By Jeff Portnoy
The latest UCLA hiring of Steve Alford again shows the hypocrisy in college sports. Alford was, until a few days ago, the " lifetime coach" of New Mexico, After winning the Mountain West and a number three seed in the Tournment, he managed to lead his team to a defeat by Harvard in the first round. As a reward, he was offered, and he accepted, a ten year extension on his contract. He signed a letter of intent, but before he actually signed his new contract, he accepted the UCLA job ( a graveyard for coaches).
I guess his word means nothing, either to his school, or his players. Money talks, even at a school which has been in the basketball news more for off the court issues lately than on the court.
But the real problem is with the NCAA. Why? Because, even when a coach picks up and leaves, the players cant, unless they agree to sit out a year. So the player is stuck playing for a coach who did not recruit him. I thought slavery ended 150 years ago. I guess not in college sports.
The NCAA and the college presidents should recognize that there is little loyalty in big time college sports ( yes there is the occasional Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens), and allow players to transfer without any penalty when their coach abandons them for more money and " fame". For Alford, and UCLA, his time will come after a few seasons of not making the Final Four. For the players, their time has certainly come to unleash the shackles of being an indentured servant