The NCAA’s agenda in certain situations involving schools and athletes is certainly questionable.
Grassroots basketball enthusiast Sonny Vaccaro made some interesting points recently in an interview with Henry Abbot here.
On the topic of Derrick Rose and the wins vacated from Memphis, it is possible the NCAA came down hard on the Tigers because the school is not a traditional powerhouse Bowl Championship Series school. Vaccaro feels that some other schools in the BCS generally are let off easy because of the revenue the schools generate for the giant entertainment conglomerate that has become the NCAA.
The specific case of Reggie Bush is cited, pointing out that while Memphis was quickly penalized, the University of Southern California has yet to be sentenced for the school’s actions from 2006 with Bush, which Vaccaro finds “interesting.”
Vaccaro then goes on to make a huge point against the NBA’s age limit rule. The reason for the supposed beneficial rule is to force talented young athletes to go to college and become more well-rounded individuals. But in many cases, the main justification coaches give to recruits on reasons to come to the school is because the coach can get them to the NBA.
Would Tyreke Evans, DeMar DeRozan, or Jrue Holiday have needed any help getting to the NBA if there was no rule? Doubtful. Brandon Jennings definitely did not and still managed to be a lottery pick.
So why are many coaches using the lure of the NBA to recruit players when the supposed reason for the age rule is the lure of college? It’s probably because college doesn’t seem as sexy when you are earning absolutely nothing. But having these NBA-ready talent forced to go to college makes a lot of money for the NCAA.
Does the NCAA really want these kids to get an education? The association can’t believe that most of these players will be staying for more than one, or even two, years. Free labor, though, for the collegiate entertainment industry is very beneficial for the NCAA.
Rose isn’t the first and won’t be the last player the NCAA has used to dictate how it wants business conducted.