A wise man once said that all good things must come to an end. Now I wish that he was lying, but from what I’ve experienced in my 21 years on this planet the wise man was right.
In this case, March Madness has come to a close. On Monday night, the Wisconsin Badgers fell to the Duke Blue Devils to give Duke their fifth National Title of all time, all coming under one of the greatest college coaches of all time, Mike Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K.
Though my favorite team, the Michigan State Spartans didn’t bring home a title this year, I can say that I was ecstatic to see the Spartans make their improbable run to the Final Four. Especially since they were a No. 7 seed.
But you know what made me just as happy as seeing Michigan State make their Final Four run? Kentucky losing their first game of the season to Wisconsin in the Final Four, that’s what. I don’t like Wisconsin by any stretch of the imagination, but I think that Kentucky embodies all that is wrong with college basketball.
Kentucky coach John Calipari’s concept of “one-and-done” completely destroys the integrity of college athletes being called student-athletes. Kentucky gets damn near all of the best high-school recruits in the nation because they know that if they put on that Wildcats jersey, it will most likely only be for one or two years before they can go on to cashing checks as an NBA player.
Now I guess I can’t blame Kentucky entirely for this, since the NCAA only requires a player spends one year playing college ball before going to the NBA. Before 2006, high-school basketball players could completely forego college basketball and head straight to the NBA. Kobe Bryant and Lebron James are two greats that decided to go that route.
I honestly think that it’s better to go straight from high school to the NBA rather than creating the illusion that these kids are actually going to college for an education. From what I’ve seen that’s a joke. They go to college for a year because they have to in order to make it to the pros.
According to CBSSports writer Sam Vecenie, out of the top 100 draft prospects for the NBA, 10 are from Kentucky. Out of those 10 Kentucky players, there are ZERO seniors on that list. That means, if these 10 players decide to declare for the draft, then they will forego their graduation for a shot at the NBA.
Of those 10 players, four are freshman, four are sophomores, and two are juniors. Let that sink in.
Another thing to add, Calipari played nine of his best players in the Final Four game against Wisconsin. All nine of these players are on the list referenced above.
The sick thing is that if all of them decide to declare for the draft this season, then Kentucky will probably come back just as powerful next year with plenty more freshman phenoms who will more than likely have a short stint as a Wildcat before heading to the big stage.
The NCAA should require, like NCAA football, that the STUDENT-athletes should stay at least three seasons before being able to declare for the draft. Also I think that it shouldn’t be a requirement for players to even play college basketball before going pro, especially if they are just going to do so for one or two seasons. In my opinion, it takes away from the integrity of the game.