Time to put a dent in the ol' mailbag.What chance do you think there is for the NCAA to allow a 5th year of eligibility in basketball? There are a number of reasons it would be a good idea. First, it will enable kids to remain on scholarship another year and enhance their graduation rates. Second, it would encourage teams to take more chances on projects which with the decline in legitimate college centers (and NBA centers) might help to stem that tread. Third, hopefully it would encourage marginal academic player/students to attend junior college since they would still have three years of NCAA eligibility remaining. Fourth, it would further enhance the competitive balance between major conferences and the remaining conferences, and make March Madness more interesting.Dan
You make excellent points, and you've probably won over a good portion of Hoops Nation with them. I don't like the idea, however. The NCAA may think it's in the entertainment business, but it's not... college basketball is not under any obligation to feed the NBA with quality players or to provide an exciting TV show in March. These are four-year schools - it's important to remember they're schools
- that are providing four-year degrees, so players should be eligible for four years. There are a lot of people playing college basketball who should be trying their luck somewhere else, like in one of the many pro leagues the world has to offer.
Any more NCAA rules and loopholes would only keep the spotlight away from this great sport and the great learning experiences that playing the game provides, and keep the focus on ridiculousness like missing faxes and junior college transcripts and diploma mills. If everybody involved just stopped playing loosey-goosey with the unevenly-regulated regulations, or did their homework (without "assistance"), that would equal out competitive balance more than anything. Kyle, congrats on landing the ESPN gig. You've put your heart and soul into mid-major hoops, and you've been rewarded handsomely. However, it's a bit of a slap in the face to your TMM readers to link your ESPN stories with the dreaded "in" logo. Mad props for being employed by ESPN, but don't let them use you like that (even if they probably are subsidizing the TMM in a round-about way).
Yo, Matt, thanks. Like I said before, if you knew how much I was making and if you've seen my mugshot over there, you'd agree "handsome" just isn't the right word. As far as the Heavily-Trademarked Evil Orange Square goes, I put that up there (without anybody's permission - still waiting for the C&D order) because people were complaining that I wasn't properly warning them for the brick wall after the second paragraph. Sadly, it's a question of which side of the face gets slapped, and I apologize for that. For Mid-Majority Baller Of The Day Wednesday night, how about Loren Stokes of Hofstra? He lit up Stony Brook last night for 29 points and 10 rebounds.
New York, NY
You killed your own argument between "up" and "last," man! The MMBOD isn't always about gaudy stats at the expense of lesser-advantaged teams, even though the thin schedule has required that lately. Players who excel in power-conference upsets get priority, and so do kids who shoot for great percentages and/or hit their free throws. I'm all about fundamentals.
But don't worry about your boy Loren not getting props - he'll get plenty of love this year, especially when CAA season really gets going next month.Hi Kyle, I was wondering about this the other day and wanted to ask you a about it. Isn't it possible that Bucknell, with a steamroll job of the PL, and a couple NCAA tourney wins, could be well on their way to becoming another UMPFN. I know that an eastern mid-major is far and away totally different as far as the program goes, but just tell me what you think.
NCAA Hoops Digest
Ross, I'm imagining you sitting in a country estate, enjoying a fine cigar in your smoking jacket, hunting hounds at your side, pondering about such worldly matters as emergent UMPFNs. I don't think it will happen, at least not in Lewisburg. To be a UMP requires a perfect storm of elements - easy access to campus, out-of-control upward mobility, and an inability or unwillingness to move up to a higher level of competition.
First of all, Bucknell is in the middle of nowhere, totally off the grid. The national media members get lost just trying to find Lewisburg in the car, much less on a map. The high-school girls there are just getting around to accepting Ugg boots as a fashion must-have. The Unnamed Major Program From The Northwest, on the other hand, has a Southwest-equipped airport there in Spokane, perfect for shuttling folks in and out of when recruiting time comes, and they've had a lot of success getting those Top 100 recruits lately.
Then, take the replacements for their old arenas, "The Kennel" and Davis Gym respectively. UMPFN built their sparkly new building after a few years of success, on the backs of their boosters and alumni. Sojka Pavilion was already built before anyone knew what a Bucknell was, paid for by the school. And the prices at Sojka are far more family-friendly.
UMPFN has no football (Bucknell does), so their athletic department is more dependent on the success of the basketball team. They need to keep winning and winning and winning, or they'll fall off the face of Hoops Nation along with their expensive new building. The Urge
works in mysterious ways, my friend. Bucknell does not have The Urge - the hoops success is nice for them, but they haven't become intoxicated by it.
So far, that is. Bucknell plays in the academics-first Patriot League
, the mini-Ivy. If you see Bucknell moving towards relaxation of its academic standards to sneak in athlete-scholars, that's a red flag. Hopefully, we won't have that UMPFMA (Mid-Atlantic) anytime soon.You have wins over Conference USA listed as upsets? Isn't it clear by now that they are not a "power" conference anymore?
Sure they are, other Matt. "Power" isn't about results, it's about attitude - Conference USA is on national television a lot and plays their conference tourney in an NBA arena. Just think of C-USA as the junior executive who wears his red power tie but can't stop tripping over his Hush Puppies.