|Your latest reason to hate Duke, should you choose to be one of those people who hates Duke. (Getty Images)|
What will come first: the NCAA's finishing an investigation into Lance Thomas or an iPad that is actually worth purchasing?
I snark because I can. In fact, Duke (according to Duke) is the first college basketball program to step into the playbook future (Michigan in fact beat it to the punch), and that's pretty cool. I suspect others to not be that far behind. (Kentucky and Calipari, you dropped the ball on this one.)
The use of iPads for sports teams isn't totally newfangled -- many pro football teams, notably, made the switch a couple of years ago -- but for college hoops, it's certainly unfounded territory up 'til now. That's primarily because iPads cost a lot of money and there's liability here. You're dealing with 19-year-old college kids who misplace things as often as they forget to set a screen. I still can't find my super-tall Chicago Bears mug from college and wow am I getting irrationally angry just now even thinking about it.
Anyway, back to the iPads. Point is, Duke's loaded, it can afford the risk, so bully for it. I wonder how it will effectively help going forward. Also, I can't help but think Mason Plumlee is already addicted to Temple Run. Mashabale with more:
The 64 GB version of the “new iPad” will provide players with practice schedules, scouting reports and stats from games and practices. They'll also be updated with video content from practice and games, as well as clips breaking down players' tendencies and what to expect from opponents.
“The Duke basketball program is always trying to equip our players and staff with the very best resources, and the introduction of the iPads is another step in that direction,” associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski told GoDuke.com “This new technology will help all of us work more efficiently and productively, while communicating at a higher level. We are very excited to involve the iPads in our day-to-day operations, evaluating our scouting, video analysis, schedule and game preparation.”
Duke is one of college basketball's most historically successful programs. Besides adding convenience, the new player iPads will help the Blue Devils impress recruits in the ever-escalating college sports arms race for talent, luxury and cutting-edge technologies.
Does the iPad help in recruiting? I can't help but think it does. While Duke can use it as a learning device, it's also basically a shiny toy. You get recruits on campus and they see Quinn Cook is attached to this thing, it's gotta be a nice little extra nudge their way.
Mashable writes this commitment to the iPad could have cost the school more than 13 grand when you consider 64-gig iPads go for $829 apiece. A discount could have been involved, though. You know, wholesale purchase, etc.
The iPad has become more integral in the coaching experience in the game, too. While on the trail this past July, I talked with a number of coaches who were splitting time between watching the game and keeping notes on their iPads. Apple's marketing brilliance extends far beyond the common man: even college programs are finding ways to make this tablet necessary to the job.