Bravado meets bust.
A couple weeks ago Oklahoma star Courtney Paris said she'd give back her $64,000 tuition if she doesn't lead OU to win the women's college basketball championship this year. She told the remarkable Daily Oklahoman a day after the statement: "I have a passion for our fans and university, and I want to do something special. That's why I put my scholarship on the table. I meant what I said."
Some like to compare this to infamous sports guarantees -- like Joe Namath's successful guarantee to beat the Colts in Super Bowl III, or disasterous ones like Matt Hasselbeck's overtime coin-toss 'we're going to win' boast vs Green Bay picked up on live mic for the stadium (just before he threw a game-losing INT/TD).
But read Courtney's words again, she is none of those things. She has made no guarantees -- she just offered motivation to her team, and put her scholarship on the line. That's pretty good. Particularly considering #1 Connecticut is considered unbeatable; they already defeated Paris' Sooners by 30 this year.
And $64,000 is harder to come by in the WNBA than NBA or NFL.
Speaking of which, we're told over and over how great the men's college basketball tournament is -- I prefer the NBA finals actually -- but few seems to mention the equally exciting women's bracket going on simultaneously. One could argue it's better -- with far less ego (can anyone name one player on Rutgers' squad slighted by Don Imus a couple seasons ago?), perhaps even more skills (eg the winningest coach of all time with Tennessee's Pat Summitt, or Courtney Paris' unbeatable streak of 112 double-doubles).
Perhaps the women's game should hold their event in the two weeks prior to the men's tournament for more attention, or after? As it is, it gets lost. Too lost.
The FBO will be closely following Courtney and the women's tournament this season.
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