Playing in the Red: College athletic departments are taking in more money than ever – and spending it just as fast — a Washington Post report on how perennial NCAA powerhouses and aspiring contenders alike are using student fees to pay for exploding athletic department budgets. [more inside]
An oral history of the 2009-10 Kentucky basketball season. Before those guys, the narrative on "one-and-done" basketball players was almost always the same. The kids were selfish and egotistical, using college only as a place to pad their stats before inevitably departing for the NBA. They didn't care about their team or their school, or class at all; heck, the commonly held belief was that most kids stopped attending classes after the first semester (if they went at all). As it turned out, one-and-done players could come to a school, play hard, work as a team, go to class and win big.
Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach After Video Goes Public: [New York Times] Rutgers fired Mike Rice, the coach of its men’s basketball team, on Wednesday, a day after a video [ESPN] surfaced showing him berating his players during practices, throwing balls at them, kicking them and taunting them with slurs.
Ever wonder what it would be like if you showed up to your freshman year of college...and your roommate was a 7'2" Division 1 basketball player from Holland? The author of sports blog Basketbawful is currently publishing a series of stories describing that exact experience. These chronicles vacillate between hilarious, shocking, depressing, and disgusting, but all are extremely entertaining. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7.
Barefootin'! Ron Hunter, men's basketball coach of IUPUI, decides to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet, a charity that collects shoes for needy children, by coaching barefoot. Initially, he hoped to collect 40,000 pairs in honor of the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. - 110,000 pairs of shoes were collected by tip-off. [more inside]
March Madness: 11th seeded George Mason upset UConn in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this afternoon, continuing their unexpected streak of upsets. Their wins validate not only their inclusion in the tournament, but the rising status of mid-major conferences. The most prominent critic of the inclusion of these smaller schools has been CBS analyst Billy Packer, who verbally assaulted the head of the selection committee on live TV just two weeks ago, and has yet to apologize for his obvious error.
My eensy-beensy alma mater in eastern Wisconsin currently has the only undefeated men's basketball team in the nation. This is not just in the NCAA, but in the NAIA as well. It's a Division III team, and its only loss this season didn't count--it was to Division I UW-Madison in an exhibition game. Like most Division III schools, Lawrence offers no athletic scholarships whatsoever. Its immediate past president, Richard Warch, in a 1987 speech at the NCAA national convention, controversially called for abolishment of all athletic scholarships.
Not surprisingly, police were needed to break up celebrating students at UM last night, though it wasn't as bad as what happened over the weekend. (I guess the Saturday riot really wore them out.) As Bobcat Goldthwait used to say: "If your team wins a major sporting event, you can legeally do anything within the next 24 hours." And this is the school I should be proud to call my Alma Mater?