Today, the Louisville women’s basketball team will compete against the UConn Huskies in New Orleans for the national championship. If the Cardinals are successful, Louisville will join UConn as only the second school in history to win the men’s and women’s basketball championships in the same year.
Unfortunately, if the Cards pull it off, the two teams won’t celebrate together in the Big Easy tonight. Yes, the ridiculous NCAA bureaucracy machine has struck again. After winning the national championship last night, Rick Pitino said that while he will be attending the game in NOLA, the NCAA refused to allow the players to watch the game with him.
Pitino said it’s “ashamed” but NCAA denied request saying it was an extra benefit for the players.
— Jody Demling (@jdemling) April 9, 2013
Yes, apparently it would be so unfair to everyone else to allow these players to continue the most wild month of their lives for one day longer by supporting their fellow student-athletes.
But this morning, the NCAA tried to reverse its decision. Whether the organization realized how completely stupid this is or what an incredible marketing moment it would be to have both teams raising their trophies and nets together as the confetti rained down is up for debate. According to USA Today, the NCAA offered a few hours ago to provide a waiver allowing the team to attend tonight’s game, but it was too late. The team was already on its way back to campus.