The most decorated Friend in tournament history may be losing a banner — and potentially more — pending a decision from the FMAA commissioner.
The FMAA Committee on Infractions upheld its recommendation to strip three-time champion Chris Lusk of his wins during the 2013 tournament, during which he won Best Friend and co-MVP honors. If the commissioner rules with the committee, it would be the first time in modern FMAA history that a Best Friendship was vacated.
“Rest assured, we will work tirelessly to uncover the truth of what happened five years ago,” said the office of the commissioner in a statement released prior to the committee’s announcement. The statement emphasized the need to “restore a sense of justice if action needs to be taken.”
The decision stems from a 2015 FMAA investigation that found Lusk (Louisville, ’13) under-tightened his shoelaces during the 2013 tournament — allegations he unequivocally denied in a released statement.
“This ‘Loose-Lace’ fix is untrue,” he said. “Period.”
Lusk claims the information disclosed in the committee’s dossier is insufficient to suggest he violated the rules of friendship.
“I have done nothing wrong and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise,” he said. “I am committed to ethical friendship and adherence to the spirit of friendship, and I will cooperate fully with any FMAA investigation into the matter.”
The details of the investigation have not been made public, but the findings claim Lusk gained an unfair advantage leading up to his championship victory against Jake Lovett (Michigan, ’13), who shared MVP honors with Lusk.
“The news of allegations against Mr. Lusk and the validity and fairness of his 2013 Friendship Madness championship comes with a great deal of surprise,” Lovett said in a statement. He remembers the 2013 campaign fondly despite the disappointing loss in the title game and reassured his fans he conducted the “cleanest, fairest and truest” friendship during the tournament.
“I have the greatest faith in the Commissioner and FMAA’s ability to handle the situation however is deemed necessary,” Lovett said.
The commissioner has not released a timetable for responding to the recommendation from the committee, and his office declined further comment.