Skip to main content

Pat Summitt: All That Is Good About College Basketball


I often get verbally jumped by a few DP devotees about my views on college athletics - especially recently, with the latest Pondering 10 list (Issues/Annoyances With College Basketball Product). Ant to be honest, much of the criticsim and feedback is justified as I admittedly am not engulfed into the world of college athletics as some are. I'm in the group that thinks paying $50-plus bucks to watch amateur basketball, or to even attend a scrimmage/intra-squad game in April along with 70,000 other fans, is simply crazy. 

I do like college sports. Just not that much. And my reasoning lies in the poor ethics and morals exhibited. This reason was magnified recently with the story of Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan and the university's utter distaste in placing restrictions on student-athlete Jarrod Uthoff.

Without further getting on my soap box regarding the NCAA's ridiculous rules, I will just leave it as being just another example in furthering such a rant - which is due in the future. How a student-athlete, looking to transfer is forced to sign a scholarship document that prevents him from transferring to twenty-eight schools if he chooses to leave, is beyond me. Non-compete agreements in college athletics? Really? 

Better yet, anyone else find it funny that the NCAA allows an eighteen year old, who can't be advised by professional help on such contractual tactics, to sign an agreement?

Utterly and completely ridiculous.

Yet, if Bo Ryan wanted to, he has the opportunity to leave, break a contract with a school, and turn his back on all of those recruits he locked into the program, to seek a better option for his career. 

I hate to say it, but the NCAA is creating a culture of student-athletes being uses as race horses. No voice. No representation. Play. Win. Get us money. And if you want, go to class. 

However, with that out of the way, I will say that there are a lot of things to like about big time D1 College athletics. One of those reasons, just happened to step down today in Pat Summitt. 

Women's basketball has never made a major dent in our mainstream culture, yet, the job in which Summitt has done over her career at Tennessee is remarkable. The fact that she stayed at one school, built a powerful program, won titles, changed lives, and oh yes, actually graduated her athletes and prepared them for the real world, is a rarity in today's college athletic-bandit world. 

Coaches such Summit, Coach K at Duke University, and many others who are either doing it under the radar, or at smaller schools, represent all that is good about college basketball.

I'm speculating, but I am sure Summit didn't have to trap recruits at Tennessee. She recruited. She motivated. She molded. She improved. She influenced. And she graduated her recruits. The program and her leadership sold itself.

Thanks to twitter, and the recent power of social media-public persuasion, Wisconsin decided not to enforce the contract, and will allow Uthoff free reign to contact schools except (of course!) for Big Ten schools. 

It is a shame it took such a public outcry for a program to do the right thing.

And who knows how many other student-athletes are being bound by such a ridiculous concept?

Sadly, with Summit, one of the last pure and great things about college basketball remaining, now retired, this NCAA culture is on pace to get worse.

And it will stop at nothing to rack up wins and bring in revenue, all at the student-athlete's expense.

Recently Read Posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 11/20/22

3 Up 1. Bad Bunny - Congratulations (and major breakthrough props) are in order for Bad Bunny who made history with the first Spanish-Language Album of the Year nomination. The dude has been crushing it with major cross-over appeal - and yes, he's a helluva wrestler.  2. Taylor Swift - This could be a down because of the entire Ticketmaster ordeal, but Swift gets the "Up" solely because only she can break Ticketmaster like this. The star power continues to be amazing.  3. FIFA World Cup - Sure, there is plenty of negatives to get into here, but the event itself is amazing. I'm ready to get caught up in it all.  3 Down 1. Iran Protestors - The nation is in political unrest and many protesters being caught are being sentenced to harsh penalties, or worse, death. Just more instability  2. U.S. Mass Shootings - We just continue to give access to individuals who shouldn't have guns. We've become so numb to this. What have we become?  Prayers, comfort, and positive

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/11/22

3 Up 1. Protection of Same-Sex Marriage - Well, what do you know? Our elected officials CAN work together to get important policies completed that accurately and democratically represent the people. Cynicism aside, it's good to see this bill get passed. Imagine the huge step back that this would have been. 2. Britney Griner Home - I honestly don't care about the politics around this story. Griner needed to come home. And I'm glad she finally is.  3. Impact Wrestling Main Event - Everything that was "Speedball" Mike Bailey vs. "The Walking Weapon" Josh Alexander on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling was what makes pro wrestling so great. Both guys put on a classic that lasted almost an hour, and it was one of the best matches I've enjoyed in a long time. Kudos to both men.  3 Down 1. Grant Wahl - It's the kind of story that is super emotional for the following reasons: 1) Wahl was the premiere journalist in the soccer real; 2) Wahl was be

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/15/23

3 Up 1. Healthcare Debt Removed from Credit Score - This is a small win in a direction that just seems, well...reasonable. Healthcare is expensive and not exactly the fault of an individual's ability to handle their finances responsibly. The subtle change (with restrictions) is a nice addition that ought to help many battling health issues, yet not derail their entire personal life.  2. Alyssa Thompson - The teenage phenom comes off gaining some International play but becoming the first overall pick in the NWSL. Thompson's future is SO bright, and this should be part of that narrative when we marvel at her journey.  3. Ozone Layer Recovery - For years, as a kid, I remember hearing that "we were constantly damaging the Ozone layer". Many thanks to Captain Planet and the Planeteers for that insight. I'm glad to see there has been some progress there.  3 Down 1. Brazil Democracy - It's a shame to see politicians around the world pull from our history with senti

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/4/22

3 Up  1. Rail Workers Agreement - The nation avoiding a major - major! - supply chain issue when the Rail Workers union settled their dispute. In the process we learned that these workers had one - one! - sick day per year. That's absolutely insane. How could you not root for the union here to win? And they did.  2. Protecting Same-Sex/Interracial Marriage - It's amazing that we have to politicize and advocate as people for these kid of things, but here we are.  3. World Cup - Sports biggest event continues on with some thrilling games and upsets. Selfishly giving some love to the US Men's National Team who survived Group Play and made it to the Knockout stages.  3 Down 1. "Terminating the Constitution" - Look, I'm so over bashing Donald Trump. That's my neutral take on it all. My political take is this, how did we get here? Candidates are calling for ripping up the document that we base everything off of? Again, how did we get here?  2. Hate Speech on Twi