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Very good read...
March Madness remains the college basketball version of Mardi Gras. It's wild (BYU overcoming the largest deficit in tournament history against Iona). It's unpredictable (Mississippi Valley State forgetting how to dribble a ball from here to there against WKU). But it's also suffering from a one-and-done hangover.
When was college basketball at its most accessible, most watchable and most endearing? That's easy -- when its best players stayed long enough that they didn't need a campus map.
Shaquille O'Neal stayed three years (three!) at LSU. Christian Laettner stayed four years at Duke. Ralph Sampson stayed four years at Virginia. Patrick Ewing stayed four years at Georgetown. Jamal Mashburn stayed three years at Kentucky.
I could go on. The point is, we got to know those guys and those teams. The college game was better because of it. And programs such as Kentucky weren't accused of being -- how did Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby put it in a recent USA Today story -- a feeder system for the NBA.
"We're here to educate young people, and that's what it ought to be about," Bowlsby said.
That's what it ought to be about, but who's kidding whom? If Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins had a 100 percent graduation rate and a 10 percent win rate, would Bowlsby give him a contract extension or a pink slip?
The game is in distress because the system is distressed. The NBA won't accept a player straight out of high school, but it will take a college one-and-done. The player agents like the economic churn, the commerce of it all. So rather than fight it, some coaches sell the idea of making dreams happen.
This isn't Calipari's fault.
(More at link below)
The one-and-done Kentucky Way isn't necessarily right or wrong. It's simply a by-product of a system in need of a mulligan.
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JDrumUK
Great read. The critics need to focus on the real problem ... the NCAA and NBA. Cal is playing the system to perfection. How is that wrong? He wants the best players. The best players want to get to the NBA. If Stanford wants to ignore elite athletes and focus on players that will stay at The Farm for four years, so be it. But do not cast stones at a coach who chooses to compete at the highest level possible.
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." ~ Emerson
Has anybody noticed that we have a Sophmore playing that would have gone pro out of HS if he could have.
His pro career has been lengthened by the lessons learned at UK. I doubt Jones would have been more than a journeyman if he had never played college ball
I can't stand having a completely different team every year, however I take issue with people who say you go to college to get an education. Very few people do that. Most people I know go to college to make themselves hirable or to have the ability to make more money. You go so you can get a job in the field you want.
Uh, you don't see a connection between making yourself hirable and being able to get a better job with being educated? You missed the entire point. You could be confusing being cultured and being educated which are different. Learning about Socrates and electrical circut design are different but both are education.
The argument that no one has brought up is that of the two icons of the modern commercial and cultural age, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were both drop outs. Both were gifted in their way and did not finish a full college education (Jobs had only one semester) but none of the University Presidents are calling them out for being one and dones. Kids like Davis are gifted as well and since their earning power is limited in time it is absurd for some 60 year old University President to criticize them. If they left school and started a T shirt business which was successful the same presidents would be having dinner with them weekly and giving them an honorary degree in order to get a donation to their school. It is all BS.
This post was edited by zcats 2 years ago
It's bothersome to me that the ills of the game, society and human existence are laid at the feet of the NBA. The NBA isn't the problem and it never has been. So what if a kid stays more than one year? How many of these young men in basketball (and football) are actually being educated? How many of them aren't just herded into easy classes and majors, keeping them eligible so they can pursue the glory and increase the bank accounts of the university, administrators, coaches, communities, boosters and fans?
The problem is the system itself and this stretches all the way down to the youth levels. I've seen it first hand and it's disgusting in a lot of regards. High School basketball and football are just as bad these days and it's for the same reason the NCAA has its issues: money. The interjection of commerce and profit motivations coupled with some serious misplaced priorities on the part of our society has led to a system of athletics that values the accumulation of talent and winning in the pursuit of financial incentives for schools, administrators and coaches above all else. You can't have your cake and eat it too folks: You're either a business or you're not. You're either about education first or you're in it for athletics and profit.
These issues aren't new but what we've seen the last 25-30 years is that previously "untouchable" arenas like High School and Youth Sports, thought long to be sacrosanct, are now fair game.
Higher Education is definitely viewed in this country as career placement. The expectation is you go to college to earn a degree and get a "good job". You can cite Jobs and Gates but Jobs was technically gifted and actually continued attending courses in college just didn't pay for them. Gates was a highly intelligent child of the upper middle class who got two years at Harvard but wanted to start his own business. Neither really needed higher education in the way America defines it.
Agree. I like Cal's ideas to improve the system.
Exactly my point. No university president is calling out Reed College or Harvard College as feed lots for silicon valley. Jobs, Gates, and many more highly successful people dropped out of school when faced with what they felt were great opportunities. Artists, musicians, and actors usually do not finish a degree and many don't attend any college yet no one calls them out. The NBA is no less honorable a profession than business. Now these gifted people are few and far between so there is no question that the best way to get a better career is to get a college degree for most people.
I never could figure out why the NBA labor union was against having players stay 2 or 3 years in college. I thought the job of the union was to protect its present day employees. Why would the union turn its back on veteran players who are being replaced by unprove players coming to the NBA after one year of college? I'm sure there will always be 1 year college players who come into the league and are busts yet they take the place of experienced veterans players. If I was a union member I would tell the union to protect me and not be in such as hurry to have a one and done player replace me.
That point has bothered me also. It's not like they are expanding and making the union stronger. So what gives?
It reflects the influence of agents. Agents make a lot more off the churn of new players replacing old ones and they have the ear of their players
I'm confused. You call me out like I said something stupid, then go forth to make my case. I hear people all the time say they're going to college to be a doctor or a teacher. I have yet to hear anyone say they're going to school to get an education.
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