Now this news a little bit old, but I feel like I need to address it because it is a weird situation. About a week and a half ago, Yahoo reported that Old Dominion’s guard Donte Hill, will be denied his last year of eligibility.
Hill, who transfered from Clemson to Old Dominion in 2010-11. Prior to his transfer Hill took part in a closed door scrimmage at Clemson, playing eight minutes. He did not play a single game in the 2010-11 season.
Well, the NCAA ruled, following one of their bylaws that states “any competition, regardless of time, during a season in an intercollegiate sport shall be counted as a season of competition in that sport”, that Hill had used up a year of eligibility by taking part in the scrimmage.
The NCAA has been taking tough stances on recent eligibility issues, many people would say a little too tough in fact. A few recent examples include Myck Kabongo losing an entire year due to taken part in a workout paid by NBA player Tristen Thompson and Offensive Tackle Nic Purcell losing an entire year because he took part in two beer league games.
In the case of Hill, he’s still in school. His grades are good, he is not in any trouble legally, by all accounts, he is an amazing leader and teammate. Hill is not good enough to get drafted, this was his last year to play in the NCAA and experience that kind of intense experience. The NCAA just took it away from him. And for what? Eight minutes in a preseason scrimmage that no one saw? Ridiculous.
The reaction from the fans has been largely negative. A lot of people are really angry at the drastic measures taken by the NCAA to punish a kid to this extent. They would have had the choice to simply suspend him a couple of games to deal with the issue, they chose not to do that even though they have previously done the same thing in another case.
There has even been discussion on public forums that the big name schools, especially on the football side of things, should just disassociate themselves completely from the NCAA. The wish would be for the schools to form their own post season and run their own organization. Though this may not be a realistic idea at the moment, the NCAA needs to realize that they are simply not bigger than the big name schools. If the SEC wants to go off on its own and run its own league, the fans will follow and nothing the NCAA could do would stop it.
Honestly, this decision by the NCAA infuriates me, they have taken everything away from Hill for eight minutes that meant literally nothing. In fact, last year Hill chose not to take part in the senior night festivities because he thought he would get another year. Now he’s left to sit it out and watch his team from the sidelines, after all the work he put in, both in the gym and in the classroom. An absolutely terrible decision that I hope is somehow turned around.