ESPN – The Louisville men’s basketball program will have to vacate its 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance after the NCAA denied its appeal of what the school described as “Draconian penalties” levied against the team last year…
The Cardinals will become the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball program to vacate a national title during the Final Four era, according to ESPN Stats & Information…
The NCAA penalties, which were announced on June 15, included the vacation of basketball records in which ineligible student-athletes competed from 2011 to 2015. The school had previously said the penalties would affect 123 victories, including 15 NCAA Tournament wins and the 2013 national title.
Until the NCAA can hire Doc Brown, Marty McFly and/or Biff Tannen to go back in time to change the outcomes of games, stripping teams of wins or even championships will continue to be the most trivial punishment they can hand down. The only person who ever gained anything from wins being vacated was Bobby Bowden. When Joe Paterno had 111 wins vacated in 2012, Bowden snuck to the top of the all-time NCAA Division I FBS win list for three years, before the NCAA unvacated the 111 Paterno wins in 2015.
Sure, the NCAA can repossess Louisville’s 2013 National Champions trophy and demand that the championship banner come down from the rafters, but that won’t erase the game from history. If the NCAA wants to get serious they should go back and vacate the March Madness Tournament Bracket victories of the people who picked Louisville. Ask them to return their winnings. That’ll make this penalty a lot more real for lot more people in a hurry.
I’m sure the vacated wins hurt the folks inside the Louisville athletic department and on the Board of Trustees, but I’m sure the “forfeiture of any money received through conference revenue sharing from the 2012-15 NCAA tournaments” hurts a hell of a lot more. I’m also certain that most Louisville fans don’t care.
As a fan, I would rather my team win a championship and worry about the consequences later rather than never get close. Especially with how inconsistently the NCAA hands down penalties. Drive fast and take chances. That’s life in the NCAA.