Should any Hilltoppers have received a suspension?


This is the story that wont seem to freaking end.

We all know it; Louisville came into Diddle expecting to blow little brother out of the water by 20, but surprise surprise! Behind a ruckus home crowd and the thrill of potentially knocking off the number four team in the nation, the Hilltoppers came to play, and stood toe to toe with the Cardinals, both literally and figuratively. How dare the little ol’ Toppers protect their floor and teammates.

Our own Wally Hughes talked about this subject over at Hoops Habit, and brought to light something that might have gone unnoticed to Tops’ fans outside of the Louisville area.

"During Monday’s edition of the “Bob Valvano Show” on ESPN 680 in Louisville, Valvano called WKU’s play dirty, and said if he was Hilltopper head coach Ray Harper, the first thing he would do is write an apology to Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. Valvano continued by saying WKU’s play in the game was classless and beneath both the program and college basketball in general. According to Valvano, a WKU player (Hilltopper walk-on point guard Brandon Price) punched (Montrezl) Harrell in the groin while the two were entangled on the floor, causing Harrell to react the way he did."

First of all, aren’t we all told/taught that other people’s actions shouldn’t dictate how we, ourselves, act or react? I’ve been a summer camp counselor for the past six years, and that’s one of the things we teach our kids – if someone is mean to you, that doesn’t give you the right to be mean right back or retaliate. Just because Harrell may be one of the best players in the country doesn’t make him above common sense. So, sorry Valvano, if the Tops were below anything, the Cards and Harrell aren’t above anything, either.

More from Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Also, why in the word would Harper write a letter of apology? If I’m not mistaken, the first “home,” game of this series for WKU was played in Nashville, not in the Tops home of Diddle. If the Tops did this against Murray State, ULL or any of the C-USA schools, would Valvano be calling for Harper to do such a thing? No. How dare the Tops and Harper match the Cards and a coach with the prestige of Rick Pitino think they’re on the same playing field.

Wally goes on to re-go through the incident, which is well worth the read so go check it out, but later says this about what action, in his eyes, should be taken – either from coach Harper or the conference – against a Hilltopper.

"High-emotion games make for good entertainment, but usually feature some tense moments and a scuffle or two. The possibilities for scuffles increase during loose-ball situations, when players are in vulnerable positions. This situation was no different. […] Should WKU players be disciplined? There is simply no evidence to suggest that’s the case. Whether or not the Hilltoppers played “dirty” and “classless” is up for interpretation, but even that seems a little farfetched. It was an intense contest that felt like a tournament game, and both teams played hard. Sometimes playing hard can be perceived as playing dirty, and that is likely the situation here. So what’s next? C-USA has no plans of disciplining WKU players, and would have already done so by now if it was going to. The best thing to do is to put the incident behind us and not allow it to overshadow what was a great game and atmosphere."

Let’s all follow Wally’s lead, and move on. The Tops and Cards are both in action tomorrow, and hopefully after reading this, this will be the last time we have to deal with this nonsense.