I decided to would write out my thoughts on two stories in college basketball. The idea of paying players and the Masiello situation.
First, Masiello: I am not one of those UK people who have decided they hate Steve Masiello for whatever reason. I never met Masiello, but I know people have the same dislike for Travis Ford for being a jerk at UK. I did have class with Travis and found him to be a decent guy. I always assume these people are the ones who bothered the players while they were out and about on campus and decided they were jerks because they didn’t stop what they were doing to chat/sign autographs. I also have no problem with Masiello coaching at Louisville. It makes sense. He is a Pitino guy. Louisville was the right spot for him. So, that said, on to the resume fiasco.
Was it wrong to say you graduated from UK when you really didn’t? Yes, it was. It was a stupid lie because it is easy to find out the truth. Masiello had been lucky that none of his other employers cared enough to check his graduation status. His luck finally ran out. Do I think the fact that he didn’t graduate makes him unqualified as a coach? No, I don’t. He is a very good coach and the team that gives him a second chance will be lucky to have him. I assume he will go back to finish the degree somewhere (most likely UL where he could be a graduate assistant) and then will get hire on somewhere and will win again. I’m a big believer in second chances and am tired of people hammering him for this. He did something wrong. He can fix it and learn from it. Move on.
I’m so tired of hearing people talk about paying players. These players are getting a free college education. It will cost over $100,000 for my son to go to college. I looked up the price to attend Duke. It is over $60,000 per year. That’s $240,000 over four years. If you are an athlete, you get this for free and I’m supposed to feel sorry for you? The problem is, many of them don’t see this as value because they don’t really won’t to be in college. They just want to play basketball for money. Free college education does not seem as good as cold hard cash. They want both. Free education and cash. I think the solution is simple. Get rid of the one and done rule and let players go pro immediately out of high school. If you want cash for play, skip college and go pro. Not good enough for the NBA but still want cash for play? Go to Europe or go play in the NBA D League. Good at basketball but still value a college education? Go to school and play basketball while taking advantage of the extremely valuable compensation of a free college education with the added bonus of a guaranteed job with a booster after your career is over. College sports is about student athletes. Let’s get back to that.