By Michael O'Brien

Fixing the Summer Game

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The "culture" of summer basketball is under attack from the NBA, the NCAA and the shoe companies — the monsters that started all the problems.

NBA commissioner David Stern and NCAA president Myles Brand recently banded together with representatives from Adidas and Nike to improve the culture of summer basketball. They’ve got an all-star committee of NCAA coaches and athletic directors lined up to study the problems and look for solutions.

Anyone at the NCAA, NBA or a shoe company that is truly serious about improving summer basketball would push for high school coaches to be allowed more contact time. Most of the summer, high school coaches are kept away from their kids. Teachers held away from their students — while everyone else in the basketball world can fill their ears and their pockets with lies and dreams.

It’s time to change the adults involved with summer basketball. Bring the teachers back in. Sure, there are some bad pennies among the high school coaches, but it’s nothing compared with what the NBA and NCAA have created.

Stern’s decision that players must be 19 years old and one year out of high school before entering the NBA draft has sent things spiraling out of control. Now, players that have no interest in attending college are forced to. What is the point of sending Garnett, LeBron and Kobe type talents to college? It creates a situation ripe for corruption. Most of the top prep players don’t care about what university they choose or what degree they get, they are concerned with which school can most help their draft status in one year, with which school will help improve their immediate financial situation. Fraudulent prep schools and diploma mills are taking over the landscape.

It’s shocking that Brand, faced with the blatant corruption in his own institution, would have a free second to spend on anything other than cleaning up his own house.

It’s time for Brand, Stern and the shoe companies to step out of the way and let the high school coaches in. That will clean up the summer game far more than any committee.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on October 5, 2006 12:09 PM.

The New Guy is the next entry in this blog.

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