Assistant Sports Editor
College sports have turned into a picture of corruption and contradiction over the course of my lifetime and we finally witnessed the harbinger of the apocalypse on Monday night when Kentucky won the 2012 National Championship. We have been taught to believe that maturity, experience and coaching will always win out over pure talent, but in 40 minutes that came crashing down.
Instead, a team of freshmEn and sophomores took down a well-coached, experienced and mature Kansas team in a game that looked a lot closer than it actually was. John Calipari, the poster boy of basketball’s fall into darkness, finally won a title using his questionable methods and coaching style composed of hoarding talent and dribble-drive motion.
And he did this on the back (and unibrow) of a 19-year-old center that has no intention of ever standing next to him again. Anthony Davis will take his shot-blocking ability and ridiculous facial hair to the bank after some NBA team makes him the first pick in the draft.
The NCAA is a nonprofit organization that is supposed to serve students with athletic ability by providing an extracurricular activity. Their events make money, which is then funneled back into the school’s scholarship programs that, in turn, feed another generation of athletes.
However, how can we call athletics “extracurricular” when, for the entire month of March, these athletes are on the road at conference tournaments, post-season tournaments or the NCAA Tournament? What about class? I know if I miss more than three history classes my grade will suffer. Doesn’t that effect them too?
I guess not, but I have accepted that.
Wait, but the NCAA won’t move to a playoff system in football because “the athletes need to be in class.” What!?! So you will pull the basketball players out of class for an entire month, but if the football players do the same we are mocking education?
How does that work? And let’s not even talk about baseball. Those kids play up to 10 games a week sometimes; and the NCAA Championship is not until late June.
The NCAA has become such a cash cow for these institutions that they need to approach every situation separately in order to get the right image out. However, when you say football can’t have a tournament because of an issue that basketball and baseball both deal with already, you get into the realm of contradiction.
The corruption also lies in this contradiction because the big schools don’t want their BCS bowl money to go away because they need to build new pillars on their athletic center – I mean pay for a kid’s education. Sorry, that slipped out.
The bottom line is, Kentucky basketball is making a lot of money for Nike, the university and the other SEC schools, so everyone is willing to look away when a 5-foot-8 girl takes a star player’s SAT’s. It is wrong, it is contradictory and I don’t like it one bit.
Will I keep watching? Of course…but I’m going to need a shower after.
Jimmy Kelley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org