Last August, Michigan State co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett decided to play a little one-on-one with a (then) prospective recruit, Khari Willis. It didn't go great!
Dantonio told the story of how Barnett got injured playing basketball against Willis while discussing the 2015 class during a Feb. 4 signing day press conference.
"He backed coach Barnett right up underneath the basket, blew out his Achilles,'' Dantonio said at the time.
And the damage wasn't just medical.
It turned out that what Dantonio and Barnett thought was a harmless pickup game turned out to be deemed a Level III violation....Barnett, who is undergoing knee replacement surgery today, received a letter of admonishment on Feb. 20 from athletic director Mark Hollis as a result of the violation, according to the documents obtained.
Maybe you're wondering why the NCAA didn't let this slide; after all, this was arguably not a violation of the spirit of the workout restrictions, and Barnett wound up on crutches for two months for his trouble. And, normally, we'd criticize the NCAA for overzealously enforcing its rules.
Consider, however, what was really being punished here: the failure to defend the paint. Now a warning letter seems lenient! We fully support the NCAA using its power to embarrass and shame those who get punked on the court, and propose the following penalty structure:
- Air ball a fadeaway = probation, return to team activities requires demonstration that you can start hitting that shot
- Get your ankles broken by a crossover = two game suspension
- Miss an open three after your opponent refuses to close out because he knows you're going to miss it, you chump = ineligible for a year
- Dunked on = 25 year show-cause
- Hopeless Dellavedova lob = death penalty
- Stuffed by Les Miles = just leave the country, there's nothing left for you here