Tag Archives: NCAA

Rutgers Coach Eddie Jordan Is Working Toward His Degree at Rutgers

Rutgers new basketball coach, Eddie Jordan did not graduate from college. It is not something to be ashamed of. But one would wonder the reasons why Rutgers would hire a coach who did not graduate from college? The answer is a college degree was not listed as a requirement to be the Rutgers Head Coach. Apparently someone else checked and discovered that a College degree was a requirement to fill an assistant coaching position at Rutgers. Interesting to say the least. It seems Rutgers seem to relish 'Hot Water”.

By the way Coach Jordan is enrolled at Rutgers to receive his degree.

 

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Kevin Ware- Example of Why College Athletes Should be Paid

Isn’t it disgusting? NCAA needs to go. Shocking that the school would seek to profit at the expense of an unpaid player. Who ever heard of such a thing in the NCAA? Comment from a fan  

kevin-ware-rise-tshirtsIt is shocking that the NCAA and Louisville will try to profit from the unfortunate leg injury that Kevin Ware suffered in an elite eight game last Saturday, making up tee-shirt and selling them for $25 a pop with none of the profits going to Mr. Ware is unthinkable to us, but for  others who approved it, just another way to make a profit.
This is no shock given the video that we’ve seen over and over of a coach and coaches throwing basketballs, pushing and shoving players, and using degrading offensives slurs toward Rutgers players. The entire system of the so called student athlete needs to be revamped and the NCAA needs to be revamped as well. It is a for profit organization that only speaks up when they feel it is necessary, not when they should. Yet the student athletes suffers. They make millions of dollars for their appropriate schools. But never see a dime for it. How about the NCAA mandating that the Student athlete should be paid and compensated when they are injured.

Scholarship Players  like Kevin Ware, who suffered an injury , possibly career ending, often lose their scholarship and are forced to fend for themselves.They are injured while on scholarship but are in fact at the mercy of the school. Their future is precarious at best. The school forgets about them and recruits  still another high profile athlete to take their place. This also happen in professional sports, the difference is professional athletes do get paid, something college athletes can only dream about. Something has to change and the system need to be reworked and re-examined.

Could this be the Year For Pitino at Louisville?

Louisville basketball has always been something special.   It’s not a coincidence.  It’s a reality in Kentucky.  If Kentucky were a battle field, Louisville would be surrounded by a sea of Blue. Kentucky Blue.  In fact there are a few collaborators, Kentucky  fans in Louisville.  More than a few. But still all in all Louisville basketball is still king in Louisville and always will be.  This article is way to short to highlight the rivalry that dates back over well over 50 years.

That’s Louisville Cardinal basketball. So many great basketball players wore the Cardinal red. And Louisville has over the last 41 years has been led by two coaches. Denny Crum and  current coach Rick Pitino.  One a Hall of Fame coach, Denny Crum,   and one probably to be elected this year into the Hall of Fame,  Rick Pitino.  There is nothing like Louisville basketball, especially in Kentucky. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.  Everyone is  high of Kentucky Basketball, as if that is the only program in the state.

It’s always been that way, but Louisville Cardinal basketball is  stellar to say the least and when it comes to beating Kentucky nothing can be sweeter.   For Louisville fans this is absolutely  a must on the agenda each and every season.   So Rick Pitino has a mission, he must win his first championship at the University of Louisville.  Not that he will be running out of Louisville if he does not, but it is time that he does. Let’s sit back and enjoy the show! If Pitino wins the NCAA this year. It will be Louisville’s third National Championship. Go Cards!!!

This Weeks Basketball Update

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio is a solid player out of the Euro basketball league. The Spanish player is making an impact with the Timberwolves. The best way I can describe him is  he is a throwback to “Pistol” Pete Maravich, particularly the trick passes  through the defenses leg, behind the back passes, you name it Rubio can do it.  Maravich was more skilled at doing the same thing and Maravich was also a lot better outside shooter. But most of Maravich was a great scorer.   Rubio is good, but he is definitely not a Derrick Rose or a Chris Paul, or a Pete Maravich.

