It wasn’t enough for university presidents and chancellors to mess up college sports — thanks to the Knight Commission — now the politicians want their bottles of spray paint.
Now that Kansas state legislators introduced a bill that would require Kansas and Wichita State to play basketball against each other, why stop there? Why not just stick their noses in all sorts of sports issues.
Before considering other bills that could be introduced to make the state’s sports world a better place, consider what a man who played basketball for both WSU and Kansas thinks of politicians trying to legislate college basketball schedules.
“Please tell me that the legislature has more important things to worry about than whether two teams play a few basketball games,” Greg Dreiling wrote to me in a LinkedIn exchange I initiated. “If the schools cannot decide how to get together for a game of hoops, then I am sure there is nothing that the state government can do to move along the most pressing issue of this generation.”
But as long as the politicians want to run sports, here are a few suggestions for more sensible bills:
Ban all coaches and announcers from using the phrase “score the basketball.” What else do you think the players are trying to score? Dates? Points with professors?
Ban all high schools from holding team banquets days before playing the most important game of the season. Free State had its football feast days before getting blown out by Shawnee Mission West, a sour note on which to end a spectacular season. The last thing a group of teenagers needs to hear when coaches are filling one ear with constructive criticism is to have the other filled with praise for their super accomplishments. Horrible timing.
Forbid from ever typing on a computer again any parent who reacts to his son not making a high-enough level team by staging a widespread, multi-year, gutless, anonymous smear campaign behind the armor of screen names and e-mail addresses.
Make it illegal for any college basketball coach to double as an actor performing a lead role in an HBO series. Really, does KU assistant basketball coach Joe Dooley think he’s fooling anybody by using the stage name Steve Buscemi when portraying Nucky Thompson in smash hit “Boardwalk Empire”?
Change the term “technical foul” to “Melvin” for anyone who displays outrageously excessive, ill-aimed anger on a basketball court. This would lead to announcers cautioning, “He had better be careful. He already has one Melvin tonight. One more Melvin and he’ll be ejected.”
Require any cheapskate who doesn’t buy the house a drink after he makes a hole-in-one not only to return all prizes, but give up the game of golf for life.
That should be enough to keep our elected officials so busy they won’t even notice if KU and WSU happen to face each other later this month in the NCAA Tournament, where KU doesn’t have any say in scheduling opponents.