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Archive for the ‘College Basketball’ Category

The Big Twelve May Say Goodbye to Texas A&M

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Texas A&M has officially announced that they will be applying elsewhere and if accepted will leave the Big 12 as of July 2012. It has been known for some time to 247 sports fans that Texas A&M has been eying the SEC, so the news comes as no real surprise. Texas has been a part of the Big 12 since its founding back in 1996 and is seeking greater exposure for its athletes and more financial support for it’s program with the move. What happens next is still up in the air. On the one hand, the SEC has not confirmed receipt of an application and on the other hand both Nebraska and Colorado have recently left the Big 12. If Texas leaves that will drop the Big 12 down to nine teams; not exactly an even number and certainly smaller than desirable. The remaining Big 12 members will likely undertake a search for new members. As of yet the only school known to be interested is SMU, which has been making it’s way back up since a pay-to-play scandal in the 1980s. It is also possible the the SEC would seek out another team to even out their numbers if Texas A&M makes thirteen on their rooster. This would likely take place after the first year. Either way, it looks like there will be some restructuring in the future of college ball.

NCAA Basketball Players, It’s Time to Study

Friday, August 12th, 2011

The game just got a little more challenging for NCAA basketball players. Instead of spending all their time on the court they are going to have to spend a lot more of it studying in the library if they want a chance to play in the tournament. The specifics of the upcoming change which has already been unanimously approved are as follows: Any team that does not have a 930 Academic Progress Rate (the rate being averaged over a period of four years) will be barred from all postseason competition. A quick look back at history shows us that quite a number of tournament winners would have in fact been barred from playing had this rule already been in effect.

One of the biggest challenges inherent in this change will be for small schools. Many larger schools have a support team in place to help their athletes perform scholastically. Without these resources, smaller schools will rely on the athletes themselves to put in time both on the court and in the classroom. This will also increase the pressure on high school students who are looking for scholarships to prove themselves academically in order to prove that they won’t threaten a team’s Academic Progress Rate. It will also be a matter of great importance for coaches to ensure that they don’t lose their chance at the tournament – student’s academic performances will reflect on them in a way that previously only their athletic performances did.

Some may feel that these higher standards will make it harder for teams to excel and will cause truly great players and teams to miss opportunities. The obvious response to that is this: we’re talking about college basketball. College is first and foremost a school wherein one learns, generally with the end goal of receiving a diploma. If that isn’t important to a player, then perhaps college is the wrong place for them.

Basketball: At Least Somebody Gets to Play

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Here it is July, and what are we missing in the latest sports headlines? Well, basketball, and not because the playoffs are over and the drafts are complete and all the teams are tucked away in practice leaving us to contemplate the coming year’s season. It is July, and the free agency period did not come. Free agents may be the first casualty of the lockout, but Hall of Fame player Charles Barkely has stated that he does not believe there will be a season at all. Dreary, right?

Of course, not every player is sitting out the season. Here’s a unique story: those 247 sports fans who follow college basketball may remember Jon Scheyer. A former Duke Blue Devil, Sheyer led his team to a national championship in 2010 and received high praise from Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski who said that Scheyer was one of the best players he has ever coached. Notable, to say the least. Scheyer was passed over in the draft and later suffered an eye injury during the Miami Heat’s summer league. The story isn’t over for our former Blue Devil guard, however. Scheyer will not only be changing teams, he’ll be changing countries. Maccabi Tel Aviv is a team with five European championship titles who lost only a single game in their last season. While they do have a cap on the number of foreign players they can have on their team, Scheyer won’t count among them due to the fact that he qualifies for citizenship based on his religion. Those who have been following Scheyer’s progress as a player will now have to look for the latest sports results from the international playing field.