Former UofL basketball player Tim Henderson (Source: Doug Druschke/WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Instagram/Tim Henderson)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - While the University of Louisville is appealing the NCAA's ruling in the case of sex parties involving Katina Powell, some former players believe the decision to possibly vacate wins, which may include the 2013 National Championship, is unfair.
Former UofL star Russ Smith wrote an open letter to fans in Sunday's Courier-Journal. Smith stated in the letter that penalizing student athletes for the actions of adults is wrong.
On Monday, the Russdiculous Golf Scramble at Persimmon Ridge kicked-off a week of charity events put on by the Russ Smith Foundation.
"We work with Dare to Care, Yum! Brands, homeless shelters and the Healing Place," event Coordinator Tim Barnett explained.
While Smith is playing ball in China, his father Russ Smith Sr. and former UofL players like Tim Henderson are supporting the cause.
Henderson also supports Smith's letter to fans. In it, Smith writes, "I still have faith the NCAA will take a closer look at the situation at hand and not penalize any of my brothers or recruits or young men who were minors at the time because of deceitful adults."
"Somebody's actions really messed it up for a lot of people," Henderson said. "It's like the NCAA had a knee-jerk reaction to it, and it's like 'ok, lets hammer them and not really think this through'."
Henderson, who's remembered for burying two 3-pointers in the Final Four win over Wichita State - which could be vacated - said taking away the wins and the 2013 Championship banner accomplishes nothing.
"All that hard work that we put into it is going to be stripped away," Henderson said. "But at the same time, everybody in the city and this country knows who won it that year." Henderson made similar comments on Instagram.
Smith's father agrees with his son, saying the move will not change the hard work the kids put on the floor and he questions the NCAA's target.
"You have people that are not involved, you have kids not involved and they get penalized for that," Russ Smith Sr. said. "You take away the banner to say what? That this is your punishment, we'll take away your wins?"
Russ Smith stated that he hopes the NCAA will read his letter.
The University is appealing the decisions, a process could take several months.