BREAKING: NCAA Rule Makers Strike Again, Pave the Way for Isaac Haas to Play With a Brace
According to NCAA.com insider Andy Katz, the NCAA has made provisions for Purdue center Isaac Haas to play with a brace previously deemed unsafe for play. The new rule provisions will allow Haas to play against Texas Tech Friday, March 23 in the Sweet 16.
Just because the NCAA has deemed it allowable for Haas to play, that doesn't mean he'll be on the court, or functional, against the Red Raiders. Haas is still a game-time decision and is subject to his coach and medical staff on whether he's ready to go just one week after shattering his elbow.
Haas is also still subject to the game officials on if his brace lives up to the amended standards of the NCAA.
The amendment "permits padding to be used to cover guards, braces or casts on the wrist, forearm and elbow."
It's just another way for the NCAA to have everything they deal with open to interpretation.
It allows them to pass the buck like they do in every situation and put the blame on someone else or take the credit based on decisions made under their recommendation and guidance.
NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt spoke on the decision:
With ample time this week to review the intent of the playing rule, the committee decided to provide a more contemporary interpretation, while keeping health and safety for all players the highest priority. Technology has improved materials used in braces, so now there will be more flexibility in applying the rule as long as the brace is fully covered and padded. Isaac and other players in similar circumstances should be able to play, as long as the brace is safe for all.
It's almost laughable if it wasn't so expected.
Also, when the heck was the last time the NCAA made a decision in a week? Granted, this was an investigation, which are notoriously slow in the NCAA, but I think seven days is a new world record for updating anything within the NCAA.
Regardless of the idiocy of the NCAA, this does mean that Haas is technically eligible for the game tonight and will be suited up. But I still don't think he'll be effective if he plays. Video of Purdue practice shows Haas moving well up and down the court, but passing with one hand and having extremely limited range of motion while attempting layups.
It's to Haas' benefit he doesn't have to stretch for the rim, but he won't be able to dominate against the leaping ability of the Law Firm of Smith and Smith, or the big bodies that Texas Tech has down low, with just one arm.
I'll stick with the predictions I previously made about the game, because the only thing this decision tells me is that the NCAA has zero intestinal fortitude to stick by a tough decision or to have liability or responsibility for anything that happens under their purview.