I forgot to mention this when I wrote about my day at the first round of the NCAA Tournament held at the Wachovia Center but was reminded of it during the telecast of Villanova's Elite Eight victory over Pittsburgh last night at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. The announcers mentioned that all of the championship banners were removed from the Garden's rafters as required by the NCAA.
I was shocked when I noticed at the Wachovia Center that all of the Flyers' and 76ers' championship and retired number banners were gone. I can understand the NCAA wanting to promote its corporate sponsors and not allow other outside advertising, but to have these banners -- which commemorate individuals' and teams' athletic excellence -- removed is a slap in the face to every player who wore the uniform of those teams, and insults fans of those teams as well.
The NCAA is coming into these buildings as a guest and should respect the traditions of the teams that play there. (Can you imagine if some pro teams were playing a game at Notre Dame Stadium and insisted that "Touchdown Jesus" be covered?)
The NCAA should be told that either the pro banners stay or they can play their games on their college campuses. Of course, they'd have to settle for much lower revenue as a result of not playing in the larger professional venues, and we all know what's really most important to the NCAA.