The Plot Thickens in Austin As Myck Kabongo SitsPosted by dnspewak on December 6th, 2012
You’re sick of hearing about Myck Kabongo. We’re sick of writing about him. We’re all sick of talking about the NCAA investigation into his relationship with a professional agent, and Texas coach Rick Barnes is surely sick of answering questions about when his star point guard might return to the floor. Right now, we know this: the Texas Longhorns without Myck Kabongo look like lost puppy dogs, and if he doesn’t come back soon, Barnes’ streak of 14 straight NCAA Tournaments in Austin will probably end. There’s no sense in rehashing all of the horrendous statistics. It’s just too painful. Seth Davis broke down the numbers on Thursday afternoon, and it’s not at all surprising to read that the Longhorns rank 337th in Division I basketball in turnovers per game. They shot 29 percent against Georgetown on Tuesday, which resulted in a 64-41 blowout loss and yet another chapter in this debacle of a season.
If the NCAA clears Kabongo tomorrow, this team will probably have no trouble making the NCAA Tournament. If it continues to wait, it’s likely the Longhorns will keep turning the ball over, keep shooting 29 percent and keep losing, over and over again until their bubble bursts before Big 12 play even begins. That’s why Seth Davis’ article was spot on with respect to the NCAA’s investigative process. Davis secured an interview with NCAA president Mark Emmert — and remember, candid interviews with NCAA officials are about as rare as sitting down the President of the United States — and discussed how such a high-profile player could wait so long to learn of his fate. As Davis and Emmert point out, we always seem to place the blame on the NCAA in these scenarios. When rulings drag out like in Kabongo’s case, we accuse the NCAA of bureaucratic nonsense and assume that the organization is slow, lazy or just doesn’t care about the particular athlete in question. However, as Emmert argues, perhaps that’s not always the case. And perhaps it’s not always the NCAA’s fault.
“It’s not in our interest to have this drag out,” he said, “but it’s never the case that people [at the NCAA] sit on all this information, dilly dallying around from August to October, waiting for just the right time to determine whether somebody is going to sit or not. That’s not how it works. Sometimes people aren’t as forthcoming with the information. I don’t mean they’re being deceitful, but they’re not providing you stuff as readily as you’d like to settle those cases. It’s like tax day. I gotta file my taxes, better hurry up and do this. Well, it’s time to play, so I better hurry up and give them the information they were looking for. So we get a flood of information at the end.”
Davis and Emmert are both quick to point out that increased transparency could help solve this issue. The NCAA declines to discuss specific cases until it releases a final result, but it might garner some positive publicity if it keeps the public in the loop regarding specific investigations. If the NCAA is waiting on more information from Texas, tell us that. Then we’ll know not to blame you for dragging out the Myck Kabongo ruling. Until then, everyone waits.