ARU: April 1st, 2012 (Kentucky Basketball)

First things first: I know it’s April Fools Day. I will tell you now that there are no gimmicks or jokes in this blog today. There’s way too many die-hard UK basketball fans that would cut my head off if I even attempted a joke.

Let’s get to it…UK will win the National Championship. Should they still play? Of course. UK is capable of losing, but they won’t. There’s too many couches that took a beating on Saturday night for them to not win.

I’m going to hit on a few quick points, and I’d love to hear your opinion on some of these topics.

Recruiting: We’ll start things off with a bang. Coach Calipari‘s recruiting scheme is completely legal. Everything he does is within NCAA regulations; however, there’s a gut feeling like what he’s done is cheating. I feel it too. He’s a mastermind at recruiting players for one year and shipping them off to the NBA after one (or so) years.

UK fans can’t argue this. He’s come out to the media and said it on multiple occasions. Cal wants high school seniors to know that you can come and play for one year, and then go play in the NBA with a big contract. I call it purgatory. The players don’t want to be there, just as much as the fans want them to stay. It’s a push-pull effort that will always work in the player’s interest. wrote an intriguing article on the downfall of College Basketball if UK was to win the National Championship. Great read, and I highly recommend it.  If UK wins the Championship–recruiting in general has the opportunity to change. For the greater majority, teams won’t feel an impact from any of this; however, when you have teams like Kansas, Duke, UNC and Ohio State–teams that are pressured to win at all cost or else–these schools will feel the impact. It’s simple. Recruit like UK. Sell your program’s soul to the NBA in hopes that you’ll pick up blue-chip recruits in the process.

One thing’s for certain: If UK wins…Coach Calipari and his Wildcats won’t be alone in the recruiting style.

By the way–what’s everyone’s take on “one-and-done” players? I have to think the easiest way to counteract this is to dish out three-year scholarships, much like what the NCAA Football teams are required to do. If these blue-chip recruits still want to go and play for Coach Cal, they will. They will still earn their rings, and they’ll have a chance to be the face of a university which is something “one-and-done” players can’t say to a full extent.

And as a heads up–saying a player will leave a university early for anything other than $$$ is foolish.

Couch burnings? Really UK fans? Get a life. So your team beat a rival in the Final Four–this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win the National Championship (I’ve already stated it’s highly likely, but not 100% certain). At some point in your professional career, the people that put the couches on fire, and tipped over automobiles will realize how incredibly stupid they were. Classless is all it amounts to.

I digress.

Fanatics: What is a fan? What makes a fan of a team loyal? Does it require an allegiance with the university through a monetary donation? An affiliation of either you, or your family to the school?

…or can it be as simple as buying a UK shirt at Wal-Mart, and cheering on the team because it gives you hope for a life you wish could’ve been true?

Let’s face it. There are two types of Big Blue Nation fans:

  1. Loyal, Die-hard UK fans. Let me first say this–I have absolutely, positively no beef with this group. I applaud you for staying true through some of the tough years, and supporting the entire athletics department (as long as you do). Lexington natives also fit in this group.
  2. Non-affiliated people that enjoy riding a bandwagon of success because it’s the only time in their life that they actually have the opportunity to cheer for something worthwhile.

How could I be so heartless…

I will say one more thing–supporting an entire athletic department makes you a loyal fan. Supporting one team out of all of the sports at a university makes you either a homer or a bandwagon fan. Neither is okay in my book.

Whew. Have I said enough? I think so. Let the hate mail begin. Tweet at me @RyleJake. I’d love to hear what you thought of the blog.

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About Jake Ryle

I'm a Sports Reporter/Anchor at KTBY/KYUR (FOX/ABC) in Anchorage, Alaska...Also an alumnus of Western Kentucky University, and a major in broadcast news. Have any fun ideas for The ARU? Let me know via email!

Posted on April 1, 2012, in ARU and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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