High school kids across the nation are being prevented from playing at some of college basketball's most famous arenas on short notice. Event organizers aren't happy, and preps players and coaches are disappointed they have to reschedule games and won't get to experience Cameron Indoor Stadium, Hinkle Fieldhouse and Rupp Arena.
Why is this happening? Because of a new NCAA rule.
The NCAA prevented some local high school basketball teams from living out their "Hoosiers" fantasies on Saturday, with Butler forced less than 24 hours earlier to cancel a hoops event that would have given them the opportunity to play at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse because it was ruled a non-scholastic, according to the Journal Review Online.
According to the NCAA rule regarding the issue (Bylaw 220.127.116.11) a member school isn't allowed to host, sponsor or conduct a nonscholastic basketball practice or competition.
Compton Strategies is the third-person party that organized the event, therefor it was ruled a nonscholastic event.
The NCAA rule was proposed in October 2009 as part of a plan to address current issues in men’s basketball recruiting, according to the NCAA bylaw.
The rule was adopted to keep third parties from bringing potential recruits to a college campus and giving certain coaches recruiting advantages.
The Journal News Online reported that because Compton Strategies had its waiver denied by the NCAA, its other high school event at Indiana's Assembly Hall would be impacted along with the 34 teams scheduled to participate.
The NCAA had previously enforced the rule last month at Kentucky as well, with high school teams scheduled to play at Rupp Arena being told shortly before the event that it could not do so because the "New Year's Day Rumble at Rupp" event run by Bleid Sports was ruled non-scholastic, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Tates Creek girls' coach Justin Cheatham, whose team was scheduled to play in Rupp on Sunday, said in an email that his "players, as well as countless others across the state, are brokenhearted by the NCAA stepping in at this last minute and stomping on the dreams of kids all across this and neighboring states.
"Rupp Arena is the center of the basketball universe, and to tell these student-athletes just one day before tip-off of the first game that they won't be able to play speaks strongly to the diminished character of the NCAA."
Yes, some of the high school players might eventually get their day in the sun. But for many of these kids, they might have missed out on their one opportunity to experience playing in a college arena. Moments like that are priceless and ones you brag about later in life.
The kids are prevented from doing so because these events were organized by third-parties, meaning the NCAA views them as if colleges were hosting AAU tournaments on campus and possibly gaining a recruiting advantage.
That's really too bad.