Kentucky-Auburn

Auburn gave Kentucky all it could handle on Wednesday night, Kentucky prevailed. I wrote this recap while watching the game.  As I look at this game, it follows the pattern in the SEC where Kentucky makes a habit of delivering a more than a decent record in the pre-season, but always subject to upsets in the SEC.  That’s the nature of SEC Basketball. The score is inconsequential as Kentucky will grind out a victory at Auburn.

Louisville- Providence

The big story here is the meltdown by the Cardinal who lost by a significant margin to Providence, a team that was 1-4 in the Big East Going into the game at Providence.  Louisville is in big trouble this season. The season was supposed to be a breakout season with a stellar recruiting Class headed by Chane  Behanan and Wayne Blackshear. A not so funny thing happen though, they are coached by Rick Pitino. This in itself may be a recipe for another dismal season.

You Get What You Earn- Denny Crum Louisville’s Legendary Former Coach

I always admired Denny Crum’s matter of fact attitude. He won two national championships at the University of Louisville and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Crum spent a number of years working under legendary coach John Wooden at UCLA. I followed Coached Crum and His career as Louisville basketball coach for nearly thirty years. Crum never got frazzled, he was slow and deliberate. He always recruited players who were, little known, but had tremendous upside. He recruited Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Illinois, California, and Georgia and he was able to sign many players, who helped him to lead the University of Louisville to two National Championships in 1980 and 1986.

Denny Crum believed in playing the best, to be the best. But with Crum it was a process, he played the best, took losses, but Crum learned who his leaders were, win or lose, He learned the nuances, strength and weaknesses of his team. He also learned who his leaders would be and who ultimately would lead his team to victory. He learned who the players were to best play within his system. But most of all Crum recruited athletes, who could play more than one position. Crum also ran a man to man switching defense on screens. And ran the UCLA high-post offense.

Denny Crum was no nonsense, cool and collected, Many called him Cool Hand Luke and Mr March, because he usually had his teams ready to play by NCAA tournament time, He took Louisville to six finals fours in addition to his conference championships. Crum was nominated to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. He is one of 11 coaches to win two national championships. But what made Crum Special was his low key, methodical approach. He believed in preparing his players by playing the best and taking on the tough teams early in the beginning of season. When tournament time came around Crum’s teams were ready for deep runs into the NCAA tournament.

Student Athletes Should Be Paid

It’s time to pay student athletes. To often we resurrect the same old tired excuses why we should not pay student athletes.

Many people have said that it is not fair to pay them because they are getting a free ride scholarship in return for their athletic services. While other students who are not athletes pay for their education.

I’m sure there are pros and con regarding this issue,  but the bottom line is colleges are raking in millions of dollars.  Student athletes are quite frankly  merely athletes.  The graduation rates  hover around 57% for college student athletes as a whole by the time the reach 24 years of age. For low income student  athletes it’s 8% by the time the are 24.

The bottom line is they are not students in the  true since of the word, be cause most of their time is spent practicing and traveling to games. It’s time the NCAA stopped fining everyone fro accepting money and cut the charade. These are theoretically paid to play athletes who make lots of money for the respective schools, so they should receive some compensation

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Stevens Takes Butler Bulldogs to Second Consecutive Final Four

Brad Stevens  has turned the College Basketball world upside down, with outstanding coaching. For the second year he has taken the Butler Bulldogs to the final four. He has done it by using a formula for success that very few college coaches employ,  some call it  brilliance. I call it coaching outside the lines of applied rules.

He recruits unorthodox, even awkward looking players, players that other colleges would never recruit.  But more than this, Stevens players truly reflect his vision on the court. Perhaps because they would never play for any of the bigger schools, more powerful school.  More likely these are high achieving underdog players who were built in the same mode as Brad Stevens.

That is what coaching in all about, having your vision  implemented by every player on the floor. Stevens does that better than any other coach.  If there is truly a coach of the Year; Brad Stevens  is my nominee.

