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.
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.
This week, the Universities of Florida and Michigan went toe-to-toe in the Women’s College World Series final in Oklahoma City, with the teams splitting the first two games and Florida winning the rubber match on Wednesday. This marked the second straight softball championship for the Gators, and showcased the National Player of the Year, Florida’s Lauren Haeger, against the NPOY runner-up, Michigan’s Sierra Romero. I watched intently as the games went on, and I found myself confused about many rules–namely the re-entry rule–and at a loss regarding the core of the game’s mechanics. It was off-putting; it was foreign.
It was awesome.
I now consider myself a convert to the church of softball, as it were. And here’s why. Continue reading “My Conversion to the Church of Softball”
Today, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules committee released its list of rule considerations for next season. I will break them down and then discuss some rule updates and/or points of emphasis we believe are still needed. Let’s get started. Continue reading “Breaking Down the NCAA’s Proposed Rule Changes”
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”
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.
“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.