A regular reader here regularly writes to me about what is written here. He seems to enjoys these relatively short posts which usually make relatively short points, but for his liking what is written is too short, at least when it comes to some of the subject matter, much of which has been written from different, but short, angles in the relatively short time this effort has taken this space which started on the first day of this year. That reader sometimes makes short statements in his emails such as “good stuff” or “nice point” or “what did you say?” When college athletics is the topic he fires off responses sometimes longer than what he read here to get on his high horse, to exert some steam, to relieve some of the pressure on his chest. In other words, he gets a little riled up and makes a statement that’s lots of fun to read. He expects a response, but waiting a few days makes this cat and mouse situation a lot more fun on my side.
Recently, two columns got to him. The Saturday, May 30 post titled New NCAA freshmen eligibility standards aregood brought this reaction: Regarding your blog on new freshmen eligibility academic standards and the state of NCAA Division 1 revenue sports/academics in general: A) let’s also go back to freshman ineligibility/can’t play varsity first year in school; and, B) instate a head coach salary cap (I propose $750,000): No incentives, no endorsement deals. There’s no disagreement here on those two points. His second recently reaction came after yesterday’s column, Who is Patrick O’Neill kidding? NCAA does not need UNC. He didn’t disagree with the substance of the column. He picked up on two statements near the end: (Jim) Valvano was under fire because of poor academic performance by his players. (Roy) Williams’ guilt is associated with his players taking bogus classes to increase their academic standing.
The loyal reader wrote: Speaking of the NCAA, and Roy and Valvano: what’s the difference in what they are “guilty” of, and what (John) Calipari and (the Duke coach) have done/are doing. (They) have perfected pitches and built programs solely to appeal to the very top players to come to their respective schools for 1 year. They are literally saying: if you want to go to college for one year, then turn pro, we are the best stepping stone for you. And this is fine with the NCAA. It’s every bit as academically unproductive, (therefore just as much an academic sham), as anything Roy and Valvano perpetrated. Jahlil Okafor got no more of an academic education than Rashad McCants, and (the Duke coach) is using Okafor as an example to sell his program.
He makes a very good point. A return to freshmen sitting their first year and coaches being limited in salary would halt the crap of one and done that Calipari and the Duke coach use just to win championships while shunning the idea of a real college education. Both Calipari and the Duke coach should be ashamed for taking advantage of such young men and caring more about their ability as athletes than their education.
Dictionary.com word of the day
cryptozoology (noun) [krip-toh-zoh-oh-uh-jee] the study of evidence tending to substantiate the existence of, of the search for, creatures whose reported existences is unproved