impressionable teenager already on the right track with even more motivation to succeed at a time when far too many youths like her are under unending attack from the other side to go in the other direction.
Even the NCAA concedes that Davis and Auriemma only spoke for two minutes and there was no talk of basketball from the Huskies head man, who, mind you, hasn’t even so much as seen Davis clutch a Spalding. And still the NCAA so fit to extend its mighty hand, sent the message that rules are more important than people, enforcement trumps motivation every time. It’s all about as heartless as the thought that members of the NCAA national champs could face nights of going to bed hungry, as Shabazz Napier claims, even as they sweat and toil labor to generate millions more in profits for the machine.
The Hartford Courant added the NCAA justified the actions taken against UConn by labeling Davis a special case as a “potential basketball recruit,” even though no mention of hoops was ever made and no one can say with any certainty if Davis will ever come to rep the nine-time champs in that capacity.
“There wasn’t anything about recruiting in the call,” said Davis.”He was just congratulating me.”
But rules are rules, and when it comes to the NCAA that and profits easily supersede everything else.