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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 14, 2006 at 12:49 AM

The last word

On Aaron Brooks, that is? I hope.
I think the University of Oregon did the right thing by suspending guard Aaron Brooks for two games next year — Oregon’s season opener and the game against Washington in Seattle in January — on top of the punishment he already received for the forearm he threw at Ryan Appleby in the Pac-10 Tournament.
Here’s a link to the statement released by Oregon that should give you all the background you need.
I heard some people saying he should be suspended for five games for what he did, and this new punishment will basically amount to almost four quarters, considering he was kicked out of the UW game with 10 minutes left in the first half then suspended for the Cal game the following night. Since Oregon lost in double overtime — when depth certainly became a factor — his absence was undoubtedly costly.
Still, there are questions.
One of the first I told about the news of Brooks said he hoped Oregon wasn’t trying to sell it as a way to keep Brooks out of danger from angry Huskies fans. Oregon isn’t doing any such thing, but I’m sure that view will be out there.
I ran that sentiment by UW athletic director Todd Turner who said that was an bad way of looking at the situation. Instead, he said it’s fair to everyone involved to remove the spotlight from Brooks and keep it on the game at hand. Otherwise, that game would likely become a sideshow all about Brooks and the reaction he receives.
Also, consider that Brooks is from Seattle and he will now miss the last college game in his hometown. I think that’s a fairly significant penalty. And who knows how important that game might be to the two teams next season and what Brooks’ absence might mean?
Certainly, determining what’s fair in such a situation is a dicey proposition. But I think by doing something more, Oregon athletic officials showed they were trying to do the right thing. And all Pac-10 players should also be even more aware of the consequences of trying something similar.

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