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August 16 , 2018

From Behind the Bench

Inside the basketball scandal that rocked St. Bonaventure
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On a March afternoon in Cleveland, St. Bonaventure battled powerful Kentucky for 40 minutes and two overtimes in the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Though the Bonnies would lose that day, the moments that accompanied that game provided St. Bonaventure's proud alumni a vast sense of pride. For a men's basketball program that was once considered an elite entity, it was fulfilling return to glory. No one could have envisioned then that St. Bonaventure basketball would endure lowest of lows almost exactly three years later. The St. Bonaventure basketball scandal of 2003 created national headlines and rocked to its core a proud institution. The university president schemed to allow an ineligible player, by NCAA standards, on the court, leading to series of damning events. Victories were forfeited, a team in turmoil quit on its season, several of those involved were fired and the president of the board of trustees, ripped by his role in the sorry state of affairs, committed suicide. As student-managers, we closely witnessed the circumstances that led to the upheaval. We were in the locker room, the coaches offices and on the team bench. We were there for all the corruption, deceit and greed. We were there when an ill-conceived plan came tumbling down in the harshest of manners and St. Bonaventure's lost ways became a punchline across the country.
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