Ben Stanley probably didn’t imagine his transfer to Xavier going quite the way it has. Then again, who of us imagined the things that have come to define the past 12 months? Stanley was ruled ineligible by the NCAA in a ruling that on its surface was befuddling and beneath probably more malicious than that. After sitting out the first 7 games of the season including what would have been his first crack at the Crosstown Shootout, Stanley was finally ruled eligible for Big East play and logged 39 minutes in the next 4 games before tearing his ACL in a knee to knee collision against St. John’s on Wednesday night.
The thing about Ben Stanley is this, though. In the midst of facing the same challenges as everyone else as a result of the pandemic, plus moving from the east coast to the midwest in search of a better shot at earning a college degree and being denied a waiver despite a legitimate claim for one, he never seemed to let it get him down. His exuberance in cheering on his teammates and generally giving his commentary on the goings on in Cintas Center won many over before he ever wore the Xavier uniform in a game. In a year where many have bemoaned their fate and been content to let life and circumstance beat them down, Stanley sought to make the best of a situation he neither asked for nor should have been in and make life better for the people around him. That is real toughness and that is why I am convinced that Ben Stanley will be back and ready to roll next season.
Until then, give me two claps and a Ric Flair.