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Corrupting Our Utes
Rick Reilly
August 11, 2003
Thank God for the NCAA. Without it, college sports would have more thugs than a Snoop Dogg video.
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August 11, 2003

Corrupting Our Utes

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Thank God for the NCAA. Without it, college sports would have more thugs than a Snoop Dogg video.

Last week, for instance, the NCAA brought notorious Utah coach Rick Majerus and his outlaw basketball program to justice. Just look what the NCAA nailed this cretin on:

?Unashamedly purchasing a dinner in 1994 for his player Keith Van Horn at a Salt Lake City deli. At 3 a.m., no less! So what if Van Horn's father had died that night? Or that Majerus was the one who had to tell him? Or that Van Horn wanted Majerus to stay with him until his 8 a.m. flight home? This ain't Dr. Phil!

"I guess I should've reached over as he was getting on the plane and said, 'Hey, you owe me $9.90 for the ham and eggs,' " Majerus says.

Do you see? Do you see the attitude?

?Brazenly buying a bagel for a player. Who cares if the player was upset about his brother's recent suicide attempt and had come to Majerus to talk? "I could've talked to the kid in my office, I guess," Majerus says. "But if you go get a bagel, it kind of relaxes a kid. It's not coach-player anymore. It's two guys talkin'."

Bah! It's one guy cheating, and, in truth, Majerus got lucky. The report never states what kind of bagel Majerus bought the kid. For instance, an "everything" bagel is a considerably larger offense in the eyes of the NCAA. And don't even get me started on the ramifications of lox.

?Twice—twice!—allowing assistants to buy groceries for players who didn't have enough money to eat: $20-$30 for a player whose meal plan hadn't begun yet and $20 for a prospect who hadn't yet received his scholarship. "I just felt sorry for those guys," Majerus says. "Maybe because I was that kid once, you know? No money, no friends, and you haven't eaten for two days."

Sentimental hogwash!

Majerus just doesn't get it. Take the pizza. In one instance he bought himself and a player a pizza pie at a Salt Lake eatery. So what if seeing Majerus not eating pizza is like seeing Carmen Electra in a nun's habit? Buying the pie was still wrong. And it doesn't matter that according to NCAA rules, Majerus would've committed no infraction had that very same pizza been a) delivered, b) sent up by room service, c) carried back to his room or d) served at home.

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