Although Pitino has often violated NCAA rules over the course of his long career, there is no indication that Iona, who will play no. 2 did not go to play, held a sly exercise without the permission of the organizers of the tournament. Indeed, Iona, who arranged his training time with the NCAA, announced the training session on his Twitter account late Sunday, not long after Pitino mentioned the plans for it during a video conference with reporters.
Instead, it appears that at least one school in the 68-team field could have benefited from a rule change that was not widely known.
The Gaels reached their fifth NCAA tournament on Saturday when they defeated Fairfield, 60-51, in Atlantic City, NJ. The team soon left for the airport there, where they held a delay of about an hour after their scheduled departure to Indianapolis.
Aboard an Allegiant Air flight that led the Gaels across the Delmarva Peninsula before turning west, the team arrived in Indiana as the time approached 1 p.m., East East. They went by bus to a hotel and arrived near 2am, around the time the clocks moved forward for daylight saving time.
Members of Iona’s travel company immediately subjected them to testing in exchange for red wristbands, indicating that they had not been cleaned for team activities, before going to individual hotel rooms on an otherwise unoccupied floor.
Players, coaches and staff members applied in their rooms until Sunday afternoon. They administered the nasal tube tests themselves around 3pm. The samples went in vials, which in turn went in envelopes sealed with a sticker. Then players and employees of Iona received blue wristbands to indicate that they had been tested again, but that the result was still pending.
About four hours later, Iona’s travel company learned via a mobile app that their tests had yielded negative results, and members had the name of the hotel and the arenas where they could be for rehearsals or games. A few hours later, the Gaels practice at the Indiana Fever of the WNBA