Sometimes people make choices in college athletics. Choices that are attempts to bend the rules, skirt the rules or even blatantly cheat the system in an effort to win. Often times these people are caught, investigations proceed and penalties are handed down. Almost always these penalties come down and really only hurt the people had little to no involvement in the original infraction.
When infractions are particularly bad programs have wins, championships, banners and entire seasons wiped out. Usually (OK, always) these vacated banners and seasons are seasons that we would rather remember. The 1997 Gopher Basketball team that made a memorable trip to the Final Four only to have that season (and several others) vacated because of an academic cheating scandal. I remember that season fondly and I want it back. But that's not my point today.
I'd like to officially petition the NCAA and have the 2015-16 season completely and utterly vacated.
What would you like as evidence? I can offer up the bizarre twitter-gate video thing where three players were participating in "something," though it was never really anything beyond just an embarrassment. I suppose that's probably not enough to warrant a season vacated.
What if I just ask nicely?
Maybe a history of bad luck, poor decisions from the program and unfilled hopes and dreams of a loyal fan base would be enough?
Plenty of mediocre seasons, NCAA Tournament appearances, the 3rd most NIT wins of anybody and even a couple NIT Championships. It is not like we are the worst program in the country (thank God we've got Northwestern and Rutgers #amiright). But last season was brutal both in terms of actual on-court results and the quality of play that got us there. The 2015-16 season was the final straw and something that really does not need to be remember in our minds or on the record books. What is it going to take to have last season permanently erased?
(apologies for what this gif does to your eyes)
Going MiB on it maybe is a little extreme (though sign me up if it means having 2015-16 erased from my memory). I'd like to just petition to have the season vacated. It never even had to have happened.
What if we assume that the program will have some infractions at a later date. It really seems inevitable (and will probably come at a time when things are looking up and the program appears to have turned a corner); so why not pre-punish us. With that same mindset, can the University could choose to self-impose a vacated season. Put 2015 into a locked closet deep in the bowels of Williams arena and place it next to the 1997 Final Four banner.
I know the NCAA rarely has the fan's best interest in mind (arguably they rarely have the player's best interest in mind), and getting the season vacated is unlikely. But I think this would be a nice gesture and really help ease a lot of emotional scarring.
Ultimately, it is time to put last season behind us and move on. Having it erased from the record books and our memories would be best. But the only real way to move on, to put it behind, is to tip off the new season with new faces and a renewed enthusiasm behind winning. Looking forward to a new year while doing my best to forget the previous one.