Tara VanDerveer began basketball practice a little ahead of the time the NCAA rules says you can. But it's okay, she wasn't technically breaking the rules and won't be fined and/or forfeit wins like Michigan or FSU seemingly does like clockwork. Although this just in, Uconn, and Geno Auriemma and the women's basketball team got its wrist slapped for 7 NCAA violations, one specifically for overpaying athletes with meal money, but in our glee we digress.
College basketball programs are allowed to take on off-season trip abroad every four years like the Olympics and this is Stanford's year, and therefore allowed to practice ahead of time. Remember Cal's trip to Africa last year? The Stanford women are going to Italy Friday, Sept 4th, and will play 3-4 games against Italian teams (wonder if they will play and/or see Jill Harmon, ordered to Italy off her NZ Tall Ferns team by the mafia, I mean her Italian team--oops, just kidding).
On one hand, Tara and team get a leg up on the rest of the country, starting to practice early and play games together. On the other hand freshmen cannot participate, so they are leaving out top recruits Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef. They cannot practice early or go on the trip. Think of all the bonding opportunities (and great food) they will miss. Is it worth it to start your freshmen off feeling unloved, and left behind? Think of all the in-jokes they won't get later on, such as when JJ Hones says something like, "Mama Mia" to something Tara says in practice and everyone laughs but them, they will feel so left out.
Oh, in other news, don't show up for the Cal game Sunday, Jan. 3rd, because it has been moved to Saturday, Jan 2nd. Hope they have a way to notify everyone. And Stanford's home game against USC has been moved to Feb 7th, from Feb 6th. The home game against Tennessee on Dec. 19th will start earlier at 11:30 AM.
Got all that? Good. See ya then.