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Sad State of College Basketball

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I just got around to reading an article in the latest Sports Illustrated on the current trend for five star "elite" players to join teams at a young age which are not high school, prep school, or AAU programs. The new teams are entities formed by shoe money to funnel players to colleges who endorse the same shoe brands for a mandatory one-and -done year before turning pro. Examples of these teams are Prolific Prep in California where KU recruit Josh Jackson plays and API in Texas which enrolls their students in the University of Nebraska High School for on line courses. Both schools are funded by Under Armour and may or may not get sanctioned by the NCAA. Bottom line: the kids (and parents) just want to start earning some pro money and really care less about college. Who can blame them? Until the NCAA drops the charade that they are "student/athletes" and authorizes some remuneration to these future pro athletes while they are the unpaid employees of our favorite college teams, the situation will only become worse.

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I like that approach, brfrad.


I think if they started to pay athletes, it would have some ridiculous complications.


For instance, if the notion is to compensate athletes for the revenues they help bring into the school, then ...


What about the guys whose names on the backs of the jerseys we don't recognize?  Do they get the same deal?


85,000 people are showing up to watch Jordan Westerkamp and Tommy Armstrong and whoever Tommy Armstrong's back-up is.  Those 85,000 people aren't showing up to watch the back-up left tackle or the long snapper.  So, should the back-up left tackle and long snapper get the same deal as the name guys whom the fans are showing up to watch?


Of course, without a long snapper and a back-up left tackle, you don't field a team for those 85,000 people to go see, so you need those guys and, I guess, that means they should get some piece of the pie but it's probably more along the lines of the "league minimum."


And then while 85,000 people didn't show up specifically to watch the long snapper or back-up left tackle, they still see those guys, either in warm-ups or in whatever limited action in which they take the field.  They're still a part of the team that those 85,000 fans are showing up to see.


But damn near no one shows up to watch Robin Krapfl's women's golf team.


So, if you're going to pay athletes based on the notion that it's Tommy Armstrong sacrificing his body for the entertainment of the paying fans who are bringing in such huge sums of money to the university, that same justification wouldn't apply to the women's golf team or bowling team or rifle team or soccer team or tennis team or any of the other women's teams save volleyball and sometimes basketball.


The Title IX implications are frightening.


The only justification I've seen for paying athletes is that the university makes a ton of money off of the labors of the football players.  That justification simply doesn't apply to non-revenue sports but Title IX wouldn't give a damn about that.

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you make a good argument for the status quo, Norm. That is how the NCAA has been able to remain in power for so long and cheating is so rampant in college athletics. For a different view you might read "Indentured" by Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss. i personally would not mind seeing some sort of sliding scale of payment made to athletes depending upon how much income is generated by the sport, how much time is spent on the practice field, and the financial means of the athletes' families. I'm sure some smart person could work out a more equitable system than the present one. It's just the fact that those who are already raking in the profits from college athletics do not want to change things that makes people say it would be impossible.

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Pretty good podcast from over at FiveThirtyEight featuring a segment with Ken Pomeroy:


Is College Basketball Broken? We Asked The Game’s Top Stats Guru - FiveThirtyEight




We Need a New Eye Test: 11/29/16

The HTD crew discusses basketball, taking a look at men's and women's college teams as their seasons get underway. Plus, a return to the deadlocked World Chess Championship.

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