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Opinion

Opinion

A money thing

April 17, 2012

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To the editor:

John Calipari has set the trend for college sports. His approach to recruitment has irrevocably taken the word student out of the phrase student athlete. His pitch promises a year of glory and a quick transition and opportunity to play for pay in the NBA. It has nothing to do with the athlete’s ability to achieve a college education. I’m sure that John will tell you that the athlete still has the opportunity to remain at the college level and finish his education, but, realistically, how many 18- or 19-year-old kids are going to forgo potential multimillion-dollar contracts and stay in school?

John’s approach is both cynical and misleading. Although a good number of his athletes will be drafted, how many of those kids will actually succeed at the professional level? What happens if they don’t succeed? Will John care? I doubt it. People tend to forget that Calipari wrecked two college basketball programs because of recruiting violations. Now he has found a way to operate within the letter of the rules and win at the expense of his athletes.

Calipari is not alone in adopting this approach to recruit so-called four- or five-star athletes. He has just taken it to a new level. In the beginning, student athletes were students first, then athletes. In recent years the reverse has been too often true. Today in many cases we just have athletes. It’s the money thing.  

Comments

parrothead8 2 years ago

It's not Calipari's fault or the NCAA's fault. The NBA has a rule that does not allow players to be eligible for its draft until one year after their high school graduation. If the players aren't able to go play overseas, then playing college ball for a year may be their best option.

If you're going to blame anyone for this, blame the NBA. This rule exists solely to save the billionaire NBA owners from themselves. Instead of taking a chance on paying millions of dollars to a high school kid who may not work out, the risk is passed on to the universities. Additionally, NBA franchises don't have to spend a dime scouting high school basketball when they can just wait for the NCAA to showcase all the best players on national TV.

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dncinnanc 2 years ago

Why should we require them to complete 4 years of "education" as opposed to taking a job offer when it arises? When you are the best at what you do (in certain fields at least), a 4 year degree does not necessarily matter. As MIC said, they can always go back to school later should the NBA not pan out.

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Paul R Getto 2 years ago

I would like to see students be required to do four years of college AND earn a degree before they can get drafted in any pro league, but that's illegal. On the flip side, a junior majoring in business offered a guaranteed multi-million dollar contract to skip his senior year and go to work would probably jump at the chance and worry about graduating later. Who are we to judge?

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Paul R Getto 2 years ago

He's just following the current rules. Get over it.

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Bob Forer 2 years ago

Most Division I coaches would love to have a one and done player commit to them. The reason they are unsuccessful is that the players don't want to go there. Calipari merely happens to be very good at luring the one and doners. He is not doing anything that any other coach would if they could.

The whole system is broken. Not just wherever Calipari happens to be coaching.

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