Tuesday, July 27, 2010

College Hoops Image In Jeopardy After So Many Off-The-Court Issues?

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
College Basketball has always been one of my favorite sports to watch. It's exciting, thrilling and just about anything you would want to witness. There has been a lot of crazy moments in College Basketball but also shaky ones that are there to balance them out. 

Do you happen to remember the run Seton Hall made in 1989? Did that kind of remind you of what Butler did this season? Or how about the run George Mason made in 2006? That definitely put College Basketball in the nation’s spotlight.

Or let's revisit, "the shot" by Mario Chalmers. Memphis was equipped with a lot of talented players but Kansas was as well.

In the National Championship, it took more than 40 minutes to determine a winner. It shifted into overtime following the amazing shot by Chalmers. With the momentum and almost every player fouling out for Memphis, Kansas cruised to victory in overtime.

Now, in the present day, we witnessed a great run by the Duke Blue Devils. Not to mention, the nation was startled by Kansas State, Syracuse, Butler and Pittsburgh.

At the same time, we were bothered by the poor performances of North Carolina, Texas and Memphis.

As we proceeded into the off-season, the rosters, camps and newly acquired freshman gave us a reason to smile. 

However, everything hasn't been all smiles this off-season. This off-season is a lot different from many others and it’s certainly one to forget. 

Now, although Anthony Davis embraces one of the biggest growth spurts I've seen in my life, this off-season has been plagued with disbelief and shame.

It's a shame to the programs that has to deal with players in legal trouble. These accusations also bring disbelief to the programs that are dealing with these kinds of problems.

For example, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is always in the news for off-the-court issues; right? Wrong, the Notre Dame student-athletes usually stay out of trouble. But this off-season, the program faces off-campus issues thanks to 11 athletes.

Other instances include: Louisville guard Preston Knowles hitting his girlfriends step father and causing minor injuries. Drexel guards are suspects in a case involving armed robbery; and USC was disciplined for Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo's wrong-doings.

Now you see what I'm saying?

There are a lot of troubled athletes out there that I didn't touch base on. However, that doesn't mean what they did was right. In this past month, I've seen College Basketball in the news for the wrong reasons.

Not for praising the players as good student-athletes but informing the public about their actions.

Now, that only brought me to one question: Do the players’ foolish acts hurt the image of College Basketball?

Now before I answer it, you can go about this question two ways; with an opinion or stat facts. Now since we haven’t heard much about the latest accusations and how it would effect the programs, we’re basically riding on opinion.

So, with that said, I believe College Basketball’s image is going to take a toll if these issues continue to take place. 

Number one, the sport itself, doesn’t want to be illustrated for foolish allegations caused by their athletes. 

You rarely see other leagues on the news involving legal problems. When you do, they happen very rarely—and correct me if I’m wrong.

Now, here is a proposed way to fix this.

Recruiting is a big part of College Basketball. The players you recruit will pose as role-models of the University they’re representing.

Instead of falling in love with players upside or current skill set, recruit athletes that will have a positive influence on your program. 

I understand most coaches want to win many games, but the fact that  you're going out and recruiting troubled players to represent your program is a not right. In fact, it's the biggest gamble you can take.

Sadly said, most coaches will take that gamble in hopes to save their career.

In addition, knock out the one-and-done rule. It’s only forcing recruits to play charades as a “student-athlete.”

But overall, even with the latest issues, it’s going to take a lot more to kill the image of College Basketball. However, it does take a toll. 

We want to write about happy recruits, players and coaches. Not ones that face suspensions, charges or violations.

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