The NCAA voted in April to end the barnstorming days of non- collegiate basketball teams such as Marathon Oil, AAU club teams and Athletes In Action. That means UConn will usher in a new era of exhibition competition tonight at Gampel Pavilion when the defending national champions play Bridgeport.
UConn found itself in the middle of the exhibition game controversy last year when the Huskies played the Beltway Ballers, a team affiliated with then-recruit Rudy Gay's AAU program. That exhibition game received national attention after comments by Maryland coach Gary Williams.
Williams and Maryland were actively involved in recruiting Gay, who is from Baltimore and is a freshman at UConn this year. The comment made by Williams insinuated that UConn had broken NCAA rules in scheduling the Ballers. But at that time NCAA rules did not prohibit such arrangements.