The NCAA loves handing out violations, and Geno Auriemma took offense to his latest one, for congratulating little league sensation Mo’ne Davis on her performance.
Throughout ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series, we got to know Davis fairly well, including the fact her dream is to play college basketball at UConn.
Auriemma took the time to congratulate Davis for nearly carrying her Philadelphia, Pennsylvania team all the way to the title.
After learning he would be receiving a violation, Auriemma made these comments via the Hartford Courant:
“Under normal circumstances, I would probably not know anything about her until she was in ninth grade. I have no idea if the kid is very good, kind of good, not good at all or a superstar or can even reach the basket. How is that a violation? So what does this mean? If a kid wins a swimming contest somewhere and is wearing a [UConn] sweat shirt and I call to congratulate her in seventh grade, is someone now going to say you are not allowed to do that? Well, why not? Isn’t that unbelievable? There are guys playing college basketball driving around in cars worth more than my house and we’re worried about a phone call to a little girl?”
There are so many problems with the NCAA getting involved with this, it’s not even funny. First off, Davis isn’t even in high school yet, so she’s not considered a prospective student athlete (PSA), which means Auriemma did not do anything wrong by talking to her.
That’s just the beginning. Auriemma recognized the remarkable things Davis was doing in a boys game, heard she admired UConn’s women’s basketball program, and reached out in support.
He hasn’t even seen her play basketball, so he has no idea if she will come close to being considered to play at UConn.
Auriemma hits it right on the head. The NCAA should be much more worried about the real violations going on in college sports, and not something as silly as this.