Requiem for College BB

coolhandgopher

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I don't know that I have the right to pen this screed-I've lived out of country for the last 15 years and have gradually then suddenly became disengaged from what was my sport of kings, finding it difficult to keep consistent tabs on college BB and even harder to find a reliable internet connection to keep up with the sport. Of course, my absence from nightly Big Monday through Sunday check-ins, if not full fledged days and nights given over to the slate of games has coincided with the continued muckery of mediocrity that has marked the 21st century of Golden Gopher basketball. I've checked out, pure and simple. Call me a coward, not being able to end the relationship, asking the kids how their mother's doing by lurking on the board when a hint of hope has presented itself.

Of course, a lot has changed in 15 years-I just glanced at the 2012 NCAA tournament and was reminded this was the year that Coach Cal delivered his only championship for Kentucky with Anthony Davis as the MOP in his dominating fashion as the primo hired gun for the boys from Lexington. It wasn't a time of innocence, not that there ever has been in the sport--the charade of amateurism created scandals going back to the '40s (if not earlier) for college basketball. But conferences were largely intact back then-the Big Ten was at 12 schools, the Pac-10 had swelled to 12 teams with a seemingly bright future, and the SEC had only Arkansas among its universities west of the Mississippi River. As I recollect from that time, the drumbeat for player compensation was gaining strength and teeth gnashing about the effect of 1 and done's was prevalent, but otherwise, the game was still a semblance to what I fell in love with during the '80s and early '90s. Some cracks in the fissure, yes-coming to peace with seeing NBA talent departing after a couple semesters of college was a necessary evil, but I had also grown to understand that what I was clinging to as a fan did not equate to what was fair for the talent who had a professional pathway ahead.

15 years later, those cracks have turned into a full blown dam bursting and while Payne's entrance into the portal may be where I am playing Taps, from my vantage point, the sport has been in the grave once NIL and unlimited transfers became reality. Sure, there could be a coach out there who has the right moxie to maneuver the Gophers through this brave new world, but for the better part of the last 35 years, the program has not found that coach and that was within the familiar confines of the traditional Big 10 with transfers having to sit out a year. And let's say that coach is found, the elusive Pied Piper who will bring in a bunch of one year mercenaries who somehow coalesce and fight their way to glory to emerge at the top of a bloated Big 10...is that going to feel. . .good? Particularly as the deck reshuffles the next year and the following and the following. College BB in its salad days was ethereal-four years could go by so quick and particularly for the likes of those who developed into contributors (Eric Harris and John Thomas come to mind) or joined us via the juco route (Bobby Jackson, of course) where we really only had them for a couple years--as I lurked from across the world at this squad's potential emergence into something sustainable, I almost let myself be convinced that Hawkins and Payne and Christie and Carrington, with perhaps a dash of another year of Fox and/or Garcia might, just might, provide a bit of stability to the program.

As it stands, as the college presidents and league commissioners and other lackeys choke themselves at the money trough of the best damn tournament format in sports, which they seem hellbent on fucking up by trying to add more teams, I hear/read the evergreen commentary from various directions stating that because a 14 seed beat a 3 or a thrilling matchup ended with a buzzer beater that somehow, someway it all works itself come March. And of course, that's all bullshit--yes your stereotypical office workers getting revved up for a pool where they see how far their favorite animal mascots will go in the tourney, the beauty behind the plastic surgery is brittle and shaky. It's all turning into cotton candy, a sugar rush that is forgotten as soon as its consumed.

There was a time, well before me, when boxing and horse racing shared the mantel with baseball as the preeminent sports in this country. I don't know if college basketball ever captured the country's attention in that way, but it certainly did for me and as Pewterschmidt stated in they Payne chain, I scoffed at the NBA in comparison. I feel like I'm that retiree on the park bench feeding pigeons muttering about how I wish you could have seen college BB in the '80s and '90s (especially the Gophers in that iteration). Those 35 years or so feel light years away from where the sport exists now. What a damn shame.
 
