Orlando Sanchez should be the NCAA’s posterboy,but isnt eligible

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Orlando Sanchez should be the NCAA’s posterboy,but isnt eligible


Orlando Sanchez is the latest in a long line of athletes who have found themselves at the mercy of the NCAA’s archaic and, at times, inane rulebook.

Sanchez is a 24 year old native of the Dominican Republic. He spent the last two years at Monroe Community College. Prior to enrolling at MCC, Sanchez lived a tough life in the Dominican. His parents were so poor that he was sent to live with his Grandparents as a child. After his Grandfather passed away, a 17-year old Sanchez was shipped off to Spain to work as a carpenter with his estranged father to help support his Grandmother.

At 20, he returned to the Dominican and was discovered by a club coach on a local court playing pick-up basketball. He played eight games with that team, and then saw 3:38 seconds of garbage time as a member of the Dominican national team. But since the NCAA views participation on any organized team when 21 or older as costing a year of eligibility, those two teams and the two years at MCC mean that Sanchez has no more college eligibility left.

(I’d strongly recommend you read Dana O’Neil’s feature on Sanchez, as well as Lenn Robbins’ column on him.)

His career, in the NCAA’s eyes, is over.

Which is so incredibly dumb, but not because the NCAA is enforcing their rule.

Look, like it or not, the NCAA has a rule about this kind of thing, and the rule states that Sanchez cannot play. Whether or not you agree with the rule isn’t the argument here; rules are rules, and the NCAA has enough head-scratching rules that Sanchez is far from the only kid that has found himself stuck in eligibility purgatory.

But the difference with Sanchez is that he’s not in college to blaze a trail to the NBA. He’s there to get a degree. He’s there to get his free education so that he can take care of his family back in his home country. He is exactly what the NCAA claims to be about.

He’s the reason that the NCAA refuses to budge from their stance that the athletes that generate billions of dollars with their play on the field or on the court shouldn’t see a dime more than a scholarship. He’s a student-athlete in every sense of the word. If the NCAA was smart, they wouldn’t be crushing his hopes of playing major Division I basketball, they’d be putting him on a pedestal.

There should be features on the front page of the NCAA’s website about him right now. They should use their limitless resources to put together a video package of the Sanchez family’s perseverance and inundate viewers with it during the NCAA tournament. Every single time Mark Emmert — or anyone, for that matter — stands up and defends amateurism, they should be able to point to Sanchez and say, “You see him? That’swhy we do things the way we do them.”

He is the posterboy for the NCAA. With all the negativity surrounding the NCAA of late — Miami, Myck Kabongo, calls for Emmert to be fired — you would think the organization could use a bit of good PR.

But they’re &$#%#&@! it all away because of their need to enforce a rule that Sanchez broke for 218 seconds of garbage time basketball as he was representing his country. It wasn’t playing for a professional team, mind you. He wasn’t getting his pockets lined by agents and runners and AAU coaches.

He was playing for the Dominican national team. Garbage minutes. One game.

Regardless of how the Sanchez situation plays out, regardless of whether or not Sanchez ever sets foot on the court in Carnesecca Arena, Sanchez will be getting his degree from St. John’s. According to O’Neil’s story, he has a 3.48 GPA right now. He will be able to better his life and better the life of his family.

And in the end, that’s really all matters here.

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At Oregon we have a football

At Oregon we have a football recruit called Nic Purcell read his story. He played two games over two years in New Zealand in what the NCAA called organised football, but what Nic and even the league coordinator in New Zealand argues is just a few guys playing in a park with no track of score, no team colors and no players of any ability, in other words in no way is it organised football. Nic came to the US with his wife looking to study and improve his life after being dirt poor in New Zealand, being 6"7 and 300lb he was scouted to play offensive tackle at a community college, he stayed there 2 years and blossomed into a top juco recruit and signed with Oregon a renowned football and academic program, massive success story. But here is the problem the NCAA argues the 2 years of juco added to the 2 park games he played in New Zealand equal his four years of eligibility and he is ineligible. It is similar to the Sanchez in that clearly this is a mockery of the rules, I presume the standard of play in the Dominican league isn't too high and he didn't get payed to play, therefore why can't he play college ball.

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I hate the NCAA and their

I hate the NCAA and their rules, dumbest rules ever.

joecheck88's picture
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I think college athletics

I think college athletics needs a completely new governing body.

Lebron's Hairline
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How about the NCAA will hound

How about the NCAA will hound a guy for taking a free meal, while Johnny Manziel is allowed to trademark his name and sue the companies that have used it. He's also allowed to keep all of the money he gets from his lawsuits which could total in the millions!

Taylor Gang Mike
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This kid Sanchez played my

This kid Sanchez played my school last year and he lit up the gym! Hes a monster. He was doing dunks over people and i was like who is this kid. Monroe was good. He might go to the NBA, i could see him as a Al Horford type

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Yeah Monroe is always a good

Yeah Monroe is always a good Juco year in and year old. People like to point at Sanchez age but fact of the matter is a lot of ncaa teams have 24 year old juniors on their team also.Plus with his life and up bringing how can you blame him. Also this rule about him playing for the DR team after his 21st birth date is absurd.Cut the man some slack and let him suit up next season.

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The NCAA cares about one

The NCAA cares about one thing: money.

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I go to St. John's

I see Orlando around campus all the time and you can just tell he wants to get back on that court. He seems so depressed walking around. He comes into our field house and plays all the time but it's just child's play for him in there. He dunks from the foul line and then pulls up the next time from NBA range. It's sad that he might not even get drafted since he didn't get a chance to play this year but the kid definitely has the game to play at the NBA level. Watson on the Jazz said that Sanchez would be starting for them right now in the NBA and they are a playoff team!

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Sanchez definitely is a NBA

Sanchez definitely is a NBA Level talent just has not been seen. But he would of been a better option then Jakarr Sampson for the Red storm this year and they possibly would be closer to making the tourney then they currently are right now.

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Good news on the Orlando Sanchez front

Orlando Sanchez gets NCAA waiver

Updated: February 28, 2013, 5:05 PM ET
By Dana O'Neil |

The NCAA has granted St. John's Orlando Sanchez a waiver and the junior will be allowed to play for the Red Storm next season, St. John's sports information director Mark Fratto confirmed to

Sanchez had been declared ineligible by the NCAA after the organization determined that, at 24, he had used up his four years of eligibility already.

Sanchez played for a club team in his native Dominican Republic, 3:38 in a game with the DR national team and also two years at a New York-based junior college.

The university, however, argued that Sanchez should be granted a waiver to the legislation based on hardship. Sanchez was forced to drop out of high school at the age of 17 and go to work to support his family. He did not graduate high school until he was 21 and only was discovered by a representative from the Dominican Republic national team when he was playing a pickup game.

Earlier this week, St. John's submitted paperwork for what was essentially it's last chance to get Sanchez's ineligibility overturned.

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