Nov. 4, 2004
The word came down Wednesday that Missouri's basketball team has been placed on three years' probation for NCAA recruiting violations. There was good news for Tiger fans, because the school avoided a ban on postseason play.
Yes, the NCAA infractions committee decided to take away one scholarship next year and two in 2006-07. The decision also limits all of Missouri's basketball coaches to recruiting on campus until November 2005.
Wow, coach Quin Snyder and his basketball program got a lucky break. The Tigers could have been banned from the NCAA for a two-year period. The NCAA used good judgment by hitting the Tigers in recruiting. The penalty, which prevents the staff from recruiting off campus for one year, is not a slap on the wrist.
For those who feel it's a light penalty, think again. Recruiting is a key to winning -- you've got to have players. This will impact Missouri's program for several years. It won't be easy to compete in the Big 12 with that type of sanction, but Missouri will have a new arena as a positive selling point.
Now Snyder and his new staff have to put it all behind them, get rejuvenated and move on in a positive manner.
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he's been an ESPN analyst ever since). Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.