St. Thomas basketball fans reacted to the news this week of Thomas More, located in Crestview Hills, Ky., failing to monitor its women’s basketball program and having to forfeit its 2015 national championship and all 33 wins.
The Tommies’ perfect 2014-2015 season was spoiled by Thomas More in the quarterfinals of the 2015 NCAA Division III tournament. St. Thomas led 31-28 at halftime before falling 75-58 to Thomas More on its way to its own perfect season (33-0) and the program’s first national title.
On Tuesday, the NCAA announced sanctions against Thomas More for failing to identify and report a student-athlete living impermissibly with a former assistant coach for eight months.
Among the penalties “a vacation of all wins in which the student-athlete competed while ineligible.”
The Tommies have already adjusted their 2014-2015 online schedule to reflect the NCAA ruling and reinstate a perfect 30-0 record.
A deeper look at the sanctions, though, revealed a surprising local connection to the player in question: Sydney Moss. The women’s basketball star is the daughter of former Vikings star receiver Randy Moss.
Though they share the same last name, Randy reportedly is not very involved in Sydney’s life and she prefers not to answer questions about her dad.
Sydney’s mom Libby Offutt gave birth to her when Randy was still in high school in West Virginia.
In 2013, Sydney was quoted in a University of Florida athletics feature describing her relationship with her dad as “kind of like on and off. We'll be cool one day and then not cool the next day."
Sydney matured into a standout athlete and was Kentucky’s “Miss Basketball” and earned a scholarship to Florida where she was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. She left Florida to be closer to home and enrolled at the small college located in a southern suburb of Cincinnati just inside the Kentucky border.
She was soon breaking NCAA Division III records, including setting the single-game scoring record with 63 points. She scored 35 points and had nine rebounds in the quarterfinals victory against St. Thomas. She lived with a former assistant coach/family friend while recovering from surgery, but the coaching staff failed to see this arrangement as an extra benefit.
Thomas More repeated as Division III champ in 2016 while Moss was eligible. On Tuesday, Sydney tweeted “What an absolute joke. The NCAA can take what they want but the memories and friendships will last a lifetime. … #StillHave2Rings.” She later tweeted a picture of the two rings.
Randy has been in the news often this season as part of the Monday Night Football crew. He blew the Gjallarhorn before the Vikings' first Monday night game in their new stadium this season.