Many of this week's links are general college basketball stories that I think would be of interest to members of the Chicago college basketball community. It's possible you've seen some of them, but I hope that I can provide some things to think about along with the articles. You can see all my thoughts - and the week's worth of links - after the jump. -College basketball players - especially freshman - are always getting ready for the season. Anthony Kelley is making the transition from Aurora Central Catholic to UIC this summer. He's taking classes, bulking up and working out with teammates. Point guard Spencer Stewart has some nice things to say about Kelley's work so far. I thought Kelley might need a red shirt season, but judging from this early article maybe he's going to try and make an impact during his first season in Chicago.
-Dominique Ferguson is one of the top recruits in the 2010 class. Rivals.com has him rated #23 overall and ESPN has him at #8. He had been playing at Lawrence North in Indiana, but now he'll be moving to Hargrave Military Academy in Chatem, VA. DePaul is one of the schools recruiting Ferguson and it'll be interesting to see if his move gives East Coast schools, like Duke, a leg up.
-NCAA Division III has a council that is going to be reviewing social media communication. The lede of the press release says it all: "The Division III Management Council will
address the hot-button topic of social networking when it considers a
recommendation to modify restrictions on member institutions' use of
outlets such as Twitter or Facebook to distribute information about
athletics." The decisions of the council will set an interesting precedent for schools at a higher level. Division III has much stronger restrictions on communication compared to Division I athletics, but it's still an interesting test case. The big question is how will this will affect recruiting of student-athletes that are very likely to be on these social media sites?
-Here's another example of NCAA regulation. While it requires that all athletes have insurance, there's no standard for the amount of coverage provided by the school. Big Ten schools Michigan State and Iowa are cited by the New York Times as schools with a good track record, but other athletes have ended up with $1,000s in unpaid medical bills. The NYTimes does a great job of spotlighting the problem, but there needs to be a call to action so that athletes that do get injured while representing their school get the coverage they need to move on in life.
-The economy is forcing every school to cutback on expenses. This article by ESPN outlines how Athletic Directors are preparing to face the cuts. Even schools with very prestigious athletic programs like Ohio State and Stanford are worried about their economic future. The economy is creating questions for every school in the Chicago area. Each is affected in a different way because of their unique financial and competitive situations.
-This is a good wrap-up of Northwestern's summer - which I set up here. Kyle Rowley didn't make too many appearances for Trinidad & Tobago, but at least he was playing with his country's senior national team for a few weeks. John Shurna did make a big impact for Team USA's U-19 team. Northwestern Examiner goes into more detail about the Wildcats' summer educations.
-Finally, ESPN doesn't seem too impressed with Northwestern's NIT appearance. The Wildcats' game against N.C. State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be shown on ESPNU at 6 p.m. CT on Dec. 1. The game is at N.C. State so Northwestern fans have to hope the ESPNU gets moved to Comcast's basic cable package soon. It would've been nice for the Wildcats to get a little more national respect after their NIT run and upset of Michigan State last season. Northwestern should be a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team next season if all goes well.