The University of Hawaii men's basketball program got great news from the NCAA last week.
While it still potentially faces sanctions – including a post-season ban and loss of scholarships, those penalties will be reconsidered.
The NCAA appeals committee made the right decision. The proposed penalties were based primarily on the bad behavior of former coaches… which the NCAA said was so egregious the entire program deserved sanctions. Now the appeals committee says the university itself probably does not deserve that level of punishment.
It's rare for the NCAA to back off on something like this – but it is the right thing to do. The university has replaced every wrong-doer and self-sanctioned. The threat of harsher consequences and the uncertainty also damaged the program. It was a tremendous accomplishment for Eran Ganot and his players to overcome the blow and win the conference.
While we can't be certain that there won't be serious penalties… the team now has at least hope of making it into post-season play again. Given the character of this team – that little bit of hope will be a huge motivator. It should also motivate the community to get out and support them as well.