The Las Vegas Invitational women’s college basketball tournament was a joke

Image for article titled A women's college basketball tournament in Las Vegas offered a seat and almost nothing else

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Apparently, Ja Rule was asked for advice on how to organize a college basketball tournament because, like Fyre Fest, this Thanksgiving tournament was not what it was advertised to be.

The Las Vegas Invitational featured a top 10 women’s basketball program in sixth-ranked Indiana. The Hoosiers played Auburn in a ballroom at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. From the pictures, it looked like a YMCA game masquerading as a major college basketball competition.

According to Big Ten Network’s Megan McKeown, players were advised to bring towels from their hotel rooms because of the tournament did not provide any for the players. There were no grandstands around the square. Spectators watched the game in folding chairs that surrounded the pitch.

During the game, an Auburn player fell badly and, according to Auburn’s radio show, it took 40 minutes for medical personnel to arrive at the scene and the game was delayed by nearly an hour. ESPN’s MA Vogel reported that one of the site coordinators apologized to all participants and fans for how poorly organized the tournament was. Bryce McKey was the organizer of the tournament but was not in Las Vegas for the weekend for the event.

The tournament was sold to Indiana by claiming it would resemble the Athlete’s Unlimited Professional League setup. It was played at a convention center and it went pretty well. The Las Vegas Invitational was horrendous. The only similarity is that the same dish was used.

Indiana and Auburn should take legal action against McKey and everyone else involved in putting together this mock basketball tournament. This was not a major Division I sporting event. The tournament organizers placed a court, some hoops, and some balls in a hotel ballroom and called it a college basketball game. Those kinds of shelters wouldn’t fly for a high school basketball game. Heck, even middle school games have bleachers.

Instead of taking a vacation with their families, these women flew across the country to attend an event that was put together with glue and scotch tape. Not only was this a waste of time, it actually put the participants at risk. Fortunately, the Auburn player wasn’t seriously injured, but that doesn’t make 40 minutes of medical attention for a player who sustained a head injury unexcusable.

The time and well-being of these women was not valued, and it should cost tournament providers something. They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from bringing Fyre Fest to collegiate athletics.