Auburn being proactive in self-imposing postseason ban was good, however is the punishment acceptable?

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Auburn introduced on Sunday that it has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban on its males’s basketball program in response to an NCAA case that has generated a discover of allegations but stays unresolved.

It is exhausting to argue it isn’t a sensible transfer.

Bruce Pearl’s Tigers are changing 5 starters from a workforce that completed 25-6. They had been picked seventh within the preseason SEC ballot. They’re 66th at KenPom. They’re 108th at Torvik. Barring a (gentle) shock, they’d not have made the 2021 NCAA Event anyway. So on this pandemic-shortened season the place all the things is unsure and nothing assured, Auburn has banned itself from the postseason with the hope being that when the NCAA lastly does formally punish this system, it is going to get credit score for time served.

So, once more, it is exhausting to argue Auburn did not make the good transfer.

However is it proper?

I’ve lengthy believed that strategically-timed self-imposed postseason bans shouldn’t be thought of acceptable punishment by the NCAA as a result of they’re virtually at all times examples of colleges gaming the system with little regard for the student-athletes enrolled. Faculties sacrifice their mediocre current with the concept being that it will give them a greater probability to maximise a more-promising future. Syracuse did it in the midst of the 2014-15 season — now Auburn is doing it three days earlier than the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

And I do not blame Auburn! I hope I’ve made that clear.

Auburn is merely profiting from the system in place in the identical method many earlier than it have finished. The Tigers had a former assistant, Chuck Particular person, break the principles and get caught, and now they’re punishing themselves for that — and probably different undisclosed issues — in a method that’s allowed by the principles presently in place. So I do not blame Auburn for doing what it is doing. I simply do not imagine Auburn needs to be allowed to do what it is doing.

(By the best way, I additionally do not feel too sorry for the student-athletes presently at Auburn. Every of them enrolled after Particular person was arrested in September 2017 and charged with federal crimes that promised to create NCAA points. So in the event that they did not need to be susceptible to sometime being banned from the postseason, they most likely ought to’ve picked a unique faculty. However I digress.)

“This was a troublesome resolution — however the appropriate resolution,” Pearl stated in an announcement launched by the varsity. “I hate it for our present gamers. They misplaced the chance for the postseason final yr due to COVID, and now they may miss the postseason once more. It is a two-year postseason penalty for them. Nevertheless, we have to take this penalty now to place it behind us.”

My translation: This sucks. However we all know we’ll be hit with a postseason ban ultimately, so we would relatively get it behind us this season in order that we’ll be good to go subsequent season when our gifted freshmen are sophomores and joined by Jabari Smith, a consensus top-five prospect within the Class of 2021 who’s already dedicated to us however would possibly rethink if we’re in the end banned from the 2022 NCAA Event.

It is unattainable to learn my translation of Pearl’s assertion and never acknowledge Auburn made the smart transfer right here — however it needs to be famous there is no assure it is going to work as Pearl hopes. Sure, the Committee on Infractions has typically accepted self-imposed one-year postseason bans as adequate. It does not need to, nevertheless; it reserves the appropriate so as to add on. So Auburn’s postseason points would possibly be over after this season, however we is not going to know for certain till the Committee on Infractions guidelines.

So, keep tuned.

Undeniably, there are points with your complete NCAA course of, as they take eternally to analyze. They take eternally to ship a discover of allegations. They take eternally to punish. Because of this, an NCAA cloud hangs above packages actually for years — typically even when the circumstances result in nothing. So I can perceive why Auburn, nicely conscious of what it is dealing with, could be anxious to go forward and punish itself in an try and take away that NCAA cloud ASAP. However for those who put me in cost, I would not give colleges the choice to do it.

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