The Bellarmine males’s basketball staff continues to enchantment for the prospect to compete within the NCAA Match. Senior guard Justin Betz wrote a letter to the NCAA to plead for the staff’s probability to qualify and compete in subsequent season’s event.
“There’s nothing extra highly effective than a neighborhood of individuals preventing for what they know is correct,” Betz wrote in a letter he shared with The Courier Journal on Friday. “I simply ask that the NCAA and all events concerned are additionally preventing for what is correct, what’s greatest for the student-athletes and collaborating Division I establishments. I really imagine there isn’t a higher time than now to rethink a rule that was put into place over 25 years in the past.”
The Knights made nationwide information in March once they received the ASUN Match championship, simply two years after they made the leap from Division II to DI. The ASUN champion receives an computerized bid to the NCAA Match. However a decades-old NCAA rule bars applications making such a leap from competing within the school spectacle for 4 years.
Betz states within the letter that he has fielded quite a few questions on why did not Bellarmine qualify for the event — the Knights opted out of the postseason solelyas effectively — and it frustrates him that he would not have a transparent reply for followers.
“‘Why could not you all play within the NCAA Match? You earned it,’ ” he wrote. “‘Has the NCAA given you a motive why issues cannot change?’ There have been lots of of interactions and questions identical to this to which I’ve but to formulate an correct reply for.”
He additionally acknowledged the staff knew of the rule and the accompanying transition interval, however pointed to convention and league oversight in addition to Bellarmine’s efficiency since shifting as much as Division I as proof that the present circumstances make the rule out of date.
“Cannot all of us agree instances have modified?” Betz wrote. “Bellarmine College was invited by the ASUN to affix the convention and is ruled by stated convention. We’re additionally overseen by an NCAA transition company that evaluates our progress and efficiency, and we’ve got exceeded each benchmark that was positioned upon our transition- particularly educational excellence.”
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Betz stated he grew up as a baby of two College of Louisville graduates and the way watching a few of his favourite gamers like Francisco Garcia and Tyquan Dean impressed him to develop into a university basketball participant. The primary recreation he went to as a baby was at Freedom Corridor.
“I am standing in Freedom Corridor as soon as once more,” Betz wrote, describing the staff’s ASUN championship. “Solely this time, I am at heart court docket. I bear in mind wanting up in the direction of my previous seat in part 329, as near the rafters as you will get. We have been about to play for one thing that solely 32 groups in all the nation get to play for: a convention event championship.”
The sensation on Choice Sunday when the commentators talked about Bellarmine’s exclusion from the event it was painful, he stated.
“We have been dreading the mundane sound of ‘Bellarmine is not eligible to play within the NCAA Match,'” Betz wrote. “It was a intestine punch that we had no motive to be on the receiving finish of.”
Betz thought utilizing the letter to enchantment to the NCAA may put a extra human contact on the staff’s message and present how the rule was affecting the gamers in actual time.
“Coach (Scott Davenport) and I have been speaking, and we agreed that it might be a great factor for the NCAA to listen to from a student-athlete’s perspective,” Betz informed The Courier Journal. “Generally, they do not essentially understand how their choices have an effect on us. I believed it might be extra highly effective to talk from my finish of issues and categorical how not being within the NCAA Match impacts not solely myself however my teammates.”
Bellarmine filed a waiver with the NCAA, and the Board of Administrators has till Aug. 3 to determine whether or not the Knights shall be eligible for inclusion within the 2023 NCAA Match. Betz hopes his letter connects emotionally with the choice makers and leads them to re-examine what the staff considers an outdated rule.
“Any child’s aim enjoying Division I basketball is to play in March Insanity,” he stated. “We made a historic run final yr, and we weren’t rewarded accordingly for the success we had. I want they’d take one other take a look at it and rethink their preliminary reasoning for the rule.”
If the NCAA doesn’t raise its necessities, Bellarmine has two years left in its transition interval earlier than they’d be event eligible.
“These gamers deserve it,” stated Davenport, who added that attempting to enchantment for the rule to be waived or overturned has consumed him. “I lay my head down each night time, and I hope and dream that occurs due to the younger individuals. That is 4 of the best years of those student-athletes’ lives. That is concerning the gamers.
Attain Jonathan Saxon at JSaxon@gannett.com or 502-715-1393 and observe him on Twitter at @TheSleepyScribe.