We’ve all been hearing NCAA men’s basketball coaches in recent weeks, lobbying to expand the NCAA men’s basketball tournament field from the current 65 teams.
The talk show wizards have been allowing many of the games coaching legends to swallow up air time for their cause.
Former LSU coaching legend Dale Brown has talked about compensating players, giving them a piece of the pie. He cited examples like players not having the money to fly home in the event of a death in the family. Now that’s an argument I can agree with. But while that’s a problem the NCAA needs to address, I don’t see how that relates to a need to increase the field for the NCAA tournament.
Many in the college basketball coaching circles think every Division 1 team should be allowed in the field.
Is this a big massive push for job security for head coaches? And while it would be great for every student athlete to experience the NCAA Tournament, this is the big time. This is where coaches are paid millions of dollars to lead their institutions through a grueling season, into the conference tournaments and eventually into the post-season. If they fail, let’s bring in the next coach to give it a shot.
My son’s Little League team doesn’t reward mediocrity or poor play by letting all of the average and below average teams into the end of season playoffs. They may do that at the high school level, but with growing budget concerns, we may even see that come to an end soon.
NCAA coaches, past and present have their agenda. What they want is for every coach and every player to live the dream. But in reality, it has the signs of some really bad basketball. Unless you’re a really serious basketball nut, who is going to spend time watching the last place team in the Horizon League square off against some team that is going to destroy them? Where is the interest?
Are fans really clamoring for more NCAA Tournament basketball? I kind of like it the way it is. In fact, I wouldn’t change a thing. The current formula already allows for the Cinderella’s of college basketball to have a chance to live the dream. Teams that don’t win their conference regular season title, but pull an upset in the conference tournament, can claim a spot in the 65-team field.
For those that want more, consider this! We don’t all drive the same car. We don’t all have the same high paying jobs. We didn’t all get to date the homecoming queen either. Some of us have big savings accounts and others small. This country is set up so that nothing is equal, yet we all chase the American Dream. That dream is proportionate for all of us. Why shouldn’t it be for major college basketball in our country. This isn’t pee wee football, basketball, baseball or hockey. We don’t need to hand out participation ribbons for everybody.
It’s a sad thing if a player can’t afford to go home to attend a family funeral without receiving a handout and their should be some wiggle room in the system to make that happen. But let’s not forget that the only reason the student athlete potentially has that problem is because they’ve accepted a free 6-figure education that most of us will never be able to afford for our children.
Bottom line coaches, find a way to fix some of the things you view as problems, but don’t sacrifice the game and it’s fans along the way. I have found very few in my circles that even have a slight interest in listening to, let alone supporting your argument.
Coaches see more revenue with added games. I see more empty arena’s, more lopsided games and more fans tuning out at a time of year when everyone is supposed to be excited about the tournament basketball that lies ahead.
Don’t forget to think of the fans when trying to figure out ways to line your pockets even more.