Hoops Talk

The Day After Musings

April 8th, 2014

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.

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “The Day After Musings”

  1. hossana:

    I don't see any reason why you had to bring this subject up and demean the triumph and glory of a superb Connecticut team that was the underdogs throughout the tournament and do what nobody thought they could do....I could care less about their APR as they overcame that adversity and with the transfers of several of their front line players they still were able to overcome all odds and win the tournament and, of course, the NCAA championship. I think it was ignorant and really low on your part to bring it up such that it looked like you had bet on Kentucky and now that Ky. lost, you were taking out your lost on Connecticut by devaluing their win...Hey, the crumbling Rainbows have an investigation going on with possible tampering of records and instead of focusing on Connecticut, you, as a member of the BOR should be focusing on the NCAA investigation instead of musing on Connecticut's APR which is no fault to the current crop of players and coach who did a most admirable job in overcoming all odds but you can't see it, can you because of your bias against Conn. Nothing more and nothing less.

  2. man eating apple:

    UCon brought it up themselves, when Napier started going on about it.
    Whereas Jeff is just reporting it, and giving his insight.

  3. NCAA Semi-Pro Basketball:

    "I could care less about their APR as they overcame that adversity and with the transfers of several of their front line players they still were able to overcome all odds and win the tournament and, of course, the NCAA championship."

    and this, my friend, is what's wrong with high level college sports.

  4. Hoosier:

    This is my laugh for the day. True fan of UConn. "I could care less about their APR". That was Calhoun et al's opinion too. Jeff is not taking anything away from the Huskies but simply stating that it wasn't like they were unfairly banished for a year. I wondered myself when I heard Napier sounding off what the deal was that they would feel that they were being dissed by not being eligible for the tournament last year. Well, if your team doesn't go to class and make progress then that is the penalty. I would love to hear Napier brag on what their APR is now and tell people, "Look what happens when you think we don't go to class" and shows that 3 point GPA (not shot) to anyone who will listen. Believe me, I looked the other way when Bobby Knight was at Indiana as long as they were winning. Great coach but a bit over the edge. At least no problems with classes during his tenure.

  5. hossana:

    Why bring it up in the first place despite Napier's comments. I've been watching ESPN and except for one brief interlude, nothing was said of the matter. Case closed.

  6. K-POI:

    Congrats to UConn men and women. What a basketball program. I did hear mention of the academic probation during the tournament, but of course it was not a topic CBS dwelled on. It's the Final Four Tournament after all. This two year stretch for UConn men's basketball would be better suited for ESPN's 30for30 documentary series in my opinion. True Napier crowed about it but like you said so be it. I believe behind the scenes it was motivation for them. It still was an incredible performance by Napier and Boatwright.
    The last many years the tournament has been dominated and led by excellent guard play. I still long for the return of the big men to take over the supremacy of the game. I think the sport and the tournament will be the better for it.
    Keep up your fine journalistic work Mr. Portnoy. Enjoy reading you.

  7. jeff portnoy:

    hossana, calm down. Would you be surprised to hear that while i was in las vegas last weekend, i bet on UConn to beat Florida. And yes, i did bet on kentucky to win Monday nite. So what? Its a legitmate issue and has nothing to do with UH and any NCAA investigation. But as i always say, appreciate folks voicing their opinions. And to the rest of you who had kind words for me, thanks

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