Now this is what I’m talking about. Just like that, Condoleezza Rice and her colleagues for the Commission on College Basketball did more for the sport today with the release of their 60-page report than anybody since James Naismith took his shots into a peach basket during the latter 19th century.
Well, maybe not, but this is huge.
With Rice leading the way as chairperson, commission members said the NCAA/NBA should end this one-and-done silliness within two years. They recommended a lifetime ban for serial cheaters in a sport that is loaded with them. They stressed NCAA teams, officials, coaches and players should change their cozy relationship with the Nike and the Adidas folks of the world since it contributed to the feds busting a slew of college basketball people during the last few months for corruption and fraud in recruiting.
Oh, and then Rice’s group really went gangsta. According to this Commission on College Basketball — which you also may call Manna From Hoops Heaven if you love picks and rolls on campuses — these same university presidents who always claim they are shocked by gambling in the piano bar (Hey, I can’t help it if you’ve never seen Casablanca) are the same ones Rice’s group blasted for hypocrisy in this situation. Let’s just say university presidents talk big and bad about the need to change such a corrupt system . . . unless their version of Rick Pitino or Jim Harrick (both senior and junior) is leading their school deep into March Madness on a consistent basis.
It gets better. Somehow, Rice got everybody to buy into her vision of college basketball, which she says is getting “college” back into the picture. The NBA and the NBA Players Association say they agree, and they are the primary reasons the one-and-done rule surfaced in 2006 that required high school kids to spend a year in college before bolting to the pros. You know, unlike guys before them such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, and I believe they turned out pretty well. College administrators and coaches also supported what Rice said today during a speech at the NCAA’s home of Indianapolis, and there was a similar nod from executives of these apparel companies.
How awesome is that? Plus, I love the report saying college basketball is “a toxic mix of perverse incentives to cheat” while continuing to slam-dunk everybody from scheming agents to those university presidents.
Remember a few years ago when Rice supposedly was in the running to become NFL Commissioner after she retired from her lesser job as Secretary of State? I’ve got a better suggestion. I’m nominating Condi for Czar of Sports.
All of them.