The Fab 5

The Fab 5 the latest installment of ESPN films premiered tonight. It proved to be another brilliant  presentation.  The documentary started by detailing the recruitment of  Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and  Ray Jackson.  Michigan  then spent all the rest of the year recruiting Jalen Rose and Chris Webber.

Jalen Rose’s is the son of Jimmy Walker, former Detroit Pistons star, who played for the Pistons in the 60’s.  However Jimmy Walker had no relationship with his son, Jalen Rose.  Jalen Rose and Chris Webber were hot on this list of Steve Fisher, then the coach at Michigan.  Rose attended Detroit Southwestern High School where nine to ten players went on  to receive Division I scholarships.

Chris Webber wanted to be an inner city guy, but he wasn’t.   Webber attended Country Day High School.  Juwan Howard recruited Webber by calling him  two to three times per weeks.  They wanted to win.  They were looking  to recruit  the best college team in the country.   Michigan recruited five of the top high school players at the same time.

Jalen Rose says this revolution was televised,  contrary to Gill Scott-Heron’s seventy recital,  The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.   Fisher was elated that he had this core of outstanding players,three freshman, Rose,  Howard,  and Webber in the starting line-up.

Jalen Rose said Duke only recruited black players who were Uncle Toms.  Jalen Rose was upset with players like Grant Hill, but Rose resented everything that he was not,  the product of an absent father, who did not accept him.

The match up with Duke was bitter, the game went into overtime. Duke won the game. Although the Fab 5 did not respect Duke, they thought Grant Hill and Christian Laettner  and the rest of the Blue Devils were soft. They soon learned that they were not.  They were excellent hard nosed basketball players.

So the stage was set, the country learned that Duke  was king and the defending national champion and the Fab 5  proved  they could hang with the defending national champions.

Ray Jackson struggled his first year at Michigan.  He was a high school star in Texas, but Ray Jackson was not starting.  He was out of his element, he had never seen snow and he was miserable and he was not starting.  Steve Fisher finally relented and started Ray Jackson. They had a chance to finally see what they were made of.  They were an electric team, they were now playing together.

Mitch Albom, well known  Sports writer, said that Fisher  created a hard thing to overcome by deciding to start the Fab Five as freshman.  Michigan’s Eric Riley felt resentment, he lost his position and it was not taken lightly.  Despite this the slighted upper class men were able to contribute and blend with the Fab 5.  When the Fab 5 traveled  like rock stars.   They had to employ 24 hour security for a college basketball game.

Alumni became alarmed. Five inner city black kids represented Michigan and alumni resented them sending hate mail, calling them ‘the “N” word, so Steve Fisher took the heat for bringing them  in.  They were brash and did not take a  back seat, even some of the majority white alumni could not stand this, so they did the unthinkable, sent out death threats.

But these were not Jackie Robinson clones, they were brash and out spoken and there in rubbed nearly everyone the wrong way.  One can see the resentment that the Michigan alumni felt, because the Fab 5 talked trash to no end, but no one deserves to receive a death threat.

Most people thought that Steve Fisher let his players run over him.  They accused Steve Fisher  of coaching a playground team, typical of how inner city black kids are perceived. Undisciplined, and unable to play together.

Michigan lost the 1992 National Championship to a highly superior Duke team.  The Fab 5 was not equipped to be national  champions. They were immature and  not ready for the spotlight.  This would be illuminated in the next few years of the Fab Five era.

The next season, The Fab 5 knew they had to dominate every single game. Their goal was to win the national championship.  As freshman they felt excited and as sophomores they felt exploited. Nike sold  shirts and  called everything Fab 5.  Michigan made $10.5 million dollars on merchandising.   However the Fab Five, like other college players received no revenue.

Jalen Rose was accused of being at a crack house and being on drugs.  He was not of course, but it  tainted his image. Rose said he was embarrassed and hurt.

Everything came crashing down when Chris Webber called the time out in the NCAA finals against North Carolina in 1993.  It was something that no member of the Fab 5 can forget, Chris Webber declined to be interviewed for the documentary; that’s  how devastating that moment was for the Fab 5.  Webber has not put to rest the allegations that he took money from  a  friend.

