Summer League Part II
Time to take another trip to the break room and chat about hoops, beach style.
photo credit: nationofblue.com
1) Transfers and transferring.
Mark Lyons is transferring from Xavier to Arizona for this season and does not have to sit out a year because of an appeal process that has grown way to lax. But the transferring issue has several layers that need to be peeled back to take a closer look.
Any discussion about transfers has to start with the NCAA mandate that only those athletes in football or men’s and women’s basketball have to sit for a year when switching schools. There are exceptions such as moving to be closer to an ill family member or as in Mark Lyon’s case, because he has graduated and wants to pursue a graduate degree at Arizona. Try not to snicker.
Many have argued that players should be given the freedom to switch schools without penalty because coaches do it every year. That argument is apples to oranges, or basketballs to volleyballs. The rules that govern the labor force in this land are different, as they should be, than those that govern students, or student-athletes. If you want to debate whether or not athletes belong in the work force, that is a discussion for another day. The rights and obligations of a coach to its institution are entirely different and separate from the rights and obligations between a student-athlete and the university. Being on an academic scholarship does not put you into the labor force and neither should it in athletics.
What makes a lot more sense to me is the argument that athletes should be allowed to transfer because it is the right thing to do. If that rule is good enough for the other __ sponsored NCAA sports, why is it a no-no for football and basketball? The answer most frequently given is because it will cause players to transfer at a biblical rate. This upcoming basketball season over 400 players will have transferred to another program. Could it be any worse?
Solution: EVERY athlete should be allowed to transfer one time. Each sport will set a cut off date after which transferring will result in sitting for a year. And let’s close the loopholes. Take away the graduate school thing. Yes, there should be an appeal process. However the approval rate of that option has led the transfer rule to be like swiss cheese. And if a rule has more and more holes, then it’s time to reevaluate the mandate. Mark Emmert, NCAA President in an ESPN interview about the transfer issue used terms such as “way too complicated” and “we need greater standardization”. I agree.
2) 5 teams that need to do well this year
Pitt/Villanova – Hard to imagine either team on this list. But the Big East, at least for one more year, is unforgiving. Climbing up the ladder in this conference is brutal and last year’s tie for 13th was a shock for both programs
Arizona State – We all can now agree, I hope, that Herb Snedek can coach. But the Aztec downward spiral, since James Harden, is a concern.
UConn – The reason….recruiting. Missing the NCAA tourney due to APR sanctions coupled with Jim Calhoun’s exit make this an important season to create recruiting momentum. The recruiting timeline in college hoops is on our board for next month.
Missouri – Tigers make this list because A) they are moving into a new league and more importantly B) expectations will rise because of Alex Oriakhi transferring in (appeal process noted above) and the return of Laurence Bowers from ACL Surgery. Frank Haith will get yet another chance to prove his skeptics wrong. I am not one of them.
photo credit: wn.com
This argument of the “92 team vs. the ‘12 team seems kind of silly. The bigs of ‘92.…..Ewing, Robinson, and Malone….would domintate this years team. I know, I know….Kobe, Durant, LeBron…but the other guys had MJ. End of discussion. COULD this team beat the originals? Of Course! But in a series…forget it…make it 4 games to 1.…’92. As for London, USA will win, but not without a struggle somewhere along the way.
Next month….why basketball recruiting is so vastly different than football recruiting. Enjoy the Olympics
Mark is a former assistant at Purdue and South Florida. He also serves as an analyst for for ESPN, Fox Sports Net and the Florida Gators radio network.