The West Virginia Mountaineers have not exactly set the college basketball world on fire this season. Currently rocking a 13-13 overall record (6-7 in Big 12 play), most West Virginia fans are not very happy about the way this season has played out. Regardless of whose fault it is, or if it is just a down year, nobody expects a Bob Huggins-coached team to perform so poorly.
However, there has been a beacon of hope for the Mountaineers, freshman Eron Harris. The guard is currently scoring nearly 9 points per outing in under 20 minutes of action per game. Yet, the freshman is getting hammered by a small group of experts and fans, not for his play on the court, but for crying slightly off it.
In West Virginia’s loss to the Kansas State Wildcats, Harris was caught by TV cameras sobbing on the sidelines. Being that we have to break everything down, even tears, to the point of nausea, Harris is getting some pretty wild criticisms.
It is strange though, that we are going to pick on a 20-year-old amateur basketball player for caring. We are the same society that bashes professional athletes for not caring enough. If Harris cried because he was upset that his team lost while he played his worst game of the year, so what? Would you prefer he storm off the court, ignore his teammates, while being oblivious to his team’s woes?
Caring is one of the most overlooked attributes we seek in our athletes. I always found it strange that the better you are as a player, the bigger pass you get for off-and-on the court/field transgressions. But Heaven forbid that a player shows genuine emotion, not just one conjured up for a pregame telecast.
I like my athletes, in all levels, to care about the game they are playing. Chances are Harris loves the game of basketball, and as a result experiences extreme emotion while playing. But somehow, because we are now experts on human emotion, some of us are saying it is wrong.
If you are that cold of a person, that the tears of a 20-year-old make you want to bash him, you’re likely the same guy who didn’t cry at the end of Ghostbusters 2.
Wait, nobody cried at the end of that? Um, yeah, me neither…
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone