Last January the NCAA amended its rules to recognize junior college medical hardship seasons. Cincinnati argued that the rule should be applied retroactively to Blount, giving him one more year of eligibility. The NCAA refused to hear the Bearcats' appeal. Blount's last chance of salvaging what's left of the season will come at this week's NCAA convention in Dallas, where members are to vote on legislation that would create an administrative review panel with the power to restore Blount's eligibility.
In other words, the NCAA had the sense to dump a bad rule but has failed, so far, to address the plight of athletes who are still being hurt by it. "My whole year has gone down the drain," says Blount.
"It would take a lot of guts [for the NCAA] to make the right decision," says Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins, "but it's easier to hide behind all those bylaws."