Pack your bags, diehards.
Those of you with the flexibility and financial wherewithal to fly to Anaheim on a moment’s notice just heard the magic words: UH basketball has been cleared by the NCAA to play in the postseason.
Here’s this morning’s breaking story, which has been updated with quotes from UH athletic director David Matlin and coach Eran Ganot.
This was a big win for the university after such a prolonged process — nearly right down to the Big West’s Saturday deadline. In addition to now playing in the Big West tournament next week, UH got its scholarship penalty reduced from a total of four over two years to two over two years. That means the three UH served/is serving (one last year and two this year) is sufficient to restore UH back to its full complement of 13 for the 2017-18 season.
You can imagine the scene at the Sacramento airport when the team was told of the decision by the UH coaches. What a huge lift it was, coming off a tough loss at UC Davis and heading to the season finale at Long Beach State on Saturday afternoon.
The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, in its announcement this morning, maintained that the right penalty structure was used in its initial announcement back on Dec. 22, 2015.
But the COI actually used the tardiness of the Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC) — which sided with UH in its release on Oct. 28 — as a primary reason it agreed to reduce the penalties. Yikes.
Here’s a segment from a deep dive into the NCAA’s full, final release on the matter.
“Upon remand, the panel noted that over a full year elapsed from the time the institution filed its appeal to the time that the IAC issued its final directive to the panel. Throughout that time, the institution has been awaiting final resolution of its case. The panel considers this passage of time as an additional mitigating factor for the institution in this case. The panel initially determined that the case was Level II – Aggravated for the institution, former head coach and former assistant coach 1. The violations remain Level II –Aggravated for the former head coach and former assistant coach 1. However, after reweighing the aggravated and mitigated factors for the institution, the panel classifies the violations as Level II – Standard for the institution.”
I’m sure you, the good people, have some thoughts on the matter. Feel free to share them below.
As for me, I’m packing my bags for Los Angeles. Let’s see if UH can make the tournament as interesting as they did last March, shall we?