Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Diced Onions: Final Four and then some

I was going to write a much more in-depth post about the Final Four, the teams, the coaches, the upsets, the Madness, etc. Instead the First Lady and I watched Frontline on PBS, and their story about how much money is made during March Madness, and how the athletes saw zero of that. This turned into an hour conversation in the Daily Onions office about whether or not student-athletes should get paid, how they would get paid, why coaches are overpaid, why does the NCAA have such a big yearly budget, jersey sales, video game sales and so on and so on. If you ever thought about banging your head against the wall for an hour, don't do it. Just have a conversation with your significant other about all the things wrong with the NCAA.

The craziest thing is, I don't totally agree with fact that student-athletes don't get compensated for all the money that is being brought in thanks to college athletics. It's tough to come up with an argument for why they aren't, except the fact that the NCAA is about student-athletes, and they don't play students, but instead they are giving students the opportunity to get a free education (which is what the NCAA President said over and over and over...)  From the bottom of my heart, I really wish that was true, but it isn't. This is a topic that Daily Onions could talk about for 3 months straight, and I don't even know if we'd come up with a solution or a perfect argument at that point. The First Lady may have summed things up the best by saying this: "You don't have to have a vast knowledge of college sports, to know right from wrong." She is probably right. There is exploitation in college sports (mostly football and basketball), and we all know that. Will the NCAA ever change its rules, probably not....allowing many "fun" conversations between couples down the road.

Enough about that, let's get into some Final Four random thoughts:

-During the season, I thought I wanted to name my first born Jimmer, but now I am thinking it might be Butler. How can you not LOVE the Butler Bulldogs basketball program? We are currently reading the book Underdawgs, which is the story of last year's team's run to the National Championship game. Lots of good tidbits on coach Brad Stevens (Daily Onions crush), the recruitment of Shelvin Mack, Gordon Hayward and Ronald Nored, and more info that we'll probably include in a post in the near future entitled, "Everything I ever needed to know in life, I learned from the Butler Basketball Program." Stay tuned.

-If Shaka Smart was in a lineup next to five other current college point guards, would the untrained eye be able to point out which person was the college coach? Probably not. Throw in how he looked and how he worked the crowd at the pep rally on Sunday night when the teamed returned to campus, Smart could have easily been plugged into the role of emcee at a block party coming to a university near you. Looks aside, we obviously commend the job Shaka has done in the past two weeks. As far as where he'll be next year, we doubt it includes the letters VCU. Our guess is N.C. State. Will he be able to gain some ground on Duke and UNC? Probably not right away, but after how far he's brought VCU in the last two weeks, you never know.

-In case you didn't know, it's "Random Early '90s College Basketball Players Get Head Coaching Jobs" week. First, Cuonzo Martin goes to Tennessee (yes, we know he was a head coach at Mizzou State). We remember Cuonzo as the sidekick to the Big Dog at Purdue back in the early 90s. Then today, THE Monmouth University of New Jersey go and hire Vanderbilt assistant and former UNC Tarheel, King Rice. For those of you that don't remember Rice, we don't blame you. Fortunately, Daily Onions was blessed with a ridiculous and random (and sometimes stupid) memory, so we remember Rice playing along side of Rick Fox and Co. back in the day. No word on whether or not NC State is looking to hire Chris Corchiani for the head job (they aren't, because Chris now works in real estate). If things don't work out with Matt Painer for Missouri, they can always give Anthony Peeler a call (he's actually an assistant at D-2 Virginia Union). Ok, that's enough for now, but plenty of seats still open on the coaching carousel, so more jokes to come.

A few questions to ponder looking ahead to this weekend:
-If UConn wins two games this weekend, capping off an unbelievable month of basketball (11 wins in a row between the Big East and NCAA Tournament), does Jim Calhoun walk away? Close to turning 69 years old, Calhoun's got some suspension time looming next year due to some NCAA violations, as well as some scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions over the next three years. Kemba will be gone after this season, and Jeremy Lamb might not be too far behind, draining the Huskies of their top talents. Why not go out on top now?

-When Daily Onions celebrates its 5th birthday in December of 2015, will Kentucky still have its 2011 NCAA Final Four banner still hanging in Rupp Arena? I think its a legit question considering Coach Cal's track record (even though he didn't know anything). Also, is UK's Josh Harrellson the biggest goon in college basketball since......? I'm not even sure who the last goon in the college game was, but we bet Harrellson will give him a run for his money. As a Daily Onions loyal reader pointed out over the weekend after Harrellson chucked the ball at Jared Sullinger's chest, "O'Doyle Rules!"

-We knew we'd have some bad headlines this week with Butler returning to the Final Four. Creative reporters and editors brushed off "The Butler Did It" and figured out ways to incorporate that into the leads of stories throughout the weekend. Now we get to go to Houston for the Final 4. Spare us the, "Houston, we have a problem" headlines. We know there aren't any 1 or 2 seeds left in the tournament. That's not a problem, and even if it was a problem, that's not a creative headline. Give us something better. And can we stop the potential VCU-UConn matchup leading to Shaka-Conn headlines now? Ok good. Oh, and if Connecticut does win, please keep the "Yes, UConn" headlines to yourself. Thanks.

More Final Four thoughts coming later this week.

1 comment:

  1. can you spare us shaka gone please