and I think about those things.
We all like to think of college and other amateur sports in idyllic terms (or maybe I'm just projecting): coaches are ethical and upstanding citizens with their players' best interests in mind, players play for the love of the game and love the university just as much as us alumni, and the powers that be operate without bias. Yet this worldview is continually exposed to be a naive way of thinking. In just the past week, the ugly side of college basketball has been exposed in a number of different stories.
First we have the story of Rutgers coach/maniac Mike Rice:
Rice appears to have some real issues. The most puzzling thing to me is that the AD appears to fully support retaining Rice, who has not lit the world on fire at Rutgers and is behaving in a manner that absolutely can not be supported by any rational person. Even more surprising is that the AD is trying to wave all this away at Rutgers where the women's basketball coach was able to put enough pressure to get Don Imus fired for derogatory comments he made about her team and a gay student committed suicide over bullying, and another student was put on trial for his role in it. Yet it is apparently ok for a basketball coach to be shouting all kinds of vitriol and epithets at his players, and I'm not even mentioning the physical abuse! It is just sad to me that, even though his job depends on these players performing well, a person actually thinks it is ok to treat others this way. Does anyone else imagine Rice's dinners at home going something like this?
I predict Rutgers is looking for a new basketball coach next week. They should probably also be looking for a new AD, since this one seems to have somehow vastly underestimated what the reaction to this story would be.
In other shitty news, we have the head of PAC-12 officiating, Ed Rush, creating a giant pile of delicious conspiracy cookies by "joking" that he would give an official $5k or a trip to Cancun if he gave Sean Miller a technical or threw him out of the game.
So what happens? Miller gets his first technical of the year with 4:37 left in Arizona's 74-69 loss to UCLA in the PAC-12 tournament semifinals. I'm sure that Rush's joke had nothing to do with it. The PAC-12 commissioner has said that there was no "ill will" and basically just move on. I don't see how Rush keeps his job. He has completely opened the door for people to question the integrity of PAC-12 officiating. Ill will or not, he has to be gone just for that reason.
When this story broke, I thought, "what if John Clougherty had made a similar 'joke' about Mark Gottfried?" But it is really hard to imagine what the world would be like after the internet blows up.
The final story I am thinking of hits close to home. It involves the transfer of Rodney Purvis away from NC State. Players transferring is nothing new, so it always surprises me the amount of hate spewed towards a transferring player who has not made any public, negative comments about the program he is leaving. I'm not going to pretend to know all the reason's that Purvis is transferring. I think it sucks a big one. I am disappointed that many fans feel the need to personally denigrate a young man just because he decides not to play for your favorite team any longer.
I am not saying that people can not/should not question the decision, but to make the leap from "I think that is a bad decision" to "obviously, that player has x, y, and z moral failings" is asinine. One of the many reasons I love this site is that comments like that don't often show up here.
Whenever I start to get really angry or upset about something happening in sports, I try to take a step back and put things in perspective. Really these are just people I do not know, that owe me nothing, playing a game. I just want to sit back and enjoy watching a sport that I like, but incidents like these make it a lot harder to do.
These are just some stories that have interested me in the past week or so, and there wasn't a great place to discuss them all, so I am throwing them up here.