UncategorizedVCUHoops (Michael Litos Blog)

Be Ve-wy Quiet. I’m Hunting Wabbit…

Most ofthe A10–actually a name-appropriate 10 teams–lace 'em up this weekend against real D1 competition in controlled scrimmages. I refuse to make a joke
about these contests being a secret–it isn't remotely funny–but I still don't
understand why these scrimmages have to be that way.

According to NCAA rules, "only athletics department staff members and those individuals necessary to conduct the practice scrimmage may be present during the
and "…further, the institution must ensure
the scrimmage is free from public view and media are not in

No official score can be kept and the score board is turned off. However "an institution may
keep score and/or statistics for private use."
Basically the NCAA is saying do whatever you want, but don't let anybody else see you.

The paranoia of coaches is understood, and I'm with them on preserving anonymity. Coaches want to tinker with offensive and defensive sets and not have to worry about scout tape or loose lips. My point: it should be their call, not (another) NCAA rule to (unevenly) enforce.

It's not as ridiculous as the now-stricken bagel toppings rule, but it's more grist for the NCAA to handle instead of actual issues.
Exhibit A: practice is in full swing, and we're two weeks from the start
of the regular season, when games count, and Tom Pecora still doesn't know if
the NCAA clearinghouse has approved 6-10 freshman Ryan Rhoomes. That's
ridiculous. The NCAA needs to look at shuffling its resources to problems that matter and stop being, thank you Jim Mora, overofficious jerks.

The coaches need to be empowered to make the call on how publicized these scrimmages become. They open and close practice, so it stands to reason they should open and close scrimmages. Many coaches, I think, would be just fine with it being an
unpublicized deal.

What I mean is this: VCU is scrimmaging Virginia tomorrow. As opposed to this fictional veil of NCAA secrecy, college basketball charades, Shaka Smart and Tony Bennett
could have a very simple conversation:

Shaka: Tony, what do you say about getting together on October 27, get together for a scrimmage, see where we are?

Bennett: Sure, but I don't want to draw too much attention to it.

Shaka: Oh me neither. How about we meet at Fork Union's gym at 2:00 on the 27th? That will get us out of the spotlight and we can get after it.

I love that idea. We're not really going to tell anybody about it,
treat it like a practice, but we may have some stragglers if that's

I'm with you. We'll call it practice as well. No cameras, but I do have a
new announcing team–the color analyst is incredibly talented–so they may
go hide in a corner to smooth out their work.

No worries. I agree no cameras, and I'll have a good student reporter
our athletic department wants to mentor. They'll make sure it's a
teaching moment for him. Bring along a big donor or two if you'd like but make sure they understand the rules.

Shaka: Will do. Thanks. See you on the 27th.


So anyway, here's the
list of A10 teams participating in these stupidly titled basketball
get-togethers. I will spend time on the phone this weekend to get some information from the VCU/Virginia scrimmage, and all the other A10 teams.

VCU at Virginia (Note: UVa will be without point guard Jontel Evans, out with a foot injury.)

Wake Forest at Charlotte
Xavier at West Virginia
Princeton at La Salle
UMass at Drexel (How much fun is this scrimmage? A: Lots.)
Richmond at Elon
St. Louis at Indiana State
Kent State at St. Bonaventure
Temple vs. Niagara (In Scranton, PA)
Maryland at George Washington (Sunday)