Monday, November 28, 2011

Bleeding Orange and Worst Nightmares

I would like to take this time to talk about the recent events at my dad's alma mater, Syracuse University.  Each Syracuse basketball game was like a holiday for the two of us, as we made sure we would always be able to not only watch, but watch the games together.  My dad raised me to be a basketball junkie and to love Syracuse basketball, hence "Bleeding Orange."  The accusations that have come about against Bernie Fine the past week or so, and especially two days ago, have been shocking and humbling.  This has hit me on a personal level, as an avid supporter of the program, I never could have imagined a scandal like this occurring to my favorite program.  Two days ago, ESPN released a recording of a conversation in 2002 between Bernie's wife, Laurie and the main accuser, Bobby Davis, that all but sealed Fine's fate.  The University did the obvious when the recording came public, firing Fine effective immediately.  This circumstance is different than the Penn State scandal for now.  Jim Boeheim adamantly came to Fine's defense last week and has since apologized.  If it comes out that Boeheim and others in the University knew about this problem, Syracuse is looking at an eerily similar predicament to Penn State.

On another note, I would like to discuss my worst possible fear as a college basketball player: tearing my ACL.  This recently happened to two players that were considered vital to their teams success this season.  Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame, tore his ACL in practice on Friday morning.  The All Big-East Preseason first team selection had his knee give out while jump stopping in a two-on-two drill.  His leadership, sharp shooting, and rebounding will be sorely missed for a Notre Dame team attempting to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the 3rd consecutive time.  Trevor Mbakwe, the starting center for Minnesota also suffered the season ending injury.  Mbakwe plays with a ton of passion, works extremely hard and is one of my favorite players to watch.  This comes as a crushing blow to the Golden Gophers who have now lost Al Nolen, Devoe Joseph, and now Trevor Mbakwe to torn ACL's consecutively the past three seasons.  The All Big-Ten Preseason first team selection tweeted this during the game after the injury occurred.  Mbakwe was evidently frustrated and disappointed as he was seen crying on the sidelines.  As a player myself, I cannot blame him for showing his emotions and letting the tears come out, as I would have a hard time not to do the same myself.  Knowing how much work, effort and time that is put in, a season ending injury is any player's worst nightmare.

Editors Note:  Both players could apply to the NCAA for a 6th year of eligibility but both are undecided as to whether or not that is the avenue they want to pursue.

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