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At this point, ratings have not suffered.


Saturday's eight second-round games averaged 10.8 million, making it the most-watched second round Saturday in tournament history.
Thursday's first round averaged 8.5 million, the most-watched since 2015. Friday's averaged 8.6 million, the second-most just behind last year's 8.8 million.
 

At this point, ratings have not suffered.


Yep, the NCAA Tournament is a juggernaut, regular season attendance has been steady at most places, regular season TV ratings also did well this year.

As painful as the "new era" is, I still love college basketball and I can't wait for next season to start. I just hope we have a full roster ;)

Go Gophers!!
 


it's hard to tell what's going to happen with all of the court cases involving various aspects of college athletics - transfers, NIL, etc currently being adjudicated.

I see three possible avenues.

1. some of these cases wind up before the Supreme Court and the Court sets a precedent for how NIL and transfers will be handled.

2. the NCAA does a major restructuring with the big football and hoops schools splitting away and forming their own association, while everyone else agrees to abide by the rules (whatever they are).

3. Congress passes national legislation on NIL. if NIL can be controlled in some fashion, that in turn should slow down the transfer madness.

I honestly think the Supreme Court may be the first to act.
 

There were alot of people(fans, journalists and more than a few people in here) who loved the idea of NIL and called out skeptics of it as haters of players getting a fair shake.

Those people are now sheepishly keeping their heads down or outright lying about their support for it.

But make no mistake there were many smart people out there who knew this was going to be a disaster.
 





Are those new this year?

Don’t worry, you can change horses and call it the increase in online gambling.
TV ratings "slightly up". I think the pools keep the NCAA Tournament wildly popular. If you don't- ok. NIL is not a good trend for college buckets in my view. Maybe you love it. That's ok too.
 

TV ratings "slightly up". I think the pools keep the NCAA Tournament wildly popular. If you don't- ok. NIL is not a good trend for college buckets in my view. Maybe you love it. That's ok too.
wtf do the last 3 posts have to do with NIL?

Move the goalpost, I guess.
 

There were alot of people(fans, journalists and more than a few people in here) who loved the idea of NIL and called out skeptics of it as haters of players getting a fair shake.

Those people are now sheepishly keeping their heads down or outright lying about their support for it.

But make no mistake there were many smart people out there who knew this was going to be a disaster.
I recall in its early days of fruition, as you say, many proponents of NIL as finally allowing players to get a deserved above table, piece of the pie. I also recall a vocal minority of journalists pointing out that it was letting the NCAA off the hook--they were in essence outsourcing the idea of player compensation to an unregulated market and avoiding the issue of universities/conferences/NCAA paying the players. If I have it right (and I'm sure I have the nuances wrong), it was about this time that Congress/Supreme Court stepped in and said the whole NCAA structure (limited transfer, limiting compensation) was illegal.

So, those MF'ers with the NCAA were holding on to an antiquated system that their legal team should have/probably was indicating to the leadership was a house of cards, but instead of developing and proposing a compensation system with/for the players that could have had some parameters in place and (hopefully) worked cooperatively when NIL became reality, they dug in and laid the seeds for this chaos in their short-sightedness.

As others have said, fuck the NCAA and put the damn banners from '97 back up in the rafters.
 

I recall in its early days of fruition, as you say, many proponents of NIL as finally allowing players to get a deserved above table, piece of the pie. I also recall a vocal minority of journalists pointing out that it was letting the NCAA off the hook--they were in essence outsourcing the idea of player compensation to an unregulated market and avoiding the issue of universities/conferences/NCAA paying the players. If I have it right (and I'm sure I have the nuances wrong), it was about this time that Congress/Supreme Court stepped in and said the whole NCAA structure (limited transfer, limiting compensation) was illegal.

So, those MF'ers with the NCAA were holding on to an antiquated system that their legal team should have/probably was indicating to the leadership was a house of cards, but instead of developing and proposing a compensation system with/for the players that could have had some parameters in place and (hopefully) worked cooperatively when NIL became reality, they dug in and laid the seeds for this chaos in their short-sightedness.

