: Well, it's official - - the hammer fell on the Golden Bears today
: as the NCAA put them on three years probation and let them know that
: they needn't show up for postseason play in 1997-1998. This stems, as most
: of you know, from substantial rules violations and irregularities during
: the tenure of disgraced former coach Todd Bozeman, which included cash
: compensation for several players.
Just one minor point: the penalty the NCAA handed out was for cash
payments (like $30,000 worth of payments) to just one player, Jelani
Gardner. Pretty scummy, but just pointing out that it was the Gardner
problem which finally nailed Bozeman.
: This news is at once heartening and unfortunate. It's heartening
: because it's good to see a reprobate like Bozeman dealt with appropriately.
: Especially satisfying was the news that he has been personally suspended
: from NCAA coaching for at least five years - - not that anyone outside of
: Fresno State would rush to give a slimy, ethics-free mercenary like him a
: job in any case.
8 years, to be exact (until June 1, 2005). And, speaking of Fresno St.,
since the NCAA hates Tarkanian perhaps even more than Bozeman, if
_anything_ at all is found at Fresno St. in terms of wrongdoing, Tark may
get even harsher punishment.
: However, the news is somewhat sad because Ben Braun is a hell of
: a coach, and, from all accounts, a genuinely nice guy, and it's too bad that
: Bozeman's arrogant disregard for the rules of the institution of college
: basketball has to come due for payment on Braun's watch. In addition to
: the probation and postseason ban, Braun will have two fewer scholarships to
: work with for the near term. Still, all is not lost for Braun, as he
: reportedly had a provision written into his contract to extend it
: automatically if something like this were to happen. It seems that, until
: now, only the NCAA hadn't concluded for sure that Bozeman was dirty.
: The Bears will be back.
Well, honestly, I was one of those who weren't sure he was dirty; the only
thing I was sure of was that he was a rotten head coach with very poor
media skills. But, yes, now, I think the case is closed and he probably
has to rank, along with Tarkanian, as one of the dirtiest coaches in
college basketball history (now, I'm wondering why the hell did Lou
Campanelli ever hire Bozeman as an assistant in the first place? didn't
he check references on Bozeman?).
By the way, there are actually a couple more penalties:
1) Cal has to return 90% of its revenue from the 96 tourney (only 54k cuz
Cal only played one game...against Iowa St...and lost).
2) Cal has to forfeit any games in which Jelani Gardner played his two
seasons...so now Bozeman's record for those last two years is a whopping
2-53 (Bozeman didn't play Gardner in 2 of Cal's wins...actually, I
personally think Cal woulda won more games if Jelani had sat on the bench,
period, but hey, Bozeman never was a genius in terms of having a rotation
or any semblance of a game plan either).
"You can't spell P-E-N-I-S without ESPN!"
-- seen on a sign held by a student in the stands during the Utah
at Colorado St. basketball game, televised by ESPN.