Remember how great we felt about ourselves when cute but media savvy Mo’ne Davis participated in the Little League World Series. Little Mo’ne used her 70 mph fastball and knee-buckling curveball to shutout the Nashville team. Yay us! Yay equality! Yay baseball!
Then Mo’ne became a media darling. She made the cover of Sports Illustrated. She was praised by pundits. She was interviewed and feted. She even got a call from UConn women’s basketball coach Gene Auriemma, a classy gesture. Or was it? Like every good feeling in life, this one has passed. The cause for our wake up call was the NCAA declaring Auriemma’s call a recruiting violation.
— Sporting News NCAAB (@sn_ncaab) September 4, 2014
Okay, I’ll let that sink in.
The deal is that some school – and you know who you are – narced on Auriemma, pointing out that in addition to playing baseball, Mo’ne also plays basketball. Therefore, calling a 13-year-old girl to congratulate her on her place in history as the first girl to record a shutout in the LLWS is a recruiting call. But you know, that thought crossed Auriemma’s mind, so he even asked his Compliance Department if it would be a violation before making the call. They said it wouldn’t be. Sure they were wrong, but hey, they took a shot.
— Meghan Bard (@meghanbard) September 3, 2014
Now even the NCAA isn’t stupid enough to punish Auriemma or Mo’ne (although she’s being kinda ballsy with that Huskies hoodie), so they’ve classified this as a secondary violation, which means they’re going to put a nasty letter in Auriemma’s file, and he must do some rules education. So if no one’s getting fined or suspended, what was the point again? Oh yeah, there may be no crying in baseball, but there sure is some stupidity (at least in Overland Park).
David Young has been a columnist for ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and is now one for SportsGrid.com. Following him on Twitter @turkeysflying.