As others have said, fuck the NCAA and put the damn banners from '97 back up in the rafters.
The NCAA is not some shadowy boogeyman. It is a non-profit organization made up of its member institutions.

Quite frankly they have no power, so not sure what you want them to do. Maybe I’m wrong but you sound like one of the group that pitched on this perfect NIL world and are trying to find others to blame on the big steaming pile it has become.
 



The NCAA is not some shadowy boogeyman. It is a non-profit organization made up of its member institutions.

Quite frankly they have no power, so not sure what you want them to do. Maybe I’m wrong but you sound like one of the group that pitched on this perfect NIL world and are trying to find others to blame on the big steaming pile it has become.
Nope, I wasn't that guy--in its infancy, when the fun stories were emerging about offensive lines getting a little spending cash from a moving company or what have you, it had its charms but that went by the wayside quickly.

And sure, perhaps my blanket accusations against the NCAA should be more specifically directed towards Mark Emmert, university presidents and conference commissioners, but within that cohort--the ones eagerly playing real life games of Risk as they aim for bigger conferences, bigger TV deals, bigger control of the market--that as they were nakedly advancing the full throttle idea of "capitalism for me, amateurish for thee" that have done created a great deal of ugliness that we're witnessing now. The story emerging of Payne, JOJ, and Carrington bandying together in disgruntled union to depart for $greener$ (<-see what I did there) pastures doesn't sound much different than Nick Saban's recent comments about his hastened retirement when he had a line of players at his office door asking for a bigger cut and I'm sure this story is playing out on campus after campus. The landscape has turned into a bunch of Sally Brown's at Christmas.
 
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The NCAA is not some shadowy boogeyman. It is a non-profit organization made up of its member institutions.

Quite frankly they have no power, so not sure what you want them to do. Maybe I’m wrong but you sound like one of the group that pitched on this perfect NIL world and are trying to find others to blame on the big steaming pile it has become.
You’re right, but to be fair it seems like you are conflating pay for play with NIL as a concept. I think it’s intellectually honest to be in favor of Caitlin Clark doing commercials for an insurance company because her notoriety is valuable to them but not being in favor of donors dropping bags of money for playing for Iowa.

Grifters had to have this collective idea in mind all the while NIL was being debated and bait and switched the whole system to pay for play within months.

You can be in favor of one without the other. It’s time for the member institutions to come together and regroup and be courageous enough to let the big boys go off on their own and take sports and education back.

The new system benefits very few players and very few institutions.
 

The NCAA is not some shadowy boogeyman. It is a non-profit organization made up of its member institutions.

Quite frankly they have no power, so not sure what you want them to do. Maybe I’m wrong but you sound like one of the group that pitched on this perfect NIL world and are trying to find others to blame on the big steaming pile it has become.
But they do have power. At least they could enforce the sit-out rule strictly. Maybe even make them lose a year of eligibility.

The student part of student-athlete has been completely dis-regarded. The schools have the power to stop, or at lease minimize this insanity.
 

But they do have power. At least they could enforce the sit-out rule strictly. Maybe even make them lose a year of eligibility.

The student part of student-athlete has been completely dis-regarded. The schools have the power to stop, or at lease minimize this insanity.
Are they still fighting the court ruling on limited transfers? They should.
 

Would not the NCAA’s power come from the institutions being members of the conferences? Sort of like the Mn Amateur Baseball Assoc. in essence they have no "power", but to be a league, and therefore a team in the Assoc, and thus be eligible for the state tourney you have agree to sign an agreement (contract) agreeing to abide by the associations rules. If you don’t sign, or do and violate said rules you are disciplined, sometimes severely. Their sole power comes from you voluntarily signing that agreement.

