With college basketball’s March Madness approaching, commentators will soon regale us with tales of underdogs, upsets and last second heroics. But few will mention the moment, 17 years ago, when a group of players planned to stop the games.
Rigo Núñez, a reserve on the 1995 University of Massachusetts basketball team, says more than 20 players from several teams attempted to organize an action to halt March Madness. The plan was that the players would show up on the court, in full uniform, and refuse to play ball. The goal, says Núñez, was to “paralyze the whole NCAA.” William Friday, who co-chaired the Knight Commission on College Athletics at the time, recalled to the Atlantic the time he was warned about a planned March Madness strike.