Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin will remain serving their nine game suspensions because they had the audacity to allow a non-profit organization to give them a step up in life.
Indiana freshmen Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin have indeed received the shaft even after an appeals process. To quickly recap the situation. Perea and Jurkin are alumni of A-Hope an organization run by Mark Adams. A-Hope is an organization whose "Mission is to provide deserving student athletes a seamless process of obtaining a student visa, transportation to the United States, making sure they are acclimated to their new environment and providing them with an opportunity to receive an outstanding education."
In this program, founder Mark Adams often becomes the legal guardians of these individuals when they come to the United States. In this instance, he was the guardian of Perea and not Jurkin. Mark Adams provided laptops, clothes, cell phones and flights home for all kids in this organization since its establishment in 2004. A-Hope has provided an atmosphere for 22 young men to receive scholarships to play basketball and earn an education.
Unfortunately for IU, Perea and Jurkin, Mark Adams' ex-wife "donated" $185 to Indiana University for bumper stickers from 1986-1992. This classified Adams as a booster to Indiana University and thus the benefits that were legal for every member of A-Hope became illegal for Perea, Jurkin and in hindsight Tijan Jobe.
The NCAA, used this technicality to "punish" IU by not letting Jurkin or Perea play for the first 9 games of this season. Indiana University appealed this process and the hearing was on Tuesday. This afternoon the NCAA released a statement that they were upholding these suspensions because they were uncomfortable with Mark Adams' relationship with the University.
This is totally ridiculous for a few thousand reasons. For one, the NCAA is using a technicality because they're uncomfortable with speculation that Mark Adams and IU are being shady about his organization. Despite the fact that Adams has run all of this by the NCAA in the past to ensure the legality of it, provided the NCAA with all of his records and jumped through tons of hoops to be as cooperative as possible. Hell, IU self-reported the $185 when they found out about it. If not doing that, everything likely slides. Apparently morality and ethics are frowned upon by the NCAA now.
The other ridiculous issue is if you compare this situation with the Shabazz Muhammed one. The details are very similar but the appeal process of each case shows how garbage the process actually is. Shabazz Muhammed was ruled ineligible and heard his appeal last Friday. The process was heard and decided on in a day. The Muhammed case was heard on Friday and decided on Friday.
Indiana appealed their case and it was heard this Tuesday. The decision wasn't rendered until today. That is nearly 72 full hours before a decision was made on the case. In turn, Muhammed was ruled eligible mostly because the boyfriend of an appeals agent was openly discussing the case on an airplane. Therefore, the NCAA was in a position to be sued for a breach of ethics. Muhammed was given time served (3 games). Jurkin and Perea's case took months to investigate and days to decide and the original ruling was upheld.
So what lessons did we learn from today's ruling? Don't self-report and don't cooperate with the NCAA. It's broken, it's political and it is borderline unethical. Indiana University and the rest of the NCAA member schools would be smart to just never cooperate with the NCAA ever again. You are only going to get yourself into trouble that you would more than likely get away with. This whole trend towards super conferences is getting even more exciting because the Big Ten could just elect to walk and self regulate. If the Big Ten (twenty?) is large enough with enough power schools they can bring the rest of the organization with them. The world would likely be a better place because of it. The NCAA doesn't protect the students like it is supposed to, it punishes them.