Courtney Paris, the senior starting center on the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team, has committed to win the NCAA Championship with strong personal accountability by pledging:
If we don't, which is not even an option, just to put something on the line -- and it might take me the rest of my life -- I will pay back my scholarship because I didn't do what I said I was going to.
Courtney Paris is a terrific person, the epitome of what people hope their school’s student-athletes will be. I don’t believe it ever crossed her mind that she might be sending out some kind of “message” to UConn or any other team. Her message was intended for the Oklahoma fans and the program to which she feels indebted.
As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.
I also think she’s looked at this in too narrow a way. What both Courtney and Ashley Paris have brought to their university, the Big 12 and the women’s basketball community long ago exceeded the value of their scholarships.
- If given an easy way out, will Paris insist on paying it back?
- If so, how and when?
- Would the school or the basketball program accept the money?
- If so, what would they do with it?