After the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team clinched their sport in the Final Four, they were congratulated by Jay-Z in the locker room… but hanging with Hova comes at a price and has prompted an NCAA investigation. Under NCAA regulations, NBA owners are not allowed to interact with collegiate athletes. Because Jay-Z is co-owner of the New Jersey Nets he is prohbited from having any contact with amateur athletes.
In 2007, Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge was fined $30,000 for sitting with then University of Texas star freshme Kevin Durant’s mom. Lucky for Jay-Z, $30,000 is nothing!
Greg Gumbel momentarly forgot what network he worked for during his broadcast of the NCAA tournament and accidentally called CBS ESPN. Although Gumbel worked for ESPN for almost 20 years, CBS pays the big bucks to the broadcasting rights.
“Colleges and universities need to stop trotting out tired excuses for basketball teams with poor academic records and indefensible disparities in the graduation rates of white and black players. And it is time that the NCAA revenue distribution plan stopped handsomely rewarding success on the court with multimillion-dollar payouts to schools that fail to meet minimum academic standards.
“…I spent time on the court with inner-city players who had been used and dumped by their universities. When the ball stopped bouncing, they struggled to find work and had difficult lives. Some died early. The dividing line for success was between those who went to college and got their degrees, and those who did not. If a team fails to graduate even half of its players, how serious are the institution and coach about preparing their student-athletes for life?”
If the NCAA touranment was based on graduation rates, Notre Dame would win.
Today was the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. While many agree that March Madness is the greatest sports day of the year, a recent documentary has casted negative light on the sport. In an ESPN documentary on the “Fab 5,” 1990s Michigan player Jalen Rose critized Duke for only recruiting “Uncle Tom” players for fear of having to pay inner city and low income families to play with the school. College basketball has long been critized for players coming out too early to go pro. Under NBA draft rules, a player is only required to play one year of college basketball before he can turn pro… more than half of the NCAA tournament teams have a less than 50 percent graduation rate.