Yes, the Championship Game was certainly not what we had hoped for, but the 2010-11 College Basketball season was terrific! UConn’s run will have to go down as the best ever – I’m not a math guy, but I don’t believe it’s possible to win more than 11 games in a post-season. Butler getting back to the Championship Game is an accomplishment that should not go unnoticed. And 70,356 people attending the final game will be hard to match.
We also had VCU reaching the Final Four, probably replacing George Mason as the most recognizable modern Cinderella. Jimmer Fredette won the Naismith Award, and singlehandedly carried his BYU team to national prominence. So, what could we possibly do to make the GAME better? We need to clean-up the image.
The constant cheating in the NCAA means it is time to choose a Commisioner of College Basketball. The NCAA has a president and a bureaucracy to deal with compliance, but it’s not working. I dislike the term, but we need a “czar” empowered to deal with the people who believe they are above the law. Someone who has coached and obeyed the rules and can handle those who have not. Until then, the game will suffer because of a lack of integrity on the part of the people who make a wonderful living coaching and take advantage of their status and positions.
One need not go too far for an example of college basketball’s road to the corrupt. While Jim Calhoun’s March was filled with unbelieveable triumphs, the beginning of the 2011-2012 season will start with sanctions for him due to NCAA violations. John Calipari was in the Final Four again, yet how long before he leaves Kentucky, as he has every school he’s been at, with a wake of allegations and illegal actions. And though Bruce Peal was fired by Tennessee at the end of this season, he was still the Vols coach in the Tournament, despite sitting out 10 SEC games, a penalty handed down after he was found to have broken minor rules, and lied about it.
College basketball is a national treasure and needs to be treated and protected as such. If numerous unscrupulous people do not realize that and continue to disrespect the game and operate with a total disregard for the rules, a leader needs to be put in place to make them comply. Only then will the GAME be pure and beautiful.
Editor’s Note: I nominate Denny. Do we have a second?