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Joe Nocera fires final shot in the Battle of Boatright

When word came down on Saturday night that Ryan Boatright was going to return to UConn's lineup it seemed like the NCAA's long investigation into his AAU days was finally behind him. Well, not quite. The NCAA released an incredibly detailed press release about Boatright's situation, ostensibly to combat incorrect media reports (read: they wanted to fire back at Boatright-backing op-eds written by Joe Nocera in the New York Times).

That press release brought Nocera back to the well one last time, and it resulted in a column as powerful as his previous two. He pokes holes in some of the NCAA's more impressive claims, makes it clear that Ryan was an easy target because of his poor upbringing, and points out that, in the end, there really isn't much the Boatrights can do:

But the Boatrights aren't going to sue, and the N.C.A.A. knows it. Ryan only wants to play basketball. Tanesha just wants the whole thing to go away. Her life has been turned upside down by the N.C.A.A.'s investigation: She's lost her job, her friends have been harassed by N.C.A.A. investigators and it has affected her health. She blames herself for her son's problems, even though, by any reasonable standard, she did nothing wrong. I hear that she cries a lot these days.

That's not all though. Nocera also took the NCAA's press release and annotated it on his blog. Both pieces are worth a read, and hopefully this is the last I'll have to write about it.

(h/t justdave)