Students react to sanctions on basketball team

by Erin Ghere

After University President Mark Yudof announced sanctions against the men’s basketball program for academic misconduct, many students and fans reacted with approval.
The self-imposed sanctions include a one-year ban on postseason play and indefinite probation. A full report of the University’s investigation is expected to be released in mid-November, with possible NCAA sanctions to follow this spring.
The independent investigation began when allegations of widespread academic misconduct within the men’s basketball program surfaced last March.
“I think right now (the sanctions) are enough because they are waiting to see what the NCAA puts down,” said Becky Adamski, a sophomore studying journalism.
Yudof said he hopes the NCAA will look favorably on the University taking a proactive approach.
“It’s harsh, but it’s probably better,” said Andrew Adams, a sophomore studying chemical engineering. “If it makes them learn their lesson, it’s worth it.”
No current players were implicated in the academic misconduct, leaving current players and new head coach Dan Monson to pay the price.
“The penalties are not strict enough,” said Dawn Plested, a senior studying political science. “It’s fair to punish the current players to set an example, but they should also revoke the diplomas from the players who did cheat.”
None of the players implicated in academic fraud have graduated from the University.
Others thought the sanctions were adequate and would deter future academic misconduct within the program.
“If the academic cheating was going on, then I think it is a good penalty,” said Gary Frase, a graduate student studying mathematics.
Patrons of campus-area businesses were also abuzz with the news of Yudof’s announcement.
“The sanctions are relatively strict,” said Don Hanson, bar manager at Stub and Herb’s in Stadium Village. “The team has the talent to make the (National Invitational Tournament) and even The Big Dance with a little luck.”
Students said they would be disappointed not to see their team have a chance to participate in postseason play.
“If they would have made it to the tournament, I’ll be really disappointed,” Adams said.
Some students said a year of growth could help, especially because of the major changes the program has gone through in the last six months, including head coach Clem Haskins’ resignation.
“They have a new coach; this gives them time to grow,” Adamski said.
Hanson said he didn’t think the sanctions would directly affect Stadium Village businesses who rely on Gophers sports for revenue.
“I don’t think it will hurt our business that much as long as the program remains competitive,” Hanson said.

Erin Ghere and Josh Linehan welcome comments at [email protected] and [email protected]