Jalen Rose,  Juwan Howard and Chris Webber went on to solid careers in the NBA. Juwan Howard plays for the star studded Miami  Heat, with new stars like LaBron James, D-Wade and Chris Bosh, but none of the Fab  5 will forget the experience.

Chris Webb lied about getting money  from a friend who some said gave money to many Detroit area basketball stars. Which is an NCAA violation. It is said Chris Webber received a significant amount of money. The legacy of the Fab 5 was tainted.  Everyone was not involved in the  this, but everyone suffered for this mistake.

Steve Fisher, today, says there are still times when he will  get a call from one of the Fab 5 congratulating him for a win.  They still stay in touch.  Juwan Howard says the legacy still lives on and  the Miami Heat players identify Howard by saying , “That’s  Juwan Howard from the Michigan  Fab 5”.

Seven Percent or 1 in every 14 College Football Players Have Been Charged or Sited with a Crime

According to a recently published Sports Illustrated article:

• Seven percent of the players in the preseason Top 25 — 204 in all (1 of every 14) — had been charged with or cited for a crime, including dozens of players with multiple arrests.

• Of the 277 incidents uncovered, nearly 40 percent involved serious offenses, including 56 violent crimes such as assault and battery (25 cases), domestic violence (6), aggravated assault (4), robbery (4) and sex offenses (3). In addition there were 41 charges for property crimes, including burglary and theft and larceny.

• There were more than 105 drug and alcohol offenses, including DUI, drug possession and intent to distribute cocaine.

• Race was not a major factor. In the overall sample, 48 percent of the players were black and 44.5 percent were white. Sixty percent of the players with a criminal history were black and 38 percent were white.

• In cases in which the outcome was known, players were guilty or paid some penalty in nearly 60 percent of the 277 total incidents.

Players who would have been on last year’s rosters but had been charged and expelled from their teams before Sept. 1 — and there were dozens — were not counted in our sample. Nor did SI and CBS News have access to juvenile arrest records for roughly 80 percent of the players in the study.

“[It is] a set of facts that obviously should concern all of us,” said new NCAA president Mark Emmert, when presented with these findings. “Seven percent, that’s way too high. I think two percent is too high. You certainly don’t want a large number of people with criminal backgrounds involved in activities that represent the NCAA.”

Added Richard Lapchick, founder of the Center for Sport in Society and president and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports at the University of Central Florida: “This sounds an alarm bell that some new policies are going to have to be developed on individual campuses or at the national level to take a closer look at who we’re recruiting to our campuses. I think it’s almost incumbent on all those universities who play at this level to do criminal background checks on the people they’re recruiting. Not only for the nature of the football program itself, but for public safety on campus.”

College Football Player and Crime

Crossover the Trial of Allen Iverson

I watched  30 for 3o, ESPN DVD Sports presentation of Crossover- The Trial of Allen Iverson and I came away impressed with a few things, most notably the  directing done by Steve James of  Hoop Dreams fame.

It was a fascinating first person interview of all the people involved in the Allen Iverson story , during his pre NBA, pre Georgetown years; the high school years. A story that culminated in a bowling alley brawl that landed Iverson and four other classmates in jail in Hampton, Virginia.

This classic and I will call it a classic, was directed by Steve James, who has to his credit directed one other monster basketball hit, called  Hoop Dreams. I will say this much about James, He should stay in the business. This was one of the most fascinating basketball documentaries that I have seen.  For those of you who saw Hoop Dreams, the same can be said.

The way James weaved the story around the black and white residents of Hampton Roads, to get their feeling about AI is magnificent.  Make no mistake Iverson is a complicated guy, but James did a lot to bring out this sad segment of a period of Iverson’s life when his future was in the balance after being sentenced for his involvement in a brawl, which nearly curtailed his  his  famed NBA career.

If you have the inclination,  purchase 30 for 30 Volume 01, Films 01-15. You’ll be glad you did and you will also have the opportunity to enjoy a library of other 30 for 30 documentaries.