Steve Fisher and San Diego State pulled off the 73-69 in overtime win over New Mexico State on Thursday night (in fact, the game ended Friday morning around 1:15 EST). After the game, in the team’s post-game presser, head coach Steve Fisher called the NCAA “Disgraceful” for not finding a way to accommodate the kids.
“New Mexico State has to do this,” Fisher said. “They didn’t want to go home, either. But they have to go home tonight. It’s disgraceful – for the billions of dollars that we have here, for them not to find a way to accommodate these kids, the student athletes. You can’t tell me they couldn’t find charter planes (Friday).
“We can say we want to do all these things for the benefit of the student athletes, but you play a game like we did tonight and you get to the airport at 1 in the morning? Come on, come on. I would like to have (an NCAA administrator) at every site and say, ‘You’re going to ride home with that losing team.’ And see what it’s like to get home at 5 in the morning.”
It’s no wonder Fisher was so upset at the NCAA. Check out what the SDSU cheerleaders, band and team had to deal with after last season’s loss to Florida Gulf Coast via U-T San Diego.
A year ago in the NCAA Tournament, the San Diego State team – and band and cheerleaders and staffers – had a nightmarish trip home from Philadelphia on a charter jet after a stinging loss to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast. They sat on the tarmac for an hour, then avoided a snowstorm by flying far south, then refueled in San Antonio (but couldn’t get off the plane) for 2½ hours, then finally arrived in San Diego with the sun coming up. In all, they spent more than 10 hours on the plane.