by: STEVEN GEHEGAN/Staff Writer
It recently was announced that National Collegiate Athletic Association has hit Southern Methodist University with sanctions.
The head coach of the SMU men’s basketball team, Larry Brown, has been accused of academic misconduct and not reporting issues within the men’s basketball program. This is the third time a Brown- coached team has been hit by NCAA sanctions. SMU was hit with a postseason ban for the 2015-2016 season and the loss of nine scholarships during the next three seasons. Brown has been suspended for nine of the games for the upcoming season.
This will be the end of the few years of success that SMU has experienced recently. Brown has brought success to the SMU program during the past few years, which includes a trip to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2015. Now that success has come to an end at SMU’s.
For one thing, SMU’s chance to make the most noise in the NCAA tournament would have been this year. But now, with the sanctions, they will not get a chance to prove that. The Mustangs might have a chance to play in the American Athletic Conference postseason tournament, depending on what the American Conference decides and a possible appeal by SMU. Even if SMU can play in the American Conference Tournament, they will not get a chance to get their name out on a nationally-televised stage. That will hurt SMU recruiting. When a team cannot make the postseason in college basketball, top-rated players will not want to come to play for the program.
It still remains to be seen whether players are going to want to stay at SMU. Usually, when a team is hit by NCAA sanctions, not all of the players stick around to see them through the sanction. Either the athlete is running out of eligibility, or he or she wants want to spend the rest of the playing time with a team that can compete for the NCAA tournament.
Also, there is the question of Brown, who does not have a track record of sticking with one team, whether in college basketball or in the National Basketball League. If Brown decides not to stick around, if he retires or decides to go somewhere else, it will end the run of success for the program.
There also could be the problem of depth during the next few years at SMU. Even when college basketball teams have talent, it is hard to be very successful if they cannot rest their players. Players will run out of energy by the end of the season. It will be hard for them to fill out the roster when they lose nine scholarships during the next three years. Without the depth, SMU could start losing again, which is going to make recruiting top-level talent to SMU more difficult.
With all of these the sanctions that have been brought down to the SMU program by the NCAA, it could put an end to all of SMU’s recent success.