Just thought I would spend a bit of time getting fans up to date on the latest news surrounding college basketball before the heavy July recruiting period and the tidal wave of schedules coming from all 351 Division I schools.
I saw a post on the Awful Announcing site in mid June when they were discussing LeBron James being an executive producer for a documentary that will be airing on HBO sometime in the fall. The documentary will be featuring four individuals exposing the underbelly of why students are being treated as second and third-class citizens in regards to being compensated when they participate in intercollegiate athletics.
NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert has been nothing short of coy in regards to answering the media’s constant questions about “pay for play”, and rightfully so. Many administrators from the Power 5 Conferences, and other mid-majors alike all point to the skyrocketing costs of tuition, room and board (for those students deciding to remain on campus year round as opposed to renting an off-campus apartment), and other various stipends students receive these days.
I recall in the mid 1990’s a college professor (whose exact name escapes me) saying this statement, and I could not agree more on these prophetic words of wisdom:
“Don’t escalate the problem above the solution.”
If the NCAA wants to stay in touch with other Fortune 500 companies, get like minded people in the same room to discuss things that can go well together. Collaborate on those specific ideas, and reach manageable, concrete goals to make those dreams a reality.
Clearly, I am not the last blogger to cry wolf over the NCAA’s archaic policies. I have heard the arguments stated by many scores of media members from CBS during the 1980’s and ESPN since the early 1990’s.
Things have to change. The difficult question is–how can things make sense so that the students will not be walking away empty handed financially speaking by the time they walk across that makeshift stage and shake that school’s President upon receiving their hard earned college diploma.
Super Bowl LII Lead Referee Lands CBS Sports gig
On Tuesday, former NFL and NCAA official Gene Steratore signed a deal with CBS to be their rules analyst. He will be mainly stationed in New York during the NFL regular season and most of the college basketball season. According to the press release from CBS Press Express, it said that Steratore will be on site at Ford Field for the Thanksgiving Day classic when the Chicago Bears try to break the longest holiday losing streak to the Detroit Lions (last won way back in 1980, just look up on YouTube the last two plays of that game from the old Pontiac Silverdome to see how it all turned out for those of you too young to remember). He will also be joining Jim Nantz and Tony Romo in Atlanta during coverage of Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019.
Gene will also be on hand during the 2019 NCAA Tournament, after spending the last 22 seasons primarily as a Big Ten official. It will be interesting to hear his thoughts on what calls will constitute issuing either a Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 foul, plus did the ball leave the guards’ hand before the light surrounding the edges of the backboard lights up as the buzzer sounds to show triple zeroes on the clock.
With Stanford Graduate Transfer Shoring Up Kentucky, A Pair of Tradition Rich Bluebloods Are Getting Younger
It was interesting reading and listening in the last few days.
First up on The Athletic website, Michigan Head Coach John Beilien went from being relieved not to take the Detroit Pistons coaching job, but taking on a new challenge seeing his Wolverines get younger. Key cogs from the 2018 runner up team are all gone in Moritz Wagner, Muhammad Ali-Abdur Rakhman, and Duncan Robinson. Five of the new recruits are at least six feet tall, but we will see how quickly they mesh into a unit by the time the Big Ten/ACC Challenge takes place in early December.
Also on Monday, Dan Dakich had on his talk show heard on 1070 AM The Fan in Indianapolis one-time Indiana Hoosiers teammate from the early 1980’s in current UCLA Head Coach Steve Alford.
With the drama of the Ball brothers clearly behind him, Coach Alford discussed glowingly about the Holiday brothers and how “complete” Aaron was during his last two years playing for the Bruins. He also mentioned that with their pair of key stars being picked in the NBA Draft, the 2018-2019 edition of the crew from Westwood will be getting noticeably younger–all freshmen and sophomores will be in the starting lineup and riding the Pauley Pavilion/John and Nell Wooden Court.
One thing I learned after seeing Kentucky sporting the youngest team in their storied history during 2017-2018, it may translate to possible regular season success. But in the NCAA Tournament, experience always wins out during the final weekend in early April. Bottom line, expect some exciting basketball from these two proud and storied programs come November.
Before I go as the 4th of July Holiday approaches
I do have my annual March Madness Redux planned, and it is a good one:
It was not that long ago that not one, not two, not three, but four lower digit seeds all won their First Round tournament games–and all of them took place at the same site.
Look for the upsets during the first four days of July that dominated during the early round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament from Tampa, Florida. Lucky for me during the final years of the regional CBS model where fans were mostly forced to watch one game out of a possible four in each day and evening session–I was able to see all four upsets live and mostly in their entirety.
I hope everyone has a fun week ahead. Please make sure that during the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend that if you are near any fireworks, leave them to the hands of the professionals. It is simply not worth going to the ER over any fireworks that get in harm’s way.
I will be back the week of July 8 to discuss the latest news involving recruiting and any interesting nuggets about some schools’ non-conference schedules.
Take care, everyone.