In a rare occurrence in college basketball, the College of Charleston women’s basketball team recently had two victories overturned by the Colonial Athletic Association due to the use of men’s basketballs in victories against University of North Carolina Wilmington and William and Mary at TD Arena in January.
The overturned wins against UNCW and William and Mary will not affect the Cougars (8-16, 5-8) in terms of CAA standings, but will play a role in the CAA Women’s Basketball Tournament seeding in March.
The size of the balls used in women’s basketball is approximately an inch smaller than those used in men’s basketball. Precisely, a women’s basketball is 28.5 inches in circumference while a men’s basketball clocks in at around 30 inches.
Following the Cougars 67-37 victory over UNCW on Jan. 8, Seahawks head coach Adell Harris knew that something was out of the ordinary upon her team’s arrival to TD Arena for practice the day prior to tipoff. Here’s what Harris had to say to Dan Spears of Wilmington Star News:
“Every kid, and even the coaches, said, ‘Those are men’s balls,'” Harris said. “We asked their manager, ‘Hey, can you get us the women’s rack?’ They said it was the women’s rack, but that people talk about them all the time feeling like they’re men’s.
“It kept going for about 10 minutes. I finally told (my team) to shut up and stop complaining about it and shoot. I was on the mission of, ‘We can’t control that, let’s not get distracted.'”
In a statement issued by the College’s Director of Athletics, Matt Roberts fully backed CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio’s decision to overturn the victories.
“The College of Charleston regrets that this unintentional situation occurred,” Roberts said. “We accept full responsibility for what happened, and appreciate the efforts of the Conference office to find an amicable and fair resolution to this matter. We fully support the decision of the Commissioner as it relates to the two games in question.”
After a visit to the William and Mary Tribe on Friday, Feb. 17 in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Cougars will return home to TD Arena on Sunday, Feb. 19 (2 p.m.) to take on James Madison University in the team’s Play4Kay Pink Game.