Blog Entry

Stan Van Gundy has some words on amateurism

Posted on: August 29, 2011 10:49 am
By Matt Moore

Stan Van Gundy is not afraid to speak his mind. He's not bombastic or a braggard, he just has his opinions and would be happy to share them with you. His pragmatism and basic viewpoints actually harken back to Red Auerbach, in a way. Van Gundy was at the University of Miami this past weekend, dropping his daughter off for school, and was asked about the ongoing scandal there. Let's just say Van Gundy didn't exactly hold back. From the Miami Herald:
“The system is set up for everybody but the kids while pretending to be about the kids,” Van Gundy said. “Athletics and education should be separate. Colleges shouldn’t be farm systems. It doesn’t make any logical sense. But the schools don’t want to be blatantly in the situation of being professional sports even though they already are professional sports. They just want to disguise it, so they hide behind education. But, really, all you want is enough of your athletes to graduate so it looks like that’s what you care about. Anyone around sports knows it is all a bunch of bull [expletive].

“I am not calling college coaches or administrators hypocrites. I believe that, in general, they care about the kids and education. But the system is wrong. Being a farm system creates problems that are beyond the control of even the best and most well-meaning administrators of which [UM’s] Donna Shalala would be at the top of my list.”
via University of Miami scandal brings out hypocrisy on campuses - Dan Le Batard -

Well, then. Don't hold back, SVG. Really let your feelings out. It's good to see Van Gundy taking a stand on the issue instead of deferring since it's part of the traditional basketball system. What gets overlooked in all the discussion is the fact that much of what goes on is exploitation. The reaction is to say they can't be exploited, they're getting a college education. But you can be exploited while still getting something in return, and in this case, an education that is barely existant in some cases and largely useless in a great deal of them doesn't exactly make things equal. But wait, there's more from Van Gundy. He's actually got a proposal for a solution.
“Let the schools decide whom they enroll and how — no entrance or eligibility requirements, how much the boosters want to pay them and whether or not they go to class,” he says. “There are two rules. You play only four seasons, and the upper age limit is 25. No other rules. Players who are paid must declare their income and pay taxes on it. If they don’t and get caught, then they have to deal with the IRS and instead of giving back the Heisman they risk going to jail. This drops the myth about amateurism and education. It allows players to get paid but puts it out in the open. Now people can stop hiding behind their idealism about the purity of college athletics and let you know what the school and alumni truly value. NCAA enforcement is the drug war. We’ve lost. Let’s find a different, more realistic approach.”
In essence, Van Gundy wants to call a spade a spade, which is pretty reasonable. The NBA is a lot of things, but it doesn't try and pretend to be something moral. It's a business at its core, and it acts accordingly. Look no further than the lockout for proof on that. 

Maybe if we start talking about the issues within the context of reality and not the moral ideal that isn't even ideal for most of the people involved in it, we can start to move towards some solutions. Call it the Calipari-Van Gundy approach. 

Half of you just started vomiting, didn't you?

Since: Aug 24, 2011
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:12 am

Stan Van Gundy has some words on amateurism

SVG hit the nail on the head with his remarks.  Perfectly said.  College as a whole is a business, and college sports are treated that way even more so.  Unfortunately, uradufuss, major college athletics (basketball & football) are all about money before academics when you get down to the very core of the matter, and coaches/institutions who care more about the kids' education and long-term well being are most certainly in the minority now.  These kids are mostly getting worthless educations and even then, during the season they miss lots of class (basketball probably more so than football) and have personalized tutors do pretty much all of their work for them, just so they can pass the classes in order to play and, yep, make the school more money.  Sadly, that's really what it's all about.

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: August 30, 2011 1:00 am

NCAA enforcement is the drug war. We’ve lost.

Spot on.  If they would just be fair, crooked boosters wouldn't have rocks (NCAA rules) to hide under.

Just tax their buttocks and move on....

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: August 30, 2011 12:26 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: August 30, 2011 12:14 am

Stan Van Gundy has some words on amateurism

i think in the nba kids should still be allowed to go pro straight out of high school. in football they should just have to stay one year. if kids are gonna go to college and break the rules and get into trouble then why not let them just take the risk and head straight for the pros. 

Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: August 29, 2011 10:59 pm

Stan Van Gundy has some words on amateurism

Some of these kids dont go to School for the education. They go to become professional athletes. Point he was making is an education isnt worth what these colleges are making off of these kids. Plain and simple. Telling them they can't go prol unless they get an education will make matters much more worst. Education has nothing to do with playing professional basketball. Period(unless you talking Fundamentals)  Overseas Kids are player professional at 14 years old. Pay these kids like they should be paid.

Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: August 29, 2011 8:49 pm

Stan Van Gundy has some words on amateurism

Truer words were never spoken.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: August 29, 2011 8:43 pm

Mr. & Mrs. Van Gundy

raised a pair of really smart boys. Laughing

Since: Aug 29, 2011
Posted on: August 29, 2011 8:28 pm

A BA in Basketball

You should be able to get a degree in your sport. That's right major in Basketball! Practice and train non stop while taking classes that contribute to the betterment of your skill in the sport. You'll need some anatomy, nutrition, strength and conditioning, strategy, film breakdown, economics(if youre good enough to go pro) etc... You get graded by your coaching staff and when you graduate these are the skills you were promised. No crying about how you were treated and how the university cheated you. You maintain preset standards and you have to be good or at least display a level of understanding that would be equivalent to, let's say a C in Social Science. Grade on an accumulation of points from the classroom, group achievement, team achievement, etc... Make it an option, to all of the kids that finish a four year Basketball degree, to come back after there first degree and get a free education in whichever discipline they choose. Business, education, etc...even if they played in the pros for 5 years. Promote lifelong education.

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: August 29, 2011 7:23 pm

That is what the NBA has made it, yes...

The NBA just needs to stay out of the college game, altogether.  I met Van Gundy when he was coaching college basketball, and I was not one bit impressed by him --so I don't care what he thinks.  The college game is about education, and it is still that way at most institutions.  When the college game is overtaken by money, then it has to go.  The bottom line is that these are academic institutions, an he does not understand that.  That is likely why he couldn't win at Wisconsin with all of the talent he had there.

Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: August 29, 2011 6:46 pm

Stan Van Gundy has some words on amateurism

He is right on with the first part and its nice to hear someone speak frankly. As far as the solution, he is wrong. What should be done is these kids should be given a real education. It would take an effort from all the concerned parties. Why can't the NFL & NBA say "you can't play in our league unless you have a college degree"? What's wrong with that? These kids would not ony get an education but also have an opportunity to change their whole outlook & future. Let's make the coaches & administrators pay for rule breaking. Guys like Calipari should be nowhere near these kids, look at his record of rule breaking and sanctions! Give those guys lifetime bans and i assure you they will know what is going on with their programs(Come on Coker you can't be that dense can you?) Do this and after their careers are over they will have something to fall back on, something they can feel good about. Just look at this Critendon situation for proof, the guy is wanted for murder and he used to be in a NBA, Comisioner Stern locker room!

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