Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Is The 24-Hour Hoops Marathon A Good Idea For The NCAA?
Don't take this the wrong way; I enjoy 24 hours of uninterrupted college basketball just as much as the next guy. ESPN's 24-Hour College Tipoff (which is on in the background right now) does, however, raise poignant questions about the NCAA's constant failure to balance athletics and academics.
Take, for example, this morning's game between Rider and Drexel. The game, played in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, tipped off at 6 AM. ESPN's footage shows throngs of college student pouring into the (small) gymnasium and plenty of rowdy Rider and Drexel fans jumping around in the stands.
What statement are these schools making about the importance of athletics on the college-life hierarchy? In these instances, students are - albeit implicitly - expected to put athletic spirit before other commitments, and are rewarded with TV coverage for doing so. Lest we forget, today is a Tuesday.
It's just one more notch in the NCAA's championship-of-hypocrisy belt. UConn isn't allowed to participate in the NCAA tournament because of a failure to meet academic standards, but standards for student-athletes and the student body as a whole go right out the window when the NCAA wants to stage a nationally televised spectacle?
How about a better solution for everyone: start on Friday at midnight, and go for 48-hours instead.