Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Prevent Another Fab Melo Suspension

Contrary to the opinion of some people (no one specifically), ECON-001 is worth showing up to.

Fab Melo, the Big East defensive player of the year and Syracuse big man, was suspended for the NCAA tournament. Economists have long studied similar market failures: externailities. The externality here is that the efficient quantity of basketball games that Fab Melo plays is undersupplied because the public demand is outside the market decision. There are a number of solutions to solving the problem; unfortunately, none of them were employed this year for due to poor creativity.

Of all the possible methods to combat externalities, institutional provision offers the most attractive solution to the problem. It doesn't make sense to privately supply national defense, so the government does it. Here, Syracuse University could help supply Fab Melo with sufficient grades to allow him to play basketball. The administration, other students, and professors can all play a role here.

Although the administration can't give Fab Melo good grades, they could certainly do more to help him out. The NCAA can set academic requirements for its members, such as a GPA, but it can't tell the school how to determine GPA. Further, it might be time to expand the course listing: brazilian culture, portugese, and staying out of foul trouble. The university should also change from a semester system to a monomester system. You can't get suspended for a poor first semester if there is no first semester.

The other students need to be more aware of how their actions affect the basketball team. If a class is curved and Fab Melo is in it, the better you do, the worse he does. Every student should sign up for a class that Fab Melo is in, fail every assignment and test, and then withdraw after the final before grades are submitted.

More attention to detail from professors could solve the problem on its own. Do you think someone is going to know a subject better if he was in class for it or if he was playing basketball in Connecticut while it was taught? If somone answers a question in class, he probably will still know that answer in two weeks. The professors cold-call specific students, note what they know and what they don't know, and then tailor the test to their strengths.

Although it will take until next school year to implement the monomester, this should give a good first set of measures to prevent another suspension. Syracuse had a very good chance to win the national championship with Fab Melo in their lineup, but that chance decreased significantly after his suspension. The school has a lot to gain by winning a national championship, and a simple cost benefit analysis should lead them to implement all of the suggested changes for next year. 2013 National Champions.


  1. It's time for some changes in Syracuse's administration. First the Bernie Fine incident, and now this. Not to mention that they didn't outbid the NBA to keep Carmelo Anthony for a few extra years.

    Someone deserves to get fired