"In the media and everywhere else, there was obvious talk about the football team's need at wide receiver," said Austin Moss, Ravi's father. "He really wanted to help the team out. He made a quick decision to play, and then a quicker decision not to play. Being the good-natured person, he is, he decided to come back and play football. Unfortunately, the NCAA feels he violated his eligibility and has slapped him with a six-game suspension."
Austin Moss said UK compliance director Sandy Bell told him the NCAA originally was going to ban him from playing the whole season before reducing the punishment to six games - or half the season.
Bell said Monday night via telephone from San Diego that Kentucky was "pleased" Moss was not suspended for the entire season.
Not sure about the logic
"When you participate in an autograph session, that is considered marketing yourself and that crosses the line in all sports," Bell said. "You can be pro in one sport and amateur in another, but you can't cross this line.
"Ravi knew that when he came back (to play football the second time). I told him then it would be difficult to get him reinstated. Reinstatement starts with total ineligibility and we argued this was only three or four days (that he was out of football) and that he did not have an agent or was not with a professional team. But it is still a violation. We tried to find precedent, but there are not many cases where an athlete was reinstated."
The NCAA made basketball player Randolph Morris sit out half of last season because of his association with an agent and taking expense money that he eventually repaid to try out with several NBA teams. Just don't try to rationalize the logic the NCAA used to determine that Morris' summer-long fling with the NCAA was the same as Moss' brief barnstorming play.
"It's just mind boggling how they arrived at six games," Austin Moss said. "Ravi was never a scholarship player. He never received one cent from the athletic department, yet he gets penalized like this for playing in one barnstorming game. In my mind, the punishment far outweighs the offense."
He's right. Bell did what she could to make that same point to the NCAA, but the NCAA wasn't about to budge and give a true student-athlete like Moss a penalty that fit his mistake.
"He's a SEC academic honor roll student, and this is the kind of reward he gets from the NCAA for staying out of trouble and making good grades," Austin Moss said. "This behavior by the NCAA suggests that the NCAA does not even care about student-athletes. There's no rational thinking here. We are very disappointed. Maybe I shouldn't even say anything, but this just doesn't make sense to me."
Bell said it was left to Moss and coach Rich Brooks to decide if it was worth the time and effort Moss would have to put into football to only be eligible for six games.
Not a quitter
"To coach Brooks' credit, he said he wanted to do what it would take to have him even for that short amount of time. Ravi also wanted to play. I was very pleased they both felt that way," Bell said.
Austin Moss said the same heart and intense play that endeared his son to UK basketball fans for four years made it impossible for him to quit football.
"We will continue to do things like we always have and we will persevere," Austin Moss said. "Ravi will find a way to contribute to the football program at wide receiver. He's no quitter. He's going to honor his commitment to football. That's the kind of person and young man he is. If he says he'll do something, he does it. He keeps his word."
And no matter what the NCAA does, that's not about to change.