Romar scrubs scrimmage vs. ex-UW all-stars
Fear of running afoul of NCAA rules scrubs Husky team's meeting with Roy, Brockman, Hawes and more.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Washington fans won't see a dream matchup pitting a team comprised of Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson and Jon Brockman against Abdul Gaddy, Terrence Ross and Aziz N'Diaye due in part to an obscure and recently enacted NCAA rule.
Coach Lorenzo Romar put himself in danger of committing a secondary violation when he told the media about a basketball scrimmage against former UW players slated for Wednesday and encouraged fans to attend.
Rather than risk an infraction, a school official announced, "Due to an NCAA compliance issue, tomorrow's scrimmage has been canceled."
Romar planned to bring in eight former players — six currently in the NBA — to participate in a 40-minute scrimmage against the Huskies: Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, Jon Brockman, Isaiah Thomas, Spencer Hawes, Quincy Pondexter, Will Conroy and Mike Jensen.
Initially the scrimmage was to be closed to the public, but UW then said it would open practice and invite fans to attend.
"I wasn't even expecting a whole bunch of people to be there," Romar said. "In my mind, I was thinking regular practice. And then as we began talking, people started calling. They heard. I said, OK, this is a little different than I anticipated."
Romar said he received assurances the scrimmage complied with NCAA regulations.
"The rules are tricky here," he said. "Because it's a practice, we can do it with our current guys. We start charging money for it and doing all of that, I don't know we can do that."
Romar said the game against the alumni would have been the best competition the Huskies faced this season. But he put the scrimmage in jeopardy by talking about them during a pair of interviews Tuesday. And several players also tweeted about the scrimmage, which may have been a compliance issue.
According to NCAA exception 188.8.131.52.6: "A former (student-athlete) at the certifying institution ... may participate in an organized practice session on an occasional basis, provided the institution does not publicize the participation of the former student at any time before the practice session."
Several former players vented frustrations on Twitter.
"NCAA is such a joke," Hawes wrote. "NCAA should embrace former athletes going back to school and supporting their athletic programs. What harm does it do? Everyone benefits."
Former UW guard Isaiah Thomas wrote: "NCAA has TOOOOOO many rules ... Like too many STUPID rules."
Most fans will get their first a chance to see the Huskies Nov. 4 during an exhibition against Seattle Pacific. The team held an intrasquad scrimmage last week for UW students.
• Romar and senior Darnell Gant will represent UW at Pac-12 media day Friday in Los Angeles. The Huskies are expected to be ranked in the top four teams in the media's preseason poll.
• Tony Wroten Jr., who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week, is hoping to return to practice Monday.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org