While I know the chasm that exist between MABA and the NCAA the principles are the same. Would some bolt? Maybe, but would enough bolt to be able to form leagues, and compete for big money TV deals? Hard to say. But the current system is asinine. Paying players through shady arrangements, with no contractual obligation for the player whatsoever? Seems strange.
 

the NCAA had power to the extent that no one - or rarely anyone - ever tried to challenge the NCAA's authority in court. people just accepted that the rules were the rules.

doing a little research, it appears that the NCAA started facing legal challenges to its authority starting in 1984, when the Georgia and Oklahoma Boards of Regents challenged the NCAA's control over TV contracts. The US Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA policy was an anti-trust violation.

in 1988, in Law vs NCAA, an appeals court found that an NCAA rule restricting coaches' salaries violated anti-trust law.

in the 2000's, the lawsuits started coming faster, highlighted by the O'Bannon case. that case involved the NCAA's use of players' likenesses in Video games. A ruling found that the NCAA's policy of barring any type of payment to athletes violated (you guessed it) anti-trust laws. the NCAA appealed but the Supreme Court denied the appeal. that in turn paved the way for more lawsuits which in turned opened the door for NIL.

so the NCAA has basically been getting its ass handed to it in court for the last 40 years, and the result is that today, the NCAA has been rendered toothless.
 

the NCAA had power to the extent that no one - or rarely anyone - ever tried to challenge the NCAA's authority in court. people just accepted that the rules were the rules.

doing a little research, it appears that the NCAA started facing legal challenges to its authority starting in 1984, when the Georgia and Oklahoma Boards of Regents challenged the NCAA's control over TV contracts. The US Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA policy was an anti-trust violation.

in 1988, in Law vs NCAA, an appeals court found that an NCAA rule restricting coaches' salaries violated anti-trust law.

in the 2000's, the lawsuits started coming faster, highlighted by the O'Bannon case. that case involved the NCAA's use of players' likenesses in Video games. A ruling found that the NCAA's policy of barring any type of payment to athletes violated (you guessed it) anti-trust laws. the NCAA appealed but the Supreme Court denied the appeal. that in turn paved the way for more lawsuits which in turned opened the door for NIL.

so the NCAA has basically been getting its ass handed to it in court for the last 40 years, and the result is that today, the NCAA has been rendered toothless.
It’s going to take some non revenue athlete in Congress to spearhead getting some legislation to corral the situation and bring some kind of sanity back. The course we’re on now will destroy non revenue sports at all but the richest schools. There’s a reason the NCAA is sponsoring all those Olympics sports ads during the tournament.
 

There were alot of people(fans, journalists and more than a few people in here) who loved the idea of NIL and called out skeptics of it as haters of players getting a fair shake.

Those people are now sheepishly keeping their heads down or outright lying about their support for it.

But make no mistake there were many smart people out there who knew this was going to be a disaster.
NIL is and always has been a great idea and something that should have been in place for college athletes years ago.

What is going on in football and basketball is not NIL in most (not all) cases. It is pay for play that is being called NIL.

I agree though that it was easy to see this disaster coming. With no real guardrails it was obvious that football and basketball teams were going to find a way to exploit being able to pay players out in the open and call it something it wasn't.
 

The NIL era is still in its infancy, but it seems to be devolving into a system of haves and have-nots with Minnesota squarely in the have-not camp. The gap between the 2 camps will only widen with time. Schools with mega-donor alumni will soon dominate athletics in all areas. Take Oregon, for example. Phil Knight, billionaire founder of Nike and an Oregon alumnus, is all-in on Oregon athletics. He's already donated hundreds of millions for athletic facilities at Oregon and now that paying players for NIL is allowed, he's essentially giving the university a blank check to pursue whatever is needed to field championship level athletic teams. How does one compete with that?

Because of competitive NIL advantages, I predict that Oregon will be the new dominant force in the Big 10 beginning as early as next season - The Gophers? - probably doomed to middle-of-the-pack finishes at best in football and basketball for the foreseeable future (bummer). I'll still go to the games and hope for the best but my expectations are low.
 


