NCAA Denies Exhibition for Hurricane Relief
It’s a common rule in NCAA basketball that needs to get changed. As is stands, college basketball allows teams to have one official scrimmage against a Non-NCAA Division 1 opponent, and one “secret” scrimmage that can be against a D1 school. These secret scrimmages are not allowed to be seen by the public, and should have no official scoring. These rules were adopted in 1995 and last revised in 2009...and they need an update.
Stories came out of Carolina last week, that a proposed scrimmage between UNC and South Carolina to raise money for Hurricane Florence relief was shot down by the NCAA. Both head coaches agreed to the game, and UNC alum Michael Jordan even signed off on the game being played in the Spectrum Center in Charlotte. But the NCAA said no. The way the rule is laid out, teams can give up one of their two scrimmages in order to do a public scrimmage for charity. According to the Post & Courier, both UNC and South Carolina did not want to give up either of their games, but rather add a third.
I understand the logic behind a third game being an unfair advantage for a team, but how strict is the NCAA going to be on games for charity? Last season, Kansas and Missouri got together for an exhibition game that ended up raising $2.011 million for hurricane relief. That number includes ticket sales, in-game text donations and pay-per-view live stream purchases. Both teams were interested in doing the same this year, but were turned down.
Why was this so successful? Because Kansas and Missouri is a rivalry game that college basketball fans want to see. Just like a battle of the borders between UNC and USC would be. Yes, you can argue that both teams should just forfeit a scrimmage to make room for this game. At the same time, when two teams have the ability to generate millions of dollars in charity relief, how can you possibly say no? Especially when these same programs make you millions of dollars year in and year out.
This isn’t a situation where allowing a third game can open a can of worms, with every school wanting a third scrimmage prior to the season starting. The explanation for approval is simple: these are two huge state schools, in an area that was affected by a natural disaster, that have the ability to make an impact and help. How do you allow Clemson and UNC-Wilmington to play for hurricane relief, but deny these two? At some point logic needs to intervene with the rules.