The Edmond Sun

Sports

October 30, 2013

OPINION: Is the NCAA a sinking ship?

Can things get much worse for the embattled NCAA?

The enforcement division looks like a toothless tiger. Players are demanding to be paid. An antitrust lawsuit brought by former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon threatens the association’s long-standing claim of amateurism protection. College presidents are calling for “transformative change” in how the NCAA operates, a feat it wants accomplished by next summer. And, oh yes, the five major football conferences are looking at pulling out and operating their sport and national playoffs under a new umbrella.

By comparison, the NCAA’s myriad problems make the Obama Administration’s roll out of the Affordable Care Act look smooth.

The daily flow of bad news chronicling the NCAA seems to fall somewhere between damaging and defeated. NCAA President Mark Emmert looks as unsteady as a boxer stunned by a left hook.

Sweep away the grandeur of attending a big-time college football game on a glorious autumn afternoon and what is hidden from the public’s view is too few men fighting over too much money.  In a relatively short time span, major college sports have become a big, big business where winning drives the bottom line.

In a strange announcement, Emmert recently suggested that maybe the time has come for the best athletes to consider skipping college and going straight to the pros – a case in team sports that’s only permissible in baseball, where kids fresh out of high school can head to the lowest levels of the minor leagues and begin working their way up. College basketball’s best players generally spend at least a year on campus before accepting the NBA’s riches. NFL rules require players to wait three years after graduation from high school to enter the draft.

That idea won the endorsement of other conference leaders. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany questioned why colleges should be the minor leagues for professional sports. It is easy to understand the frustration coaches and athletic directors must feel in seeing their star players leave early, but what’s to be gained by having the best players bypass college athletics altogether?

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Sports
  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    Alternates
    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson 17 tee.jpg Gibson closes British Open with a 78, 3 birdies in final 6 holes

    Even if he didn’t post the score he wanted, Rhein Gibson left Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday knowing he at least finished strong.
    Gibson’s final-round 6-over-par 78 at the British Open looks a lot better when one considers he birdied three of his final six holes. The Oklahoma Christian alum finished his first major championship at 10-over-par 298 — in 72nd place overall — earning himself a paycheck of $20,840.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OGA Reid mug.jpg Edmond’s Reid comes back to win Senior Stroke Play

    James Reid, of Edmond, rallied to win the OGA’s Senior Stroke Play Championship with a smoking 67 July 15 at the Trails Country Club in Norman. Edmond’s Jon Valuck tied for fifth place.
    In the pro series, Cameron Meyers of Edmond shot 68-70 for the top prize while Andrew Green of Edmond finished third.

    Oklahoma Golf Association
    Senior Stroke Play Championship
    July 14-15
    The Trails Golf Club
    Final Results

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-AF Will Conant kicker.jpg Air Force kicker Conant named to Groza Award watch list

    Air Force senior Will Conant, an Edmond Memorial graduate, is one of 30 players nationwide to be named to the 2014 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award watch list, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
    Conant hit 32-of-33 PATs and 11-of-13 field-goal attempts last season. He ranked third in the conference in field-goal percentage with an 84.6 mark that is the fourth-best in school history and best since Joey Ashcroft hit 88.8 percent (16-18) in 2002.
    Conant is one of two kickers in Air Force history to hit three times from 50-plus yards in a season. He hit three 52-yard kicks last season (versus Colgate, San Diego State, New Mexico), matching Ryan Harrison’s three 50-plus field goals in 2007. Conant’s three 50-plus field goals already rank him third in school history in career 50-yard field goals.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson British Open.jpg OC alum Gibson holes pressure putt on 18, makes cut at British Open

    It was the biggest putt of Rhein Gibson’s life — which is saying something for a guy who once shot a world-record 55 — and the Oklahoma Christian alum and Edmond resident responded the way he has so many times before.
    A four-time NAIA All-American while at Oklahoma Christian University, Gibson made the 15-footer for a birdie on No. 18 as darkness descended at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, capping a 2-over-par 74 and allowing him to make the cut in the world’s most prestigious tournament.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Senior Open Josh Cook hands on hips.jpg ‘Cook’-ing up a championship golf course

    When the practice rounds began at the U.S. Senior Open July 7, the ramblings were almost non-stop.
    From the players who live at the course to professional golfers from across the ocean and diverse parts of the globe, the consensus was that Oak Tree National was in tremendous shape and the players were keyed up to compete on it.
    “The golf course is fantastic,” Oak Tree resident Bob Tway said on the first day of competition July 10. “It’s hard, but it’s fantastic.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

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    Little news is truly made at the Southeastern Conference's media days, where players and coaches predict, insinuate and deflect in advance of this fall's college football season.
     

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OPINION: James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams

    Can LeBron James change Cleveland sports history? Overcoming this city's tortured curse could prove impossible - even for the world's best basketball player.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montgomerie trophy1.jpg SLIDESHOW: Montgomerie takes U.S. Senior Open in playoff

    In Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National, hole 16 helped to push upstart Gene Sauers to his 3-stroke lead over Bernhard Langer and Scott Dunlap.
    But Sunday to close it out, it became his nemesis.
    Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie had to make up 4 shots on Sauers to force a playoff and it was accomplished — with the help of hole 16. Montgomerie won the three-hole playoff by parring 18 to win the 2014 U.S. Senior Open championship.

    July 13, 2014 3 Photos 1 Slideshow

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