The NIL era is still in its infancy, but it seems to be devolving into a system of haves and have-nots with Minnesota squarely in the have-not camp. The gap between the 2 camps will only widen with time. Schools with mega-donor alumni will soon dominate athletics in all areas. Take Oregon, for example. Phil Knight, billionaire founder of Nike and an Oregon alumnus, is all-in on Oregon athletics. He's already donated hundreds of millions for athletic facilities at Oregon and now that paying players for NIL is allowed, he's essentially giving the university a blank check to pursue whatever is needed to field championship level athletic teams. How does one compete with that?

Because of competitive NIL advantages, I predict that Oregon will be the new dominant force in the Big 10 beginning as early as next season - The Gophers? - probably doomed to middle-of-the-pack finishes at best in football and basketball for the foreseeable future (bummer). I'll still go to the games and hope for the best but my expectations are low.
I'd like to point out that "Uncle Phil" as he's know affectionately by Oregon fans has also made major contributions to the academic side as well, for example, the Knight Library, Knight Law School, Jacqua Center for student athlete academics, the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

 

'd like to point out that "Uncle Phil" as he's know affectionately by Oregon fans has also made major contributions to the academic side as well, for example, the Knight Library, Knight Law School, Jacqua Center for student athlete academics, the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.
Thanks, I was aware that Mr. Knight's contributions to the academic side were extensive but didn't think it was relevant to the discussion about NIL financial impacts to athletic success. The University of Oregon is extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated benefactor (both for academics and athletics). Looks like you're a Ducks fan - do you agree with my assessment that they are destined for great things upon joining the Big 10?
 

“will bring in a bunch of one year mercenaries who somehow coalesce and fight their way to glory to emerge at the top of a bloated Big 10...is that going to feel. . .good?”

Nope. It would feel fantastic! I don’t think you’d see nearly as much complaining if it seemed to actually work in our favor.
 


Interesting note that NC St is in the final four work a group of 5 starters where ZERO of them started their college journey at NC st.
NC State is a crazy story. 2 returning players (including DJ Burns), 7 transfers, 1 freshman. 9-11 record in the ACC, 10th seed in the conference tournament and according to the broadcasters during one of their NCAA games there was talk about firing the coach in season. Was also on a 4 game losing steak heading into the ACC Tournament.

Then it suddenly all comes together for them, they win 5 games in 5 days to win the ACC tournament and then get to the final 4.

Not really sure what to make of their run this year but it has been something to watch.
 

NC State is a crazy story. 2 returning players (including DJ Burns), 7 transfers, 1 freshman. 9-11 record in the ACC, 10th seed in the conference tournament and according to the broadcasters during one of their NCAA games there was talk about firing the coach in season. Was also on a 4 game losing steak heading into the ACC Tournament.

Then it suddenly all comes together for them, they win 5 games in 5 days to win the ACC tournament and then get to the final 4.

Not really sure what to make of their run this year but it has been something to watch.
I’ll just guess that it is a combination of getting new players to gel and them basically underachieving their talent level before tournament time. It’s happened before, not quite with these results,but it isn’t completely unusual either. As far as I know, Keats has a reputation of being a pretty good coach.
 

Thanks, I was aware that Mr. Knight's contributions to the academic side were extensive but didn't think it was relevant to the discussion about NIL financial impacts to athletic success. The University of Oregon is extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated benefactor (both for academics and athletics). Looks like you're a Ducks fan - do you agree with my assessment that they are destined for great things upon joining the Big 10?
I think Oregon is going to keep getting better every year, the Ducks have unfinished business... It will be interesting to see how things shake out in the B1G ten. We've seen how Mich and Ohio St have dominated the Big ten over the years, that's not going to just go away with the addition of more teams. Maryland, Nebraska and Rutgers haven't won any titles and Penn St has 4 over about 30 years. It won't be easy for any of the new additions to come in and win the big ten.

I understand Ohio State just poached Oregon's RB coach.

I do think such forward looking statements are difficult given how fluid college sports currently are as a result of the way money is impacting programs. Where I'm headed is if Elon Musk decided to make the University of Chicago a national football power, it would probably happen.
 




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