Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NCAA Basketball Walk-On Policy Evil?

As our motto and creed states, we try to be your "home for INTELLIGENT sports talk," and generally speaking we try and give fresh angles and perspectives to news, however the other part of that equation is also pointing out unintelligent pieces of work and that's what brings us to you today.

What's the unintelligent piece of work we bring you today?

It's an article that accuses everyone's favorite whipping boy, the NCAA, of allowing nefarious coaches to take advantage of the system of walk-on's to boost grade point averages and generally keep good players from playing basketball on a night in and night out basis... or something of that tone.

How do they chose to prove their point? Why, they use the Wisconsin Badgers announcement that Aaron Moesch, a little recruited forward out of Green Bay, WI will walk-on to the basketball team at the UW as the example of what's wrong with college basketball and the evils of the NCAA.

Yep, those evil Badgers are at it again - I mean they are everyone's example of how not to do things in college basketball right? They don't graduate their players, consistently make the NCAA tournament or treat their walk-on's as anything less than sub-human or anything... Either that or the exact opposite - as in having one of the highest graduation rates in history, making the NCAA tournament for 15 straight seasons (every one under Bo Ryan's 12 years at the helm), and have one of the best walk-on programs in the country.

Great example you chose to try and make your point there, huh?

In my research over 350 basketball players transfer from D1 institutions every year and that number keeps growing.... The vast majority to other D1 institutions and that's just the scholarship athletes. Walk-on numbers are harder to categorize since their participation is VOLUNTARY.

And that's where this guy simply goes off the rails in his argument against the evil NCAA and it's system to keep people from, well... I'm not really sure what exactly his point is on that matter.

No one is forcing these walk-on's to commit to a school on the basis of promised playing time or an athletic scholarship. It's their choice. For many kids playing at their favorite school and getting an education at a top notch institution are reason enough to make the jump and walk-on, whether they are recruited to do so or not.

I have personal knowledge of this type of situation as a high school friend earned a walk-on spot at Michigan State and after one season of riding the pine decided that playing at the D2 level was what was best for him.

What's wrong with a kid or even an adult giving his/her dream a shot? NOTHING. Especially when we all do things for different reasons. If the walk-on is a way to continue to play the sport they love and earn a great degree who are we to stop them?

Hell, at Wisconsin, the subject of this guys ire, a walk-on turned scholarship player like one Zak Showalter disproves the guys point on it's face. He was going to walk-on until someone else transfered out and he got the scholarship and thanks to injuries he saw decent minutes as a freshman (a feat not that easy to accomplish for anyone on a Ryan coached team).

Was he a marginal talent that shouldn't have come to the UW because he was just going to be foder for propping up what is one of the better academic teams in the country to begin with?

Look, have your opinion - debating topics is what makes being a sports fan great - but is too much to ask to have your opinion be an educated one? One that can't be easily debunked or laughed off? It's much harder for someone to dismiss what you are saying when you bring in actual facts and such...

Over at Rant Sports, they are quickly gaining the reputation of putting anything out for mass-consumption and SEO hits, rather than actually taking time to think and you know.... do some actual research into their points of contention.

Normally, we go by the philosophy of "pay them no mind and they'll go away" and generally speaking that philosophy works - you know, since capitalism is driven by people actually paying attention and buying what you're selling.

However, there comes a point in time when you need to shine a spotlight on stupidity and let people know what's being put out for their consumption isn't exactly what we'd call stellar journalism or blogging - it's just simply lazy garbage put together to fill some sort of quota system.

Congrats on filling your quota there Rant Sports "writer," now in the words of Rabbit from 8 Mile: "Go home, write some s&@t, make it suspenseful. And don't come back until somethin' dope hits you."

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