Shabazz Napier uses platform to take a shot at NCAA


Shabazz Napier celebrates UConn’s victory. (Bob Donnan /  USA Today)

Oh, those postgame interviews. It’s always a dicey proposition to stick a microphone in the face of an athlete moments after he or she has reached the pinnacle of achievement and the NCAA national championship game was no exception.

Immediately after Connecticut beat Kentucky, CBS’ Jim Nantz asked Shabazz Napier, the Most Outstanding Player, what his feelings were. Napier took over the mic to take a shot at the NCAA, which had banned the Huskies from postseason play as punishment for falling short of minimum standards in the Academic Progress Rate, which the NCAA uses rather than graduation rates.

“I want to get everybody’s attention right quick,” he said to the crowd at AT&T Stadium. “If I don’t have your attention, let me get your attention. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the hungry Huskies. This is what happens when you ban us … last year … two years. We worked so hard for it. Two years and hungry. Hungry Huskies.”

At that point, Nantz perhaps unnecessarily moved on, congratulating Napier and minimizing the possibility of the kind of rant that brought so much attention to the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman after the NFC championship game. It was, for a moment there, awkward, though.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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