Wichita State needs to reconsider, appeal the NCAA

Sports Editor

Numerous things occurred this offseason with Wichita State’s baseball team.

Of course, they brought in some great recruits, thanks to second-year head coach Todd Butler. The worst news in the offseason was that Casey Gillaspie decided to leave school early to play pro ball. That was the worst news until the NCAA handed out its rulings against the program.

For a rough timeline of events, Butler found that players were using a 50 percent Under Armour discount provided by a former assistant to purchase shoes, clothing, hunting gear and other non-athletic items for roughly $7,000. He reported it to the university, which then reported the findings to the NCAA.

The NCAA’s investigation took a while, but they found the current coaching staff was not at fault, and former head coach Gene Stephenson and the former assistant were at fault.

Then, the NCAA slapped WSU with a one-year probation, a $5,000 fine and an order to vacate all wins in which the players participated while ineligible.

Immediately after the rulings, university President John Bardo said the university would appeal the vacation of wins.

But then Stephenson said he received a letter from someone at the NCAA saying his wins would not be vacated from his record.

Following that, Bardo came back on Feb. 17 and made a statement that the university wouldn’t appeal the vacation of wins because, “After a careful review of the issues associated with an appeal of the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ decision in our recently completed baseball case, I have decided that it is not in the best interest of the university to proceed with such an appeal.  This is not a decision that was made lightly or without proper counsel.”

He went on to say the standards for such an appeal are specific. This also means that Stephenson’s wins will be vacated, dropping him from being the second-winningest coach in NCAA history.

I don’t think anyone could possibly believe not appealing was the right move. What’s the worst that could happen from an appeal?

Appeal the decision and the NCAA says “no” and to vacate the wins?

I’ve had homework due for a class before, and I’ve emailed the teacher the night before it’s due asking for more time.

What’s the worst thing I received back from a teacher? “No. It’s due tomorrow.” So, I did the homework and turned it in the next day.

The craziest thing is that I think WSU would win the appeal. If the NCAA is vacating the wins, how was it not out of bounds by the NCAA to also suspend some of the players for the first three to nine games last season?

I just don’t get how the NCAA isn’t abusing its power.

The NCAA has had two years worth of wins vacated, suspended players for three to nine games last season and ordered the players to pay back the other 50 percent (which they’ve done, for the most part), and the NCAA is somehow not abusing its power?

Hopefully, the university will take its time and find some kind of loophole or something, because this needs to be appealed.

The NCAA always finds a way to do more than they should.

If these infractions were never brought to light, I think WSU could’ve just swept it under the rug and acted like it never happened. But, WSU did the right thing, admitted its fault and now gets this penalty.

Two years of WSU baseball no longer exist now, and that doesn’t make a single ounce of sense.

It’s baseball season, though, and I guess no appeal means everything is behind us. So, I’ll just head over to Eck Stadium, watch a game and take in the sights and sounds.