Thursday, February 13, 2020

College basketball professionals?

College basketball is different from other college sports.  That's an opinion, viewed as a fact here.  The attention it attracts is phenomenal and the television advertising must be commensurate.  Unlike football, where the eventual goal of turning pro and going to the NFL can be a large opportunity with so many players needed by each team, the NBA, with max 12 active players on a team, means the great majority of talented college basketball players have limited possibilities to cash in, to be blunt.  Playing in Europe or China is available for only a talented few.

On televised games, the announcers are programmed to point out the true scholar athletes(he has a 3.8 GPA, or has already graduated and is attending pre-med classes, or plans to attend law school next year, he is a volunteer at a school for handicapped children, so many positives...).  Do they ever say that he did well in his remedial reading program this year, and his tutor says that his grades are above 2.0, can still play next month. 

Watching games this year, it is fascinating to hear the announcers describe the number of students who are transfers.  "He played at  Western in his freshman year, then after a year at community college, he played for State, and then transferred this year to Eastern, and became eligible to play last month."  If this is anything like the old time role as a college student, please correct me.  Louisville seems have built its current team primarily on savvy choices of college transfers, but do have one player from a Louisville high school.  In the 1970's, players from Louisville high schools would have been half of the roster.

A college experience at an academically adequate university can be a positive life long experience.  For the exceptionally talented player, even a year at a school like Duke can set them up for future academic advancement, Louisville not so much.

There is no answer forthcoming in this rambling comment.  This issue is a current one, not new here.  When watching a game and seeing a player sustain a significant injury, knee or ankle or a concussion, wondering what their future is worth a thought.  An advertiser funded insurance pool, guaranteed payments based on need for five years after graduation, thoughts...


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