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Old 01-17-2003, 12:59 PM   #1
atllonghorn
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Question What's the future of college b-ball?

First of all, let's dispense with the notion that college basketball is some sort of idyllic, ameteur league where kids play for the love of the game, and the scene is all about the bands and the youthful exuberence that permeates the court and spreads to the audience.

College basketball is a business. Big, big business. The kids who play it are generating millions of dollars. In return, they have an opportunity to earn a college degree, but understand that, in any major program, the term "student-athlete" is a misnomer. You are an "athlete-student," as althetics ALWAYS come first. I don't care if you're playing for Duke or Stanford. You think they let your relatively mediocre GPA-having and SAT-scoring posterior in because they believed in and cared about your academic potential? Please. Furthermore, the fact that you are getting a free college eductaion makes you a professional. You are getting something for free that other people have to pay for, and the sole reason for this is that you can play a sport. Even the Ivy League, which makes a show of promoting true ameteurism by not having athletic scholarships, is guilty of this. The Ivy League has need-blind admissions, and makes a committment to making sure all admitted students can afford to attend their universities. If the basketball coach at Harvard wants you, you are likely to be admitted. If Harvard is committed to making sure you can afford to attend if admitted, and the primary reason for your admission is your athletic ability, how is that any different than an athletic scholarship?

Now, you may be saying, "So they're professionals. What's your point?"

The point is that it's incredibly hypocritical to speak of the nobility and purity of the college game, as the NCAA and official NCAA jock sniffer Dick Vitale do, and bemoan how kids are leaving for the NBA after one or two years of college, or God forbid, not going to college at all. You don't suppose any of this has anything to do with the potential revenue lost by Labron James et al never donning a college uniform, do you? Of course not. Universities don't care about petty affairs such as millions of dollars

The other point is that the NCAA is getting exactly what it deserves. The NCAA perpetuated the problem by offering college admission to unqualified students who didn't care about anything other than playing basketball. You can hardly complain when these same kids leave to make millions of dollars and don't stick with you.

The result of all of this is that college basketball has deteriorated in terms of the caliber of play. March Madness is still fun, but I don't even watch college ball until then. When I know that the top two selections in the NBA draft will never have stepped on a college court, it's clear that I'd be watching a deeply inferior product.

What's funny about all this is that there's never been any controversy in Europe. The kid who's going to challenge Labron James for the honor of being top pick in the draft (I can never remember his name), has been playing basketball professionally in Europe for four years now, and he's only 18. The reason there isn't controversy in Europe is that the university system is much different. There are far fewer universities per capita than there are in the US, and attendence therein is restricted to serious students. The idea of someone being admitted to university because he can play basketball would seem absolutely ludicrous.

In the long run, the cream of the basketball crop will continue to come from high school in the US or out of Europe or other international locales where the idea of athletic scholarships to a university is, well, foreign. Other excellent players will continue to leave college as soon as they think they can be a lottery pick. And some of these kids will be wrong about whether they'll be drafted high, or drafted at all. Tough. You have a right to work in this country once you're 16. You're responsible for the decisions you make in this life, and it's idiotic to restrict admission to the NBA based on age because some young men are going to make bad decisions.

And of course, the caliber of play in the college game will continue to suffer. You won't see me crying. It's not my millions at stake here.

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Old 01-17-2003, 01:43 PM   #2
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College Basketball has been watered down for the last 4 seasons, and possibly more. And how do you expect these young men to go in, play college ball, learn a college system, when they are being told by NBA scouts, agents and so forth that they can be paid for developing at the NBA level immediately.

Then after those 3 years or so are up in the NBA, and the player has become finally decent then he can be a free agent and make even more millions like Mcgrady and Jermaine O'neal have done. Seems almost meaningless for a guy to go to college and learn from a system, when he can go learn in the NBA and get paid for it doesn't it? I know not in all cases do players pan out that come out of highschool, but I don't blame them one bit for coming out if they have the potential to play in the league. College has become meaningless for players like Lebron James.

I first thought that the NBA would implement a rule like the NFL did, which stated that all players must go to college or a developmental league first. But now with all the success of these young players, that will never happen. I mean this year's most likely rookie of the year.....the Sun's Amare Stoudamire.....straight out of high school and is exciting to watch. The fans have come to expect 18 and 19 yr olds in the league...and it is an attraction now.

College basketball will always continue to be watered down, and don't expect anything to change soon.

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Old 01-17-2003, 02:48 PM   #3
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Well watching the college game is based upon what one likes anyway. The perception that is water downed is subject to opinion.

I agree with atllonghorn that the reality of D-1 basketball is, as it always has been, somewhat professional. So be it, it doesnt bother me one bit. I have, because of my age, been following it for quite sometime. I also have seen first hand several sides of college basketball. I played, but not at the D-1 level. My younger brother played at the D-1 level.

It certainly was a huge difference in many areas, time away from classes, responsibilities to the team, responsibilirties to the univeristy, perks(gear an sneakers specifically), media coverage, off season commitments. But none of it bothers me or wanes my interest in the college game. The rivalries, tradition, etc, far outweigh anything else.

