Wednesday, March 14, 2007

the Knight plan for academics.

Texas Tech coach Bob Knight is the Bill Parcells of his sport when it comes to press conference time: he always is an entertaining interview in the room, and this morning's presser was no exception, reflecting not so much on his team's upcoming game vs. Boston College tomorrow as a question that prodded an explanation of his belief that the one-and-done rule for players is a drawback for college basketball right now. (This is paraphrased as best as possible from the ESPNews telecast.)

Basically, Knight's concept has two levels, after you get rid of the rule that allows players to come in for one year (which he believes, as previously noted on this blog, allows that student to only spend one semester in class.)

1.) Ditch the one-year rule; it works against college basketball and any sort of academic integrity. (Noted previously.)
2.) Those coming into college basketball have to play two years in college and maintain a normal course load for those four semesters that they are on campus -- I believe he mentioned a certain number of credit hours over those semesters as a minimum, and explained exemptions for seniors who would probably take a lighter course load.

Post-presser, ESPN's Doug Gottlieb agreed with Knight, and brought up another interesting aspect: the NCAA and NBA work against each other when it comes to these rules. He suggested an NHL-like system where teams could retain the draft rights and pay for the athlete to go to college if the draftee wanted to attend.

What would a combination of Knight and Gottlieb's systems look like? I'm not sure an NHL-like system would actually work -- hockey has more roster spots to fit for the picks that eventually come out of college later on, compared to the 12 on an NBA bench, but retaining draft rights while the athlete wants to go to college plays in college sounds like the most attractive option (although it would probably violate every rule in the book if the team paid for college as far as college eligibility.)

The NCAA's lack of input or decision not to even bother speaks badly in the interest of protecting its game, because I presume they don't bother in order to preserve some sort of superiority; to act as if they are unaffected by the rules of pro basketball -- trying to avoid the view of college athletics as farm system for the pros. While the majority of D-I athletes in the power sports aren't going to make professional leagues, it's really for the best if you adopt rules that address the outliers, albeit the most visually prominent aspect of NCAA athletics.

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