There was a feeling that when Maryland decided to leave the ACC and join the Big 10 that UConn would be leaving the Big East soon to take the Terps spot in the ACC. Once again we learned that one cannot predict anything in the crazy world of NCAA conference realignment. No, UConn, you are not going to the ACC where the football money of more than $17 million per year for each school dwarfs the $3.2 million Big East schools get. Why????
Louisville was invited because they sell out their bowl game tickets. UConn lost almost a million dollars when their fans didn’t buy tickets or hotel rooms for their Fiesta Bowl fiasco against Oklahoma. Louisville was invited because they sell out their home football games. UConn does not. Louisville was invited because their basketball fans fill the seats for home games no matter the opponent. UConn had maybe 10000 empty seats last night at home for a men’s basketball game at the XL Center. Uconn has claimed that their academic record is far superior to Louisville’s. There seems to be one Big East team right now that is prohibited from any post season games and it is not Louisville. I would agree that Louisville’s reputation of basketball players actually being students is not that of Duke, or Notre Dame. But UConn is being punished because the players didn’t go to class. The players didn’t graduate or even make progress toward graduation. No claims of academic success at UConn can be believed at this time. We hope that changes, but don’t crow about something while being punished for not displaying it. Sure, UConn’s football team played in a BCS bowl. So too will Louisville’s this year. Louisville was the better choice and the ACC acted on it.
While harping on the NCAA progress toward graduation rules, I really think there should be one change. I fully believe that college athletes should attend class and graduate, but …….. A school should not have a negative mark if a player leaves early to accept millions from the NBA. I always thought that college was to prepare one for a successful career. When a player leaves UConn early for the NBA they have achieved what college is all about. I have a problem with the one year rule, it should be three years like in football. And any player who leaves early should be made to pay the school back the amount of the entire 4 year scholarship. In many cases that would be more than $100,000. Even someone signing a huge NBA contract will think twice before taking a chance on making the NBA team against paying six figures for leaving early. And if they leave early and don’t get an NBA contract…oh well…. they’ve got a huge student loan to pay back like most college students. That might result in more players staying in college for 3 or 4 years instead of one. But blame the NBA too. They could follow the NFL and not take college players until after their Junior year. Oh, well, just saying !
And is it a magical year in South Bend? 12-0 and #1 in football and the basketball team goes out and destroys NCAA defending champ Kentucky last night! Kinda cool to see Manti Teo and the rest of the football team there leading the cheers for their basketball classmates. Now isn’t that what college sports should be like?