Larry Brown Calls SMU's NCAA Sanctions 'Biggest Bunch of Bull'


With less than a month to go for his team's season, SMU head coach Larry Brown sounded off on the sanctions that will keep the Mustangs out of postseason competition.

The NCAA banned SMU from the postseason for a number of academic violations, as well as the dreaded "failure to monitor" charge for Brown. Like Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, Brown was especially miffed at the thought of his team's seniors being denied the chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Both SMU and Louisville are nationally ranked and would have otherwise had a good chance of playing in the Big Dance.

"For us to get penalized the way we did, punish the coach, I get it. They wouldn't do that to a power conference [school]," The Hartford Courant quoted Brown telling Connecticut reporters on a conference call. "They punish kids that had nothing to do with what happened. Yeah, punish us because we did something wrong. But don't put us in a box with everybody else.

"The penalty has to fit the crime... When the NCAA said it's about the student-athlete, they didn't think about SMU."

Brown's comments are similar to what Pitino has been saying about Louisville's self-imposed postseason ban, a sanction the school theoretically could have avoided depending on how long the NCAA's investigation lasts. The NCAA also has an investigation pending against North Carolina.

But Brown's argument is also that there is a bias against non-Power-5 conferences, as he referenced reports of the NCAA's investigation of Southern Miss.

"When we found out the penalty, which blew everybody away, the kids talked about trying to win the conference outright," Brown said. "I didn't want to change that. I think my job, the job of the coaching staff, is to get ready for each game, that game is really important, and to have a good year for the seniors. That's what we've kind of focused on."

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