Monday, March 15, 2010
NCAA: Change you can scratch your head about.
The NCAA is starting down a path that I feel could be a very bad precedent for College athletics. Let's review the NCAA post season practices for my two favorite college sports: Football and Men's Basketball.
The BCS: NCAA Football currently uses the BCS to determine the 2 teams that can play in the National Championship game. To be one of the two teams you pretty much a) Have to be from one of the BCS Conferences and b) Have to be a "football powerhouse" to get the votes to get that high in the rankings. It is a flawed system that most coaches and media feels needs to change. Yet, the experts say that this will NOT happen.
NCAA Tournament: I consider this the crown jewel in college athletics where every single teams has a shot at winning the tournament and National Championship. Although it is usually won by a "BCS" Conference, the possibility for smaller conference teams (Memphis) exists. However, the idea that the tournament should expand to 96 teams is gaining momentum. I am against this because I think you should earn your way into the tournament and it's ok for good-not-great teams to be left out. From what I can tell all the media and most of the coaches feel this way too. Yet, the experts say that this expansion WILL happen.
Even though it is March, STOP THE MADNESS! Why would you take something that is not broken and fix it yet leave the broken system in place?
There's an answer. The same answer for almost every bizarre decision in life. Say it with me:
The BCS makes too much money to change, and the NCAA Tournament can make more money by changing their system to a 96 team field. This sickens me, and I feel it will set a terrible precedent for college athletics.
Why do college fans enjoy the college game more than the professional game? My answer has always been the integrity of the competition. The players are not professional athletes. Yes they receive scholarships and easier course loads, but in the end it makes their life comfortable, not luxurious. They still only have at most 4 years to live out their dreams on the playing surface or there will be no tomorrow. I love the NFL, but I dislike the NBA. Why? Because I feel the entire NBA comes down to only a couple players on every team. College basketball relies on the whole team, and that's what I love.
If the NCAA continues to make decisions based on money, not the product on the field they will start to lose fans. I can't tell you how or why, I just know it will happen. The NFL is possible the top league in the world because they emphasize protecting the product on the field. MLB started gaining respect again when they focused on eliminating steroids to help their integrity on the field.
If the NCAA keeps making decisions based on money, I just have a gut feeling they will lose the passion of the fans. Something nobody; fans, players, or coaches, wants. So please, stop the madness. Think of your fans and athletes, not your pocketbooks.