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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

More on NCAA Men's Basketball Proposals

The NCAA has upcoming meetings in Baltimore to discuss proposals by the National Association of Basketball Coaches that would a) permit a school to stage tryouts for 18 high school recruits during a recruiting season (whereby they would play with existing players on a team for no more than 2 hours, something which Division II already permits) and b) permit a school to give 5 years of eligibility to a men's basketball player.  In addition, the proposal would increase sanctions for various rules violations.  USA Today has been all over this story, and reports that the coaches believe these proposals will strengthen the mentor-player relationship.
SportsProf posted about some of the proposals earlier, and here are his current thoughts:
1.  The tryouts seem harmless enough.  Given that there are scholarship limits and given that many people dress up well and say the right things in an interview, he sees no harm in a 2-hour tryout.   Such tryouts might aid in the Darwinism of the recruiting process, in that kids who don't belong at a high-end major might find that out in several tryouts, spare themselves the pain of riding the deep bench and go where they should go in the first place, to a mid- or low-major.  Where, perhaps, they can blossom precisely because they'd be getting the playing time they wouldn't get riding the pine at Kentucky.  Such tryouts also might prevent schools from overrecruiting, because you'd have to figure that the recruits, who get to know one another well enough at summer camps, will keep tabs on one another.  No one wants to be the third PG in a three-PG recruiting class at a high-end major.  So long as there is a limit as to number and time, this suggestion could work out pretty well.
2.  The five years of eligibility sends a bad message if it gives kids five years on the floor.  That shouldn't happen.  Given them five years to get their degrees, so that if they exhaust their eligibility in four they can get the fifth year to finish up their school work.  That is a great solution and sends the right message.  But that extra year of eligibility doesn't necessarily help anyone and suggests that a school's primary mission is not education, it's keeping a full arena.   SportsProf laughs at the suggestion that all of these reforms are designed to improve the coach/player mentoring relationship.  Given all the resources that DI schools throw at their hoops programs, how can this rule, absent putting a man of character in the head coaching position, improve this relationship?  Either the head coaches take the time to get to know their kids and to teach them, or they don't.  The graduation numbers, while slightly flawed, don't lie.  Many schools today do a terrible job of graduating their players.  They shouldn't be rewarded with any incentive to keep them their for a fifth year of eligibility.
3.  The NABC clearly is a male-dominated if not exclusively male organization.  They seemingly limit their suggestions to men's basketball, which would be understandable but for the Federal legal ramifications of some of these suggestions.  What's to say you wouldn't have to offer the same accommodations to women basketball player or other women athletes for that matter?  Why should basketball be so special?  What about ice hockey, lacrosse, riflery?  The possibilities are endless.
SportsProf acknowledges that men's college hoops does have some issues.  The best teenagers aren't going to college any more; they are going to the NBA, or they're leaving college after one or two years.  That said, it's somewhat comforting to know that kids who merit going straight to the pros can get there, and that there is somewhere to go for kids who shouldn't go to college in the first place (although the creation of a meaningful minor league system in professional hoops is a must).  It's more comforting to know that because of that phenomenon, more teams have access to the Sweet 16, and a Cinderella can get further.  That makes the Big Dance a tournament that everyone can embrace, precisely because you can get a bunch of fourth-year seniors who don't have an NBA future to capture lightning in a bottle for a six-week period starting in March.
SportsProf is all for improving amateur athletics as best as they can be improved, just so long as the powers that be in those sports remember a principle maxim every time they tinker:
These are still games for our kids.


Blogger Sports Junky said...

I agree,

I love NCAAB. and recently I have bought stock in it. Not like real stock on Wall street, but a stock market that is strictly for sports.

You have seen it? Its pretty cool. You buy issues for your favorite teams and you make real money. Not like a fake stock simulator. I cash out Dividends each time the team wins. Also I can sell my team stock when the price goes up.

check it out if something like this interests you.
heres a link
you can log in and check it out for free..

They just released IPOS for NCAAB this week, so there are alot of good deals there.

Hope that helps

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