Quick rundown of this unique opportunity for the USF men's basketball team:
- The Pan-American University Championships are being held from August 8-15 in Salvador, Brazil.
- The team will wear Team USA uniforms and will play the games under international rules, which means 24-second shot clocks, the trapezoid free throw lanes, no basket interference, four ten-minute quarters, and different timeout rules. (Here's a good comparison of the rules in the NCAA, FIBA, and the NBA.)
- This is an eight-team event, with teams from Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Uruguay also confirmed to participate. No idea who the eighth team is, but competitively speaking the best choice would be Argentina.
- The official USF site will have information about traveling to Brazil to watch the games at a later date. If there's an Iron Bull or some other benefactor reading this, and you would like to sponsor the site to send one of us down there to cover this event, we are receptive to your advances.
This should be an exciting adventure for the team and a way to represent both their school and their country. Maybe more importantly for a team with five or six new players to work into the rotation next season, it's also a way to get extra practice and game time together during a time of year when such things are usually not allowed.
The press release from USF says 12 players will participate - the interesting question is which 12 will it be. Here's what the NCAA has in place regarding foreign tours like this:
30.7.2 Eligibility of Student-Athletes. The eligibility of student-athletes on the tour shall be governed by the following (see Bylaw 126.96.36.199):
(a) If the tour takes place during the summer, the student-athletes shall have been eligible for intercollegiate competition during the previous academic year or shall have been enrolled at the institution as a full-time student during the previous academic year and have established by the beginning of the tour that he or she is eligible for competition the academic year immediately following the tour; or (Revised: 8/11/98)
(b) If the tour takes place after the academic year has started, the student-athletes shall be regularly enrolled in the institution and eligible for intercollegiate competition.
188.8.131.52 Incoming-Student Participation. It is permissible for an eligible incoming student-athlete to represent the institution on a foreign tour that begins after the permissible starting practice date in the sport involved or after the first day of classes of his or her first regular term at the institution. An incoming student- athlete (freshman or transfer) may participate in practice sessions conducted in preparation for a foreign tour only if such practice sessions occur either: (Revised: 5/4/05)
(a) On or after the first permissible practice date in the involved sport; or
(b) On or after the first day of classes of the student-athlete’s first regular academic term at the institution.
So if I'm reading this right, the outgoing seniors can't participate. But the incoming JUCO players can enroll for Summer "C" session, which runs from May 16 - July 22, then practice for a couple of weeks and head down for the competition. It's possible, but more difficult, for Lavonte Dority to compete as well. He would have to enroll in Summer "B" right after he graduates from high school, and he would leave for Brazil almost immediately after the session ends. I'm sure the academic advisory staff is all over this and will figure out a way to get as many players as possible eligible for this opportunity.