Indiana Basketball and Grant Gelon Show Ugly Side of NCAA


[NWI Times] - So on May 12, he told Miller he planned on staying at Indiana.

“Everything changed after that,” Gelon said. “It got ugly.”

The next day Sandi got a text from a coach of the Indiana Elite AAU program, where Grant played, and it said:

“Hey! I’m sure you (k)now by now that Grant called and said he was staying, IU staff told us they may just push him off the team and let him keep his scholarship but he won’t be playing or on the team.

I spend a lot of time bitching about the NCAA and their dumb rules and dumb decisions. This situation isn’t necessarily the NCAA’s fault but it shows the dark side of college hoops. The background of this story is fairly simple. Grant Gelon was recruited by Tom Crean to Indiana and spent a year playing for him. Archie Miller is now the head coach at Indiana and didn’t feel like Gelon would be in the plans for the future, essentially telling him he wouldn’t be on the team.

Now, I want to say both people are in the right here. Gelon feels like he should be on the team and that when you get recruited by a college you should be guaranteed the four years at the college. I mean after all, that’s what people and the NCAA say when a player tries to leave after a coach leaves. That you commit to the school not the coach, which is probably the dumbest statement out there. The athletic scholarship should guarantee you the four years of athletic play, whether you see the floor or not is another thing, but you should be on the roster and not forced out. Granted, the Indiana University Student-Athlete Bill of Rights would have allowed Gelon to have his academics covered due to a rule saying a player can’t lose his academic money due to poor athletic performance. It’s not the same as being part of a team. The NCAA also has a rule that a player can’t lose his educational money if a new coach comes in and wants to discard a player. So, in that right the NCAA actually made a smart decision.

Before people get mad at Archie, it’s not that easy. He’s a coach. His job is to win. He has no ties to these players and a player like Gelon, so with limited spots and resources, he should be able to make a decision like this. But, this is where the NCAA line is blurry. It’s supposed to be student-athlete yet the decision making is that of a professional league. What’s Archie supposed to do here? He’s judged, especially at a school like Indiana, on wins and losses. It’s that simple. He needs to win to have a job and he doesn’t see Gelon helping there. He has a way out in saying that Gelon’s educational costs will still be covered but it’s still a wrong move in the eye of how the NCAA should be.

So what’s the solution here? To me the first step is getting rid of sitting out when it comes to transfer, especially if a new coach comes in. Players should have the right to review the situation with their new coach and transfer anywhere at any time without punishment. If they can get cut, there’s no reason why they can’t leave and go elsewhere too. That has to be put in place. The NCAA is an organization. They don’t care about the student-athlete. They care about money. Don’t let their ads and slogans fool you, it’s about making money. The student-athletes deserve more in situations like this.

Again, I don’t blame Gelon or Archie in this situation. Both are doing what’s best for them. But Gelon should be able to transfer to wherever he wants, whenever he wants because of this. And I know Gelon isn’t a big name, but he did play in 18 games last year. Plus, this happens every year no matter who the player is. It’s just a dark side of the NCAA that they don’t want to address.