Friday, March 15, 2013

Jay Bilas Nails It On What Is Wrong With College Basketball

I don't agree with everything Jay Bilas says, but he is spot on with his comments in this interview with Charlie Rose about why college basketball has sunk to its current level of mediocrity and fan apathy. 

Fast forward to the 8 minute mark to hear Bilas dissect what is wrong with college basketball (the first 8 mins is Bilas talking about his book).

Bilas makes some great points about refs and fouling as well as the apparent dearth of talent due to early departures.

1. The ESPN commentator says that college basketball doesn't have any one person in charge like USA Basketball does. 

When USA Basketball had a committee the product stunk.  With one person in charge, Jerry Colangelo, America has returned to the top of the world. 

Essentially a czar for college basketball.

I nominate David Stern once he retires from the NBA, though I honestly have not thought much about it.  He is the first person who comes to mind and could be perceived as unbiased (i.e. he is not a former college administrator or coach)

2. Next, Bilas dives into the fouling issue; meaning not enough fouls are being called. 

This generates from the cries of "let them play" by fans.

Well, when you let players who 15-20 years ago would not be playing on a college basketball court because their spots would be taken by Juniors and Seniors who would go on to play in the NBA "play" then you get ugly basketball because nobody can make a shot when they are constantly being bumped and pushed.

This is what college basketball is today.  A bunch of missed shots and games in the 50s.  That is not exciting at all.

3. But wouldn't too many fouls slow down the game and bore fans even more?

Ah, Bilas has a great counter.  If the refs call the proper fouls then players won't foul as much because they will be sitting on the bench in foul trouble.  Essentially, if refs call the proper fouls than players will stop fouling so much.

4. Bilas' points on referee performance are spot on too. 

Like Bilas, I think the officiating by and large is ok, but no repercussions exist for bad officiating because all refs are simply contractors.

If one league fines them or is suspended by a conference another league will simply pick them up for their games.

Last season Karl Hess was "suspended" by the ACC after his actions at an NC State game, tossing two former Wolfpack greats from the stands. 

No matter to Hess and he simply picked up games in the Big East and SEC to fill his schedule.  Those leagues didn't care how bad Hess' actions were.

The refs have all the power when it comes to relationships with conferences.

And to show how serious the ACC was about suspending Hess, they invited him back to ref the ACC Tournament but Hess declined and the league allowed his fellow refs to display messages of support for him.

Very honorable John Swofford. 

Then Bilas dives into less desirable subjects like NCAA amateurism.  I will let him have his views here without comment only saying I mostly disagree. 

Jay Bilas - Charlie Rose Interview

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