Now, in a bonus second post of the day I move on to a team on a downward spiral, my beloved Kentucky Wildcats. This down season is much easier to take coming off of a championship, but it is still frustrating to watch. The team as it is now with a an injured Nerlins Noel still has at least three players with NBA talent and yet they look very bad. After the most recent game, Coach Calipari said some of the players are uncoachable. He has since backed off of that statement, but it is clear that he is frustrated with the teams well. The fan reaction has lead to one player calling out the “fake fans” and others saying that the play on the court does not make them bad kids.
I take exception to the idea that someone must be a fake fan if they have the nerve to complain about the product on the floor. Fake fans are the ones who not only complain about the product on the floor, but also, quit watching the games and possibly start rooting for a new team. These types of fans are common. The ones that only want to back a winner and will go away as soon as you start losing. I think the UK faithful have shown that we stick around even when the going gets tough. It doesn’t mean will will suffer quietly, but we will suffer through with them.
I also agree that underachieving does not make the players on the team bad kids. They are struggling at doing their job on the court and I want nothing more for them to get better and be successful. Unfortunately, for this to happen they need to be willing to listen to their coach and based on recent comments it sounds like that is not happening. If this doesn’t change, I hope they move on to the NBA or a team and coach willing to deal with people who won’t listen. Does this make them bad people? No. It does make them people I don’t want on my team. I think we’ve all had coworkers we loved as people, but who we wished would move on because we didn’t love them as coworkers. I think this is the same type of situation. Sometimes, the job and/ or team is just not the right fit and it is in the best interest for both parties to part ways.
The Syracuse/UNC Asheville game yesterday highlighted what is a growing problem in college basketball: terrible officiating. Officials seem to be getting worse every year with missed calls, excessive foul calls, excessive technicals, not knowing the difference between a block and a charge or just hamming it up for the cameras. The worst part of the whole mess is that everyone wants to protect them.
In game, officials can issue a bench warning as soon as a coach complains and then assess a technical whenever he feels the complaining is excessive. The NCAA will fine a coach if he complains about the officiating after a game. Today, I listened to the Mike and Mike show and they spent a big chunk of time defending the officials and complaining about the UNCA coach insinuating after the game that the officials cost them the game.
There is a supervisor of officials and there are rare occurrences of then actually doing something, but it is very rare. I would like to think that the officials from the Syracuse game would be sent home for the rest of the tournament, but they will most likely be out there again today with no repercussions from a bad job yesterday.
The NCAA took a break from allowing Auburn to pay football players to play and continuing to “investigate” former Duke player Corey Maggette to stick it to UK one more time.
On Monday, August 15 John Calipari will coach the Dominican National team in an exhibition against a group of former UK/current NBA players in Rupp Arena. The UK legends teams was to be coached by Joe B Hall. They were planning to invite any and all former players to return to be honored during the game and hoped to find a TV and radio deal.
The NCAA has decided that this game is OK, but only if there is no affiliation with UK at all. So according to the NCAA:
Joe B Hall can’t coach the legends team
The legends team can’t be called the UK Legends or mention UK at all
The game can’t be on TV or radio
Former UK players can’t be honored as part of the game
Way to go NCAA. I’m sure all of those 16 year old recruits out there would have been unfairly swayed to play for UK if they were able to watch an 82 year old man coach an exhibition game.
A while back I wrote on the NCAA in regards to Eric Bledsoe, Derrick Rose and the mysteriously never closed case of Corey Maggette. It turned out that Eric Bledsoe was cleared, Derrick Rose is still a cheater and apparently the NCAA is still “investigating” the Maggette case.
The latest issue with the NCAA is another UK basketball case. Enes Kanter has been declared permanently ineligible because the Turkish club team paid in $30,000 in excess of what was allowed by the NCAA. The majority of this money went to pay for his education. From all that I read, the Kanter’s did everything they could to maintain his amateur status, but did not realize that adding education into necessary expenses would be a problem. They offered to repay the money, but the NCAA said no.
Josh Selby of Kansas also received impermissible benefits for playing basketball. Not nearly as much, but about $5000. He was suspended 9 games ans was allowed to pay the money back to a charity of his choice.
Cam Newton’s dad has admitted to demanding between $100,000 and $180,000 for his son to transfer to Mississippi State. Newton ended up at Auburn. The NCAA just recently declared hm immediately eligible because he did not know what his dad was doing.
Each case shows how there is no consistency in the NCAA rules. Selby is suspended, repays the money but can play at some point. Newton misses no games and can play immediately(and one would assume be responsible for the title being vacated once it is shown Auburn paid him to transfer there). Kanter is declared permanently ineligible to play in the NCAA.
Can someone explain this to me?
Being a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a big fan of college basketball, the NCAA has been on my mind a lot lately. It appears that UK will be forced to vacate all of the team wins from last year because a grade was allegedly changed on Eric Bledsoe’s transcript. The alleged change happened before he was at UK, the NCAA cleared him to play and UK played him. Now, much like the Derrick Rose situation at Memphis, the NCAA comes in and say we made a mistake and we are going to punish you for it. Apparently, the NCAA is in the business of holding other accountable for their mistakes. I think it’s time the NCAA investigates its on ineptitude and hypocrisy.
How many coaches are out there coaching after being found guilty of NCAA infractions while the schools and the student athletes are punished? How the heck is Tim Floyd allowed anywhere near a college basketball team? Why is Dez Bryant banned from playing for lying to the NCAA but it appears that Bruce Pearl will keep his job after doing the same?
There are many questions about the way NCAA does business. It’s time someone makes them answer them.
Here are my predictions for the NCAA tournament:
First round: San Diego State over Tennessee
UTEP over Butler
Murray State over Vandy
Cornell over Temple
Missouri over Clemson
Siena over Purdue
St. Mary’s over Richmond
2nd Round: Cornell over Wisconsin
Final 8: UK, New Mexico, Duke, Baylor, Kansas, Ohio St, Syracuse, Kansas State
Final Four: UK, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State
Champion: UK over Kansas
I thought I would feel better about my bracket with Kentucky not playing. I usually worry I have them going too far or not far enough based on personal feelings toward the team. This year there is no UK and I even have the hated Louisville Cardinals in the championship game, so no bias issues that I can see. My problem this year is that I have the Elite 8 with no seeds lower than a 5. I know that will not happen, but I don’t want to alter my entire bracket to try to pick the right upset. So, here are the highlights of my bracket predictions for 2009:
First round upsets:
Dayton over West Virginia
Miss St over Washington
Utah St over Marquette
Minnesota over Texas
WKU over Illinois
Michigan over Clemson
After that is where the problem starts. I have picked no big upsets in the 2nd round. This round may be revisited later today. I doubt that revisiting will change my final four, so here it is:
Louisville, Memphis, Pitt, Oklahoma
Louisville v Oklahoma in the championship with Oklahoma winning.