Someone woke up Rick Telander

Rick Telander, arriving late to the party, decided to write up a piece on Derrick Rose's Memphis scandal.  

Some people say Rose might not have known about all the shenanigans
done on his behalf. If true, that is sadder than knowing. Actually,
it's impossible.

Sometimes this guy seems like a Stepford Son, like a robot
mind-controlled by his mercenary brothers and handlers, with nary a
real or unrepressed thought in his head.

This all occurs at a time when we have found that half-witted but
clout-laden applicants can get into the University of Illinois law
school ahead of deserving students, at a time when Joyce Kenner, the
principal of wildly selective and prestigious Whitney Young Magnet
School, has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating
admissions at Chicago's elite college-prep high schools.

We have seen how greed and cheating can bring down our economic structure. Can it bring down our educational system, too?

I see where Telander is coming from, but his scope is too narrow.  He's focusing in on Calipari and Rose.   The problem stems from NCAA basketball being big business that doesn't pay it's employees.

Let me break it down for you:

You are part of the multi-billion dollar industry that is college basketball.  You can't legally pay your recruits.   Winning titles will make your school millions of dollars.   Do you:

A) Play fairly.
B) Offer illegal benefits to kids to come to your school and make millions of dollars.

Most schools probably choose A.  However, with millions on the line, there will always be some people who will choose B, and there's rarely any direct accountability for anyone involved even though they all know it's going on.

The problem, and Telander fails to address it, is that we're still trying to play this smoke and mirrors game to say that college basketball isn't big business, but is still about amateur athletics and competition.   Maybe it should be, but it isn't.  Colleges raking in billions prevent that from ever happening again.

The NCAA also seems awfully selective about which athletes it pursues and tries to find guilty when there is likely an absurd percentage of top prospects on the take from these schools.  None of this excuses Rose, but it's part of the culture created by the NCAA which just passes on the blame to the students and schools.

Until the NCAA creates an environment which doesn't drastically benefit those willing to cheat, there will always be cheaters.


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  • Derrick and/or His Handlers had a Choice...

    This article and many talk about the inequitable NCAA teams that use athletes to make money and the NBA that doesn't allow high school students to jump to the NBA. Both true.

    But it's also true that Derrick and/or his handlers weren't forced to fake an SAT test in Detroit so he could "make it" to Memphis. No one forced Derrick to cheat.

    There were choices, and the Derrick Rose contingent decided to cheat and go for the money. Derrick could have gone to the developmental leagues, but that hasn't been a road to stardom for any NBA player I can remember. Low probability of earning big money, skip it.

    Derrick could have gone to the European League, made good money, and then tried to enter the NBA. Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks played in Europe in one year and then entered the draft, now he'll make millions. A creative method that others will certainly follow if they don't want college ball.

    So Derrick and his advisers chose cheating. Plain and simple. They could have gone the developmental league or the European league but chose Memphis, and cheating.

    Yes, the NCAA should pay their athletes and yes the NBA rule that prevents h.s. grads from playing ball protects the NBA against itself.

    But yes, Derrick Rose and/or a strong adviser said let's fake an SAT score in Detroit and go to Memphis.

    So let's say that the NCAA, the NBA, and Derrick Rose all made active choices in this Memphis scandal.

    Young men make mistakes. Derrick seems like a nice young man and is a heck of a ball player. But I'm tired of hearing how the monopolies known as the NCAA and the NBA force people to make bad choices. Derrick was not some young 18 year old, alone in the world without counsel, he had many advisers: giving him bad advice.

  • I understand the college hoops is big business. However, the majority of these guys will not play professionally in the NBA or any place else. You risk creating a 2 tiered system of guys on a pro track and the real student athletes.

  • Telander always seemed like a decent guy, but as time goes by he exposes himself as more and more of a hypocritical politically correct pontificating windbag. In other words the typical newsperson who works for any mainstream media organization in todays America.

  • On a gut practical level, I might want to agree with you, but human nature being what it is, this "above board" approach would almost certainly lead to an explosion of even more bad behavior.

    Never underestimate the ability of human beings to do the wrong thing. The criminal mind seems to be much more prevalent and easily developed than legitimate honest thought.

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