This past season Stoudamire was the only HS player taken in the draft. Losing one guy to the draft out of HS, will not and did not, hurt the depth of the college game at all. Knowone who follows college hoop cares that he did not play. It should also be noted that he is 20 years old already, which means he was a 19 year old senior in HS. The high majority of HS seniors in the US are 17 years of age. Its possible because of his age( idont know when his B-day is) that had he live in NY, he would have been too old to play HS hoop in this state. You cannot be 19 at the start of that sports season, you must be 18, you can turn 19 during the season, but you cannot be 19 before the season starts. OK, i went off track there......lol.

The guys leaving early from college does have an effect. But not to the point that it really effects the competition. There are still plenty of great players to go around and from what Ive been watching a whole lot of good players out there. Where it really has it effects, is the pressure the coaches have to quickly replace players who were there such a short time. Recruiting is a different game now, then it used to be.

One thing that definitely is not true though, is the right to work. Yes everyone has a right to look for a job when they turn 16. But not everyone can opt to even attempt to get ANY job they want. I am a NYS correction officer. You cannot even apply, much less take the test for the job, until you are 21 years of age. So all this talk about everyone has a right to earn money, does not apply to being able to work any job, no matter how qualified you might be. We have had people challenge that law here in NYS, those people lost.

I love the college game, it also doesnt bother me one bit if someone leaves early. As I sat in front of my TV and watched UA/USC last night the game was exciting and the crowd was raucous. Not once did I even give a thought about Amare or LeBron, nope the game was great, that was all that mattered, except the wrong team won........lol.

Does anyone really care what Duke would have been like if Kobe went to college and not the NBA? No they dont, but it sure seemed like a whole lot of people still loved following Duke during the years he would have been there. The college game is fine and always will be.

As for saying the that the game will be inferior because the top 2 guys in the upcoming draft will never have played college ball is very naive. The draft has forever now proven itself to be a terrible judge of talent in the long run. The many failures at or near the top of the draft over the years is mind boggling.

Also these guys arent standing on there soap box all of a sudden bemoaning the fate of the college game because of Lebron, that would be giving LeBron far too much credit. They have been doing this for years. I can remember the out cry when Magic left after his sophmore year. The game has done just fine each and every year since and will continue to do so.

Knowone is bigger then the game. The college game will continue to play to packed houses and draw droves of rabid fans. And down the road Knowone will care if LeBron or Amare or anyone else ever played college basketball, because there will always be enough great players playing the game and college fans will remember them.
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Old 01-17-2003, 11:44 PM   #4
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I strongly agree with #47's first and last points. Despite all this talk, college basketball is NOT suffering. Ratings are high, arenas are packed, you name it. I feel as passionately about my team as ever, no matter who plays on it. There is still an atmosphere in college hoops that sets it apart from pro hoops. Whether or not you personally feel the game has deteriorated or is less enjoyable to watch is personal opinion, not fact. Sure, there are a lot of successes who skip high school, but for every Kobe and Garnett, there are 10 who utterly fail.
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Old 01-18-2003, 02:39 AM   #5
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That's a very interestion Natalie Portman quote, Marc...
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Old 01-18-2003, 01:36 PM   #6
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Amare may have been the only American high school student last year to jump directly to the NBA, but what about the year before that?

Of course, last year, the number 1 pick didn't jump to the NBA out of high school, but he never played an NCAA game either.

Moreover, even if players don't skip the NCAA entirely, how many Top 20 players in the NBA played a full four years of college ball? One, by my count.

The result is that you've got kids who could be playing in their senior years of college who instead are playing in the NBA. Even as recently as the 1980s, that was uncommon, and even as recently as the early 90s, it was common for the lottery picks to have played at least three years of college ball.

I don't think it's debatable that the caliber of play in NCAA has dropped since that time. Players with NBA talent are leaving before it's developed, and there are hard statistics relating to shooting percentages indicating a general lack of fundamentals. You are obviously welcome to continue enjoying college basketball and the atmosphere and so forth. That said, the NCAA once represented the cream of the young (18-22) basketball crop. Now, the NBA does. How many Maryland players from last year's championship squad are going to make an impact in the NBA?

The college atmosphere is fun, but the game has become basically unwatchable for me. Of course, that's not a point you have to agree on.
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Old 01-19-2003, 03:48 PM   #7
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ATLLONGHORN, that is your opinion and you obviously prefer the Pro game, thats cool, we all have diferent sports we prefer.

But bad example citing the present FG% that is going on in the college game. Because if you hadnt noticed the FG% of the pro game is also way down from the 80's. So if the college game is no longer fun to watch for you because of the lack talent(your opinion) then the NBA is equally as bad now because the talent in the NBA is far less now then it was 15 years ago.

So I'm not sure what your point is, just say you prefer the NBA, thas cool, but dont say you cant watch the college game because the talent is down, when the talent is down in the NBA also. That makes no sense.
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