You can call me a hater. It is quite possibly the truth. You can call me a hypocrite, also possibly true. Regardless, I cannot bare the fact that UK may actually win another championship, not with the team they put on the court. So I am going on strike, and not watching the finals because major college sports has become a circus, and UK is the bearded lady, lion tamer, and death defying acrobat all rolled up in one.
College sports, in essence is for student athletes correct? I mean, you go to a school and so happen to also play a sport. This is the norm at most schools. Yet this concept and term has never been more grotesquely manipulated in the history of the sport than at UK over the last few years. Of course Michigan had the Fab Five, but if I recall correctly they all came back a second year, and at the time it was an absolute anomaly. Not to be repeated until, well Cal at UK. Now the Wildcats have its 4th straight team with nearly all freshman, of which nearly 0% will become college graduates, (at least in the next 5-10 years) in the finals. Thus making the term "student" athlete a complete joke in the UK Men's Basketball Program. Yes, I am a hater, but as someone who is an actual graduate from UofL, how could I not be?
Russ Smith, in all his graciousness, maturity, and knowledge knows what college is about. The fact that he took it upon himself and personally congratulated the team full of one and done players who will never understand, makes me proud, yet extremely sad, and sick. On no planet, if UK loses that game, does one of their players do something similar. For the simple fact they have no players who know the sacrifice that a Russ, Luke, or SVT has had to endure for 4 years.
Every team UK beats, deserves to win the game more, considering each has had more student athletes on the floor at all moments of the game. From the seniors on Wichita and Wisconsin, to the talented upper classmen of the Wolverines (I left UofL out as it is obvious). With this resurgence of UK's one and done philosophy, it is apparent that the circus will continue for at least a couple more years. Which pains me. In fairness, Calipari is just working the crooked system given to him. He does it better than anyone else, but that doesn't mean I, we, or anyone else has to like it. The NCAA will allow for this to continue because, well they like money, and UK, and one and done type players help generate millions for the organization. My hypocrisy is apparent as a fan of the richest school/team in the land, yet we have had success with actual student athletes, who actually graduate, and play at the highest levels. (My count, is the last two years we have or will have 5 players who were starters or MAJOR contributors on the court, leave school with a college degree). [six if you count Wichita]
This is obviously a rant, and hate filled at that. Yet the NBA detour that is UK basketball won't have one TV spectator tonight. I will obviously be rooting for the school that has a senior star, who will graduate from college, and deserves a championship more. But as Mike eloquently pointed out, deserves got nothing to do with it.