Target: Mark Emmert, NCAA President
Goal: Reverse nonsensical decision to reprimand basketball coach who made congratulatory phone call to little league star for violating “recruitment” regulations
Little League superstar Mo’ne Davis of Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons was the first female little leaguer to throw a shut-out game in the Little League World Series (she pitched the entire game and the other team didn’t get a single run). With such an amazing feat, it is no wonder she garnered national attention from feminists to pro-sports stars to just about anyone who has ever played with a bat and ball. Many have reached out to her with congratulations, including University of Connecticut’s Coach Geno Auriemma.
Mo’ne is a huge fan of the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team. She has been seen wearing their jersey and even said it is a dream to play for them. As Mo’ne is only 13 years old; she has some time before she can consider that possibility seriously.
Geno Auriemma is somewhat of a legend in women’s athletics as he has coached the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team to eight championships, and is coaching the USA team in the Junior World Championship to three gold medals. As a big supporter of women in sports, it seemed only natural to him to be another one of the congratulatory calls to Mo’ne Davis.
And that’s when he got into trouble with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, although technically he didn’t break any rules. There are strict recruiting rules in place that apply to any players in the ninth grade and above. As Mo’ne is just now entering eighth grade, this rule shouldn’t apply but it would seem Mr. Auriemma has a jealous rival that thought it did and reported him for it. The NCAA has since reprimanded Mr. Auriemma for this so-called violation.
The University of Connecticut has accepted the decision, although they don’t agree with it. Mr. Auriemma has been taken somewhat by surprise at the accusation. As a supporter of female athletics, he simply wanted to reach out to a young female athlete with a call of congratulations and encouragement. The call was to be relayed to Mo’ne by the Little League press team, which is where Mr. Auriemma originally called. Mo’ne happened to be in the room at the time and the phone was handed to her. Mr. Auriemma has stated that the call had nothing at all to do with recruitment. He has never seen Mo’ne play basketball nor does he have the knowledge if she is even good at it. And yet he has been reprimanded for a two-minute phone call, which was nothing but a kind gesture on his part to a young female athlete. Please show your support for Mr. Auriemma by signing below and asking the NCAA to reverse the decision on this violation.
Dear Mr. Emmert,
Please revisit the decision by NCAA with regard to the violation Geno Auriemma has received for a phone call to Mo’ne Davis.
While I realize there are rules in place for recruitment, Mo’ne Davis is just now entering the eighth grade and your rules apply only to those students in ninth grade and above. In addition, Mr. Auriemma called the Little League’s press office with congratulations. Mo’ne Davis was in the room and the phone was handed to her so she could personally receive congratulations from someone she so highly regards.
The report of this violation was nothing but a petty stab by one of Mr. Auriemma’s rivals and I am surprised that, even though he didn’t technically break the rules, the NCAA has indeed considered this two-minute phone call a violation.
As Mo’ne Davis is not in the scope of recruitment, please reconsider this violation and realize it for what it was, a man congratulating a young girl for a job well done. I would hope the NCAA would support such action for young female athletes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tage Olsin via Wikimedia Commons