This is sad, even if it makes financial sense.
The NBA teams on TV last night and tonight included 4 former UM players who should still be in school. Would they have stayed if not for the NCAA prohibitions on student pay? What would have happened with McGary if the NCAA hadn’t pushed him out the door while unable to perform but positive for a non-PED which is now legal or decriminalized in at least 14 states?
Whatever the answers, UM’s early NBA departures do seriously question the NCAA’s stated intent to promote equity. While UM now misses 4 otherwise eligible NBA departures, the B1G favorite, Wisconsin, misses none. It keeps 80% of its 4th or 5th year starters---including the B1G POY favorite, Frank Kaminsky. Similarly, MSU loses only one otherwise eligible player.
Of course, UM's early departures are an indication of the program's greater strength.. But I can’t help wondering what the roster would be if all the eligible UM players stayed. In addition to the current players (assuming no attrition and the same recruiting classes, my roster would include:
Trey Burke (Sr) NCAA national POY, B1G POY, NBA lottery pick, NBA fresh-so All star
Nick Stauskas (Jr) B1G POY, NBA lottery pick
Mitch McGary (Jr) NBA first rounder
Glenn Robinson III (Jr) NBA draftee
And Caris Levert (Jr) current B1G POY/Wooden award candidate.
FOOTNOTE: My reserves would include
Zak Irvin (So) five star recruit, Parade All American, Indiana’s Mr BB
Derrick Walton (So) Parade All American, most first place votes for Michigan’s Mr BB.
Kam Chatman, five star Scout, US national under-18 training camp roster
Spike Albrecht (Jr), who scored 17pts in an NCAA championship game and tweeted Kate Upton.
and Max Bielfeldt (Sr).
I include Max over others not because he buries 3 pointers. Admittedly, he looks less coordinated than Donnal, is small for a 5, and—in other ways also-- has a lower ceiling. Nonetheless, I include Max because he is, literally, an inspiration.
After careful research (?) >/sarcasm, rolling eyes, (-: I have concluded that he inspired the creation of Max at Bielfeld University (?sp). Max is an artificially intelligent machine with human communication abilities. He "understands" what we want him to do and can take on the role of a social partner. Ok, as you’ll see from the link, he’s not exactly a party animal. He looks a bit stiff. He blinks a lot, which could impair his long range shooting. But should the real Max be injured, it would be easy to change his digital purple color into maize and blue. And if we did insert him into the lineup, he demonstrates an admirable degree of self-control, which would help him resist taunting about size from other bigs.
To clarify right off the bat, I do not want to see the NCAA get involved in what is going on right now, because that will only make matters worse for the future. But, I do think that it is pertinent to ask what their role is in this whole ridiculous situation that we now find ourselves in.
Specifically, if the NCAA claims that its focus is on students athletes, their safety, their best interests (which we all know is laughable based on the fact that money > everything else for the NCAA), is there any point at which they could step in and say that the AD, Hoke, and the medical staff at M's handling of the situation on Saturday and thereafter warrants disciplinary action against the university? Again, I don't really want that to happen, because I think that the way that the NCAA hands down discipline does not actually solve any of the actual problems. But even an investigation could prompt the board (which, not sure why they'd need any more reason to be prompted, but at this point I'm not expecting anyone in leadership to step up and make the right decision) to take action against DB/Hoke.
I'm not at all familiar with the NCAA's policies when it comes to student athlete safety, but it would seem that if they are trying to promote their supposed deep concerns for the safety of these kids that they would act when something this outlandish happens.
This morning, the NCAA announced that it reached a preliminary settlement with former players with regards to concussion testing and treatment. It's valued at roughly $70 million. Link with further details provided below.
After a couple slow days on the board I thought I'd throw a 2 part question out there: With the NCAA's current structure getting more and more ridiculous, I'm of the opinion that something will change soon - whether it's big 5 autonomy, a Players Association, the olympic model, etc - I don't think we'll last many more years of coaches making $5M per year and players being happy now that there are free snacks. My question is - what's your ideal endgame and why? I think there are 4 main constituencies you've got to satisfy: Revenue scholarship athletes, non-revenue scholarship athletes / title 9 (this can get tricky), administrators/ADs, and fans. If you were in charge of the NCAA, how do you satisfy all 4 groups moving forward?