Remember when news broke that Geno Auriemma had called Little League World Series sensation Mo'ne Davis to congratulate her for her achievements? Wasn't that a nice story?
Well, apparently not everybody thought so, because according to the Hartford Courant, an unnamed school reportedly complained to the NCAA, alleging that Auriemma's phone call constituted a recruiting violation. And because the NCAA is the NCAA, they agreed, citing UConn for a secondary violation of NCAA rules.
Secondary violations aren't that big a deal, so UConn likely won't face any serious sanctions, but can you believe this crap? Some coach actually felt threatened enough by Auriemma's call to a 13-year-old girl that they went crying to the NCAA. Warde Manuel didn't like it either, and he said as much in this statement to the Courant.
"Over the last 24 hours, the University of Connecticut, the American Athletic Conference and the NCAA have been working together to determine whether a violation occurred when head women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma spoke with Mo'ne Davis over the phone during the 2014 Little League World Series," Manuel said in a statement. "The NCAA has determined a secondary rules violation of bylaw 126.96.36.199 did occur and while UConn accepts this decision, we do not agree with it.
"Prior to attempting to reach Davis, Coach Auriemma checked with the UConn compliance department and was advised such a call would be permissible since Davis is not considered a prospective student-athlete by the NCAA and the call was to be congratulatory rather than recruiting in nature.
"While UConn will continue to adhere to the NCAA and conference rules, I believe that upon request from a friend to Geno, a proud Philadelphian, to call a young lady representing the City of Brotherly Love who had accomplished historic feats in the Little League World Series, should not constitute a violation especially due to the fact that NCAA rules do not classify Mo'ne as a prospective student-athlete.
"The nature of Coach Auriemma's two-minute conversation with Mo'ne had nothing to do with recruiting and instead had everything to do with congratulating and encouraging Mo'ne to continued success.
"I consider this matter closed and we will have no further comment."
The article also reports that the whistleblower didn't come from an ACC or American Athletic Conference school, so who knows where this all came from? Tennessee? Kentucky? Stanford? Maybe Baylor?
Before this all goes away, I do hope that whoever complained to the NCAA is eventually identified, because this is some next level, crazy, paranoid shit we're talking about here. Yes, Mo'ne Davis is a great athlete, and yes, she's made it pretty clear to the world that she'd like to play basketball at UConn when she's older, but for goodness sakes, she's 13-years-old! For all we know she might decide to quit basketball and become a soccer player in the next five years, or she might wind up not being good enough for Auriemma to recruit anyway. A lot could happen between now and Davis' senior year of high school.
This whole situation is spectacularly dumb, and is just the latest example of how much college sports can suck sometimes. There is one good thing that could potentially come out of all this though, imagine five years from now Davis does come to UConn, and lets say at some point before that, whoever filed this complaint is revealed. Wouldn't it be great if the two teams played, and then after draining a three to put the Huskies up 30 points, Davis turned to the coach and flashed a "call me" sign?
That would have to be up there with Michael Jordan's shrug and Reggie Miller's choke as the best taunt in basketball history.