College Football Withdrawal: This is the first official Saturday after the end of the college football season. I'm filling the time by watching "The Shawshank Redemption" for the 28th time and trying to get interested in a college basketball game between Duke and N.C. State. Of course later, we'll have the NFL playoff games, but I'll be watching them on tape delay following the Arkansas - Vanderbilt basketball game. I'll be there in person to watch and see if Mike Anderson's young team can rebound from an ugly road loss to Texas A&M.
One and Done Ruining College Basketball: I can't stand the one and done rule in college basketball. It's one of the most absurd rules in sports. The rule is that basketball players need to attend college for one season before begin eligible for the NBA draft. Really? One season? What it actually means is that players have to attend classes for one semester to be eligible for the season, then can blow off the second semester, get drafted and leave school. Sure, it worked for Kentucky last season as they caught lightning in a bottle and won the national championship with what amounted to a college dream team. But in the long run, it's a bad rule for college basketball because elite programs can't count on any continuity. Kentucky and North Carolina are having trouble getting started this season, while Duke is undefeated only because Coach K has been able to get upperclassmen to stick around for more than one or two seasons. If a kid is good enough to play in the NBA right out of high school, he should be able to be drafted. The baseball rule works very well and the game is healthy and entertaining, not to mention a great alternative to the minor leagues as a way for players to prepare for the majors. Players can go to the pros after high school or go to college and stay for three years. In basketball, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard, to name just a few, all went from high school to the pros. The last time I checked, they've had pretty decent careers. Maybe three years doesn't work as well in basketball, so perhaps two seasons would be better. But at least a coach would be able to build a team and the program could benefit from the experience a second season would provide. It's time to rethink the entire situation.
Baseball Hall of Fame is a Mess: What if they gave a party and no one showed up? Well, that's pretty much what we have with baseball Hall of Fame voting. Because of the uncertainty created by Major League Baseball's hypocritical handling of the steroid issue, we have several worthy players who didn't receive enough votes to get into the Hall of Fame. So let's see: there was no testing, MLB turned a blind eye to the use of performance enhancing drugs and even encouraged them by using the exploits of obvious users to further the popularity of the game, and then threw them all under the bus by releasing testing results that were intended to be private. Don't get me wrong: I don't necessarily agree with the use of PED's in sports. But as a league, you're either for them or against them. If you're for them, let it be. If you're against them, then take serious measures to try to limit or eliminate their use. MLB is trying to play it halfway, much like a base runner caught between first and second on a fly ball. They created this mess, so they deserve what they're getting. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were all-time greats prior to their use of PED's. Players like Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza never had anything more than rumors to link them to any wrongdoing. They all deserve to get in, but self-righteous voters, many of whom I would presume have some checkered background as well, have made an arbitrary decision to leave them out. As far as I'm concerned, MLB has succeeded in undermining the very credibility of the entire Hall of Fame. Nice job, Bud Selig!