Tree is Suspended!! No, Mystics fans, not our Tree, Assistant Coach Wayne "Tree" Rollins (who, unlike Head Coach Richie "Mr. Technical" Adubato, is pretty laid back), but a different Tree, the one that's the mascot of the Stanford University Cardinal. It seems that the Tree failed to leave the court during halftime of the Stanford/Florida State game last March during the women's NCAA tournament. The Division I women's basketball committee has just announced that the Tree has been suspended for Stanford's next appearance in the women's NCAA tourney, and the school has been reprimanded and fined.
Loyal readers, are you wondering why it took five months to come up with the appropriate punishment for a loitering Tree? Well, it appears that this was not a first offense! According to the AP article:
"The committee was very disappointed in this disturbing pattern of behavior and strongly believes that these acts compromised the integrity of the championship," said Joni Comstock, the committee chair and the athletic director at American University. The previous student to wear the tree costume was fired in February when she performed while drunk at Stanford's game against Cal. The NCAA cited policy violations in previous years as a factor in the suspension.Yes, the very integrity of the championship was at stake! Without firm action from the NCAA committee, future Natty-winning performances by teams like the Maryland Terrapins could easily be overshadowed by the misbehavior of marauding mascots! Thank you Joni!
And, by the way, the BasketCases say that's what Stanford gets for having a woody plant as a mascot, rather than something far more appropriate, like a panda or a turtle, or even a collection of fruits and vegetables (and a sandwich!)