Ain’t Paid Nobody: Part I, The Problem

Now that football is over and we are comfortably distant from opening day, it’s time to get into my offseason project. I wrote the preamble a few weeks ago. I have embedded a navigation link at the bottom of this page. Given the complexity of this topic, embedding a table of contents seems the best way to organize the series. Without further ado, let’s talk about the problem.

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Player Control: How the NBA is Suffocating the College Game

I’m not sure where or when this notion began creeping into my head about college basketball and its relationship with the NBA, but the form of this idea has solidified over the course of this season. I have been watching college basketball as frequently as possible–in an earnest effort, mind you, to prove my theory wrong. Unfortunately, the data have shown me the opposite. The NBA and the NBAPA have dealt college basketball a mortal blow from which it will not recover on its own.

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Cardinal Sin: The Ballad of Rick Pitino

The first ax dropped this week for Louisville basketball. The school has self-imposed a post-season ban for 2016. As I am to understand this ban, this includes certainly the NCAA tournament, NIT, or other postseason invitational tournament, as well as the ACC conference tournament. While this decision is not light or arbitrary from the school, it feels pretty toothless given the fact that Louisville is not the juggernaut they have been in the past. The real question is: how the hell did we get here? Specifically, what caused the Cardinals’ swing from the anti-bandwagon darlings to the epitome of everything that wrong and seedy about college athletics? Who’s to blame? The answers to those questions are not yet completely apparent. However, this albatross will be set about the neck of Rick Pitino before this is all over.

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Preview: Commissioner Greg Sankey’s First 10 Years

With Mike Slive moving up the time table for his transition out as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, Greg Sankey is set to take over the driving duties on Monday. Before we begin to talk about Sankey’s tenure, we need to first consider the juggernaut legacy that Slive is leaving in Birmingham. From there, we’ll consider Sankey’s qualifications and then move on to three major landscape changes that Sankey is expected to preside over in the next decade. Slive’s departure marks the end of the halcyon days of the SEC. Sankey is expected to have neither favorable winds nor following seas during his tenure. Such is the nature of the beast. The question is: does Commissioner Sankey have the chops for what’s coming?

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Shamateurism: NCAA on the Ropes

College athletics are among the most lucrative industries in America. Schools compete in a mad grab for highly talented athletes that is the sports world’s equivalent of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Once these athletes are in the fold, the schools–motivated by sickening self interest–treat these kids as property and in many cases abuse their charge as custodian of these kids. Though schools need to be taken to task for the institutional mistreatment of athletes, the real culprit in all of this is the NCAA.  Continue reading “Shamateurism: NCAA on the Ropes”

The “R” Word

In light of Greg Hardy’s suspension for domestic violence and the University of Tennessee having yet another young man investigated for rape/sexual assault, I feel that this post I wrote in January for another blog is particularly salient. 

If we want to change the current culture regarding women in men’s sports, we must take the development of the young men in sports more seriously. 

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Things That Aren’t Really Things: Conference Solidarity

Conference solidarity is a crock. We use it as a defense mechanism to further our denial that our teams are terrible. Obviously, I can’t stop people from picking teams they want to win based on conference affiliation, but I would just like to point out that the justification of “becuz SEC” is not a good enough reason. There are better reasons out there. Maybe the team you want to win actually beat your team so you have a rooted interest in them not getting slobberknocked off the field. Conference solidarity is a crutch.

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The Problem — Officially

“Come on, Ref!”

“Are you blind?!”

“That’s a foul!”

As an official, I have heard these, and many more—decidedly more colorful than what I can publish. Heckling like this is as common as it is unimaginative. Furthermore, officials, as a breed, tend to take pride in our ability to ignore the potshots from the crowd and the sideline. Officials have thick skin. However, there are certain psychologies at work in the mind of an official that may directly hinder the ability to be impartial. This season, it has been rather clear during Kentucky’s undefeated regular season run. The Cats get the calls. 

The reasons why are very interesting.

Continue reading “The Problem — Officially”

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