RHODE ISLAND CATHOLIC EDITORIAL

Basketball’s foul play during Holy Week

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The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four square off this Saturday in a game to determine who will play in the National Championship Game on April 7 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Unfortunately, none of the 11 Catholic colleges selected by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee to compete in this year’s “March Madness” tournament have advanced to the celebrated game this Saturday. Also unfortunate was the schedule set out by the Committee this past month. Eight of the Catholic Colleges were bracketed to play their first and if they won, their second-round games on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Regrettably, none of the Catholic Colleges in question protested or even suggested a hint of dismay at the timing of the games on two of the most important and holiest days in all of Christendom. Instead, these Catholic Colleges cashed in, along with all the other schools in the lucrative marketing deals that the NCAA tournament has become over the years. Apparently, the mission of many of these colleges seems to be more about the bottom line than about adherence to the creed they claim as their mission.

Happily, this “bottom-line” mission was not apparent here in the Diocese of Providence during the recent Division I State High School Boys Hockey series. Originally scheduled to begin precisely as the “Light of Christ” was being joyously proclaimed at the Easter Vigil Masses across Rhode Island, the game between Mount St. Charles and Bishop Hendricken was rescheduled to Monday night in deference to the Mother of all Vigils and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

This wise decision by the officials of the R.I. Interscholastic League was due in large part to the request put forth by the administrations of the two Catholic high schools. Such wisdom must be applauded, and we commend both Bishop Hendricken and Mount St. Charles for staying true to the faith! Apparently these qualities are scarce at some of our Catholic colleges and universities, as they dare not question the “bottom-line” of the NCAA.