Hampton is not taking the perceived slight of being seeded No. 16 in the women’s NCAA tournament lying down.
Rodney Smith, HU’s vice president for administrative services, sent a letter dated Tuesday to Greg Christopher, chair of the Division I women’s basketball committee.
The letter said, in part: “In comparison with other teams that were seeded better than Hampton University, we feel that Hampton University as well as its Lady Pirates, coaches, faculty, staff, students, administration, alumni, and all friends and supporters of the University have been deeply disrespected and insulted.”
The Lady Pirates, who won their third straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament and compiled a school Division I-record 26 wins, will face top seed Stanford on Saturday at the Constant Center in Norfolk. Last season, HU went 25-7 and received a 13th seed, the highest for a women’s or a men’s team in MEAC history, and lost by four points to fourth seed Kentucky in overtime.
The letter mentions Hampton’s RPI of 63, better than some higher-seeded teams, and a comparably better road record (13-3) and strength of schedule (271). The letter cites teams such as Navy, a 15th seed despite an RPI of 184 and strength of schedule of 278, and No. 12 seed San Diego State, with an RPI of 93 and a strength of schedule of 306, among others. The letter also includes a chart comparing HU’s credentials with 12 other schools, seeded from 15th to 12th.
The letter said HU’s 16th seed is “disgraceful” and “grossly unfair” and “goes against everything, including fairness in competition that athletics is supposed to represent.”
A message seeking comment on the letter was left with HU athletic director Keshia Campbell.