Commentary

The true losers in sanction situations

When sanctions hit, walk-ons are the most affected. Mark Titus knows first-hand.

Originally Published: November 9, 2010
By Mark Titus | Special to ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesJim Calhoun and his squad have been self-sanctioned; but a walk-on may pay the price.

Following a highly publicized investigation concerning alleged recruiting violations, the Connecticut Huskies self-sanctioned their men's basketball program during the offseason. They placed the team on probation, limited recruiting by coaches, and took away two scholarships over the next two seasons. While it's hard to say just how much the probation and limited recruiting will affect UConn in the long run (or if the NCAA will tack on more penalties), I'd argue the loss of scholarships won't have much of an effect on the team. This is because -- more often than not with these cases -- taking away one scholarship per year does nothing to punish the program or people who actually committed the violations. Instead it places the punishment on players who are the furthest removed from the infractions -- the ones sitting at the end of the bench. I know, because it happened to me.

Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) is the founder and author of the blog Club Trillion. His book, Don't Put Me In, Coach, chronicles his career as a walk-on benchwarmer for the Ohio State basketball team and is on sale now.