It’s a weekday afternoon at Cal State Northridge and first-year men’s basketball Coach Bobby Braswell is meeting after practice with players who are eligible to return to the Matadors next season:
Braswell: As you know, we have a little problem for next season.
There are 14 players on this team expecting scholarships but the NCAA says basketball teams can give out only 13 scholarships.
Mike O’Quinn: Who goofed? We’ve got to know.
Braswell: Mea culpa.
Kevin Taylor: Hey, anyone know Spanish?
Trenton Cross: That’s Latin for “my fault,” man. I know ‘cause I’m studying criminology. Defendants used it in court a long time ago to admit guilt.
Jeffrey Parris: The only trials I’ve watched were O.J.'s and he sure didn’t say that.
Derrick Higgins: How could that happen?
Lucky Grundy: He didn’t have to admit anything.
Higgins: I’m talking about the scholarship.
Athletic Director Paul Bubb: Don’t look at me. I was busy hiring a football coach.
Braswell: Hey, I was an English major, not a math wiz.
Brady Mertes: Well, I’m a business major and I know someone will get the sushi treatment.
Brian Hagens: What’s that?
Mertes: A raw deal.
Braswell: Nah, nah. I’d call it just a little inconvenience.
Greg Minor: Tell that to the guy who’ll have to fork out $1,970 for tuition next year when his scholarship is gone.
Walter Jefferson: For that kind of money, I want some real classrooms around here.
William Davis: All I want is to know how someone could just pull out the scholarship from under you?
Braswell: The NCAA rules leave it up to the coach’s discretion. He can revoke a scholarship any time he wants.
I don’t want to do it, but I might not have an alternative.
Taylor: Here’s one. Let’s split the money 14 ways.
Braswell: Sorry, can’t do. The NCAA won’t allow it.
Grundy: That’s not fair.
Braswell: Maybe not, but I’ve come up with a plan.
Bubb: Oh, boy. Last time I heard that from a coach, I got suspended.
Braswell: Relax. We’ll be totally above board.
Sha-Ron Elzy: Watch out, he sounds like Newt Gingrich.
Braswell: I’ll keep that comment in mind when making my decision. Anyhow, I’ll decide whose scholarship could be in jeopardy by giving you guys a quiz. One incorrect answer and you’re out. I’d like you to line up according to how important you were to the team this season, with the top guys in front.
Grundy: I’ve been on the team three seasons and I’ve been a walk-on every time. What else do I have to do for respect around here?
Braswell: OK, the first question goes to Derrick. Where was the last Super Bowl played?
Higgins: The Superdome.
Braswell: Excellent. Kevin, where is the Superdome located?
Taylor: That’s the Big Easy question--New Orleans.
Braswell: Smart-aleck response but correct. Trenton, who played in this year’s game?
Cross: Green Bay and New England.
Braswell: That’s right. Lucky, who won the game?
Grundy: The Packers kicked booty. By the way, when do I collect on our bet?
Braswell: When we reach the Final Four. Brady, how many people at the game?
Mertes: Coach, I believe it was 72,301.
Braswell: Very impressive.
Now, Sha-Ron, give me the names and addresses of those 72,301 people. . . .