BOULDER - A disappointed Tad Boyle announced Thursday freshman Evan Battey will take an academic redshirt for the upcoming Colorado Buffaloes basketball season.
"It's not a decision I agree with," Boyle said. "We went through the waiver process. We lost the waiver process and it is extremely disappointing. The people on the waiver committee missed the boat on this one. They have no idea what kind of kid Evan Battey is; certainly how ready he is to be a college student-athlete."
Battey sat out his senior season at Villa Park High School from similar circumstances. Battey was struggling academically in 9th grade and needed a do-over. He didn't know at the time that the do-over would force him out of playing basketball in three of the next six seasons.
"I know that I can help this team off the floor better than anyone else in the country," Battey said. "I have experience having done it before last year. So I'm experienced in the department of player-coach, helping the guys out, supporting the team from the sideline and just being there for the team."
The decision underlines an NCAA issue that has become more prominent than ever. They have an issue of justice inequality. It seems as though whenever the NCAA cracks down, the punishment tends to be too harsh. And then sometimes it's the other end of the spectrum where the NCAA doesn't crack down on things that they should, as outlined by Boyle in Thursday's press conference.
"It's a little bit ironic to me with all of the things going on in college basketball," Boyle said. "North Carolina academic scandal, they lawyer up and fight the NCAA for two years and win on a technicality and they get off scot-free. There's an FBI investigation going on, assistants have been arrested by the FBI, and as of today, nothing has happened to those schools, no ramifications. But you got a kid that struggled a little bit when he was 13-years-old in the classroom, dealing with some personal issues and other things at the time, and he gets stuck sitting out this year. And he sat out last year, his senior year in high school. And he sat out his 9th-grade year when he was struggling academically because his mom wanted to get him back on track. Evan Battey gets punished, North Carolina is off scot-free and so do the four head coaches that were indicted by the FBI. I'm not sure where the justice is in that, that's for other people to decide, but I'm extremely disappointed."
Boyle has obviously taken a strong stance on this issue. But why does the NCAA continue to struggle with implementing justice? It's an issue that has long plagued the NCAA and will continue to cause problems in college sports until they go through a complete overhaul.
"I'm speaking from my 24 years of coaching experience," Boyle said. "I've been around a lot of guys that aren't ready to compete and go to school, Evan Battey is not one of them... I’m not sure I’ve ever been around a kid who is more academically and athletically ready to play,"