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Deflated balls: shafted opponents | Did Penn men’s basketball pull a Brady all season?


Chase Sutton | Sports Photo Editor

Everyone in the Penn community was pumped up at the start of the 2018 men’s basketball season. Steve Donahue, in his third year as head coach, was improving the program faster than anyone could have expected. 

The 2018 season ended up being an incredible journey. The team finished with a 24-9 record, won a share of the Ivy League regular season title and clinched a NCAA tournament berth for the first time in 2007 after defeating Harvard 68-65 in the final of the Ivy League tournament. But the smoke screen hiding the reason for all of this improbable success has finally been blown away.

After an extensive investigation done by the Daily Pennsylvanian photo department, the Penn men’s basketball team has been charged with ball tampering and unauthorized deflation of basketballs beyond the equilibrium point agreed upon by the National Basketball Association.

According to the NBA website, basketballs that are properly inflated must measure at least eight pounds per square inch (whatever that means) on a basketball-specific pressure gauge (whatever that is). If a basketball does not meet this requirement, it must be thrown away or donated to Tom Brady’s Do the Right Thing Foundation. Apparently, a deflated ball cannot be re-pumped because, as the NBA puts it, “A basketball that was not properly inflated to begin with has no hope of ever making it to the big leagues.”

When asked about the shocking accusation, Donahue took a huge gulp of water, paused, and said, “All I know is, those basketballs are arguably the hardest workers on our entire team. I mean, Darnell Foreman, Ryan Betley, AJ Brodeur, Max Rothschild, Caleb Wood, Antonio Woods, Sam Jones, Matt MacDonald, Jelani Williams and Mark Jackson could all be candidates for the hardest worker on the team. But, man, I’m pretty sure there’s no way we would have won any basketball games this season without basketballs.”

A lot of questions were asked about sophomore standout forward AJ Brodeur, who appeared to have “inflated” stats all season long. But in an interview following the Ivy League championship game, Brodeur vehemently denied any accusations put forth. “There’s no way I would ever deflate a basketball! I don’t need to cheat — I already have the advantage of being extremely tall!”

Senior guard Darnell Foreman kept it short and sweet, adding, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

Even with the allegedly deflated basketballs, the Quakers were unable to stop Kansas freshman Devonte Graham from dominating on the court in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The college basketball superstar was able to blow by all five of Penn’s defenders, finishing with 29 points.

It seemed like all of the air had been taken out of Penn’s team.