Texas A&M Basketball: Why Williams was right to commit violations
Outside of recruiting, the Texas A&M Basketball team hasn’t been involved in anything positive in at least a few years. The team hasn’t had a winning record in the SEC since the 2015-16 season and recently, we found out why recruiting has been exploding for this team.
On Friday, Buzz Williams was suspended for two games and the Texas A&M Basketball program was put on probation for two years as a result of recruiting violations by Buzz Williams. Now, I’m going to give you a take that you may not have heard.
Hats off to Williams.
That’s right — I think Williams did the right thing here. If the NCAA is only willing to punish teams by doing almost nothing, why wouldn’t you commit recruiting violations? Here’s the full list of punishments for Williams and the program.
- Two-year probation
- $5,000 fine
- Five fewer visits in 2021-22
- Unofficial visits removed in 2021-22 removed during first three SEC games
- Seven fewer recruiting days in 2021-22
- Two-game suspension for Buzz Williams
- Suspension of assistant coach (this was already served)
The Texas A&M Basketball team was punished by the SEC re-evening the playing field
When I look at those punishments, I don’t see punishments. I see the NCAA attempting to re-even the playing field after the Texas A&M Basketball team committed recruiting violations. This is likely due to the fact that A&M self-reported its violations, softening the blow from the NCAA. Still, in the long run, A&M benefitted from this.
This is a testament to how poor of a job the NCAA does of properly penalizing teams. It has gotten to the point where the old expression truly makes sense in college basketball — “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”
It’s hard to say that I benefit from cheating, but the NCAA practically promotes it.
Buzz Williams was in charge of a Texas A&M Basketball program that had stagnated. Even before Mark Turgeon, who preceded Williams, had taken this program to new heights, Aggie basketball was never elite. If Williams didn’t take a huge risk, what was going to happen?
Even though it’ll hurt them now, Williams gave this program a well-needed push in the right direction.
Call me insane but I do not care that Williams did this. In fact, I commend him. This was the only move that could elevate a program to a competitive level in modern-day college basketball. Other coaches are doing it and getting away with it, the Aggies just happened to report themselves.
As mentioned, Williams will not be coaching A&M’s first couple of games. Assistants Devin Johnson or Lyle Wolf will likely fill in.