Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stanford fans deserve more about Hones

STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford has dismissed point guard JJ Hones from the program for a violation of team rules. 

The statement was short and to the point, issued at around 5 p.m. on Monday.

Coach Tara VanDerveer, reached Monday night, said she would have no further comment on the matter and details of the infraction were not released. VanDerveer did confirm that Hones is the first player to be dismissed from the Stanford program in the 24-year history of her tenure with the program.
That's it?

A day later, more details have emerged. According to fanhouse.com, she was arrested recently for driving a golf cart (?) under the influence, reckless driving, evading a police officer and resisting arrest on the Stanford campus.  Team rules? Sounds like those are the least of her worries.

But Hones also represented the Cardinal with distinction and class on the basketball court for four years. Helped them win a bunch of games. And pretty much gave her knees to Stanford basketball.

And now?

Dismissed from the team. No further comment.

If this is coming off as hard on Stanford, well, that's not our intent. A lot of schools handle departures this coldly, clinically. And VanDerveer has run pretty close to a model program for years. First player kicked out in 24 years? Wow.

Given that, surely it had to be emotional for Vanderveer to cut ties with a player who was an integral part of the operation for several years. So why not tell us that? And why not remind us about what Hones gave to the program before things had to come to an end? 

See, fans invest a lot of emotion and passion not just in the teams, but in the players who play for them. It's a family, right? That's what we're continually being sold. 
In this "sue-you" society, privacy is always a concern. But most women's basketball fans aren't after the sordid details of a player's troubles. They want to hear what the coach has to say. After wins. After losses. When a player succeeds. And yes, even when a player is dismissed.

No matter what Hones did to violate team rules -- a phrase that's bandied about all too often in sports -- she deserves more than a one-paragraph statement that is strangely absent from the Stanford website. Hones apparently made huge mistakes. Still, she's also a young woman who has endured surgery after surgery and rehab after rehab in the name of Cardinal basketball.

While this is the latest example of a vanishing player, it's hardly the worst. Some universities don't even acknowledge when a player leaves. The name is simply deleted from the roster.

Stanford acknowledged Hones' departure, but that's about all it did.

Dismissed from the team. No further comment.

Is that all we get?

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