By Jeff Portnoy
Some old basketball " wives tales" proved to be true again. One always go with the Seniors over the Freshman. Two, always go with great guards over good bigmen. Three, you cant win the big one if you cant make free throws. UConn deserved to win. Kentucky did just about everything it could to lose.
But before the entire world goes on talking about how great a story UConn is, may i remind my readers that this is the same team that was ruled ineligible for the Tournament last year because of APR violations. Do you know how hard it is to score below 930? Its very hard. It means your team's academic performance is so low that it places you in the very bottom of all Division 1 teams. You have to work hard to get there. You have to basically give up thinking of your players as students first, athletes second.
Yes i know the UConn apologists will say it wasnt these players so why burden them with this issue. It might not have been them, but it was their coach at the time, Jim Calhoun, and their school, that allowed this to happen. I am tired of the National media ignoring issues like this on one hand, and then criticizing the NCAA and others for not doing enough to assist stuednt -athletes in getting a degree.Yes I know Napier is scheduled to graduate in May and i congratulate him on that as well as his play during the tournament. But in the past two days, how many of you have heard the folks at CBS, TNT, and ESPN, remind us of where UCONN was last year ( not even eligible for the Tournament).
And then Napier grabs the mike at the end of the game, and makes a mockery of the probation as if winning this year was in revenge for being put on probation. I dont get it. I guess if that gave them the chip on their shoulder they needed to win, so be it. But who should they really blame other than their team-mates, their former coach and their school. In my mind, winning is great. But at least at the college level, passing your courses has some merit as well. Even graduating may be something to strive for.
People get after Kentucky for using the one and done rule. I dont like the rule either, but you cant blame Calipari for knowing how to use it better than anyone in the Country. At least, Kentucky doesnt make a mockery of the student athlete. Everyone knows they are not students, but minor league basketball players getting their one year out of the way at college.
I am sure some of you dont agree with me on this and that's fine. Would like to see your comments, pro and con. If the college4 basketball purist, Wisconsin should have won the fianl four. They seem to stand for what college basketball should be about, students who love to play basketball, stay in school, and win both in the classromm and on the court. Oh well, life in rarely fair.