Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Not the best time to be around college basketball

September 14, 2012 Columns No Comments
author_kasiecki

I often tell people that September is the second-best month of the year, and basketball has a lot to do with it. A lot gets done with some fall showcases, prep school visits and fall leagues in effect, in addition to college basketball being right around the corner. Right now, though, is not a good time for college basketball.

College basketball has been beset with bad news lately. There are always players declared academically ineligible around this time of the year, which is never good news, but there’s more than that going on and that’s why this has been a difficult stretch.

There’s Billy Gillispie at Texas Tech, a situation that looks more and more like it will end with a head coach out of a job. North Carolina has seen academic questions arise within one department. Arch-rival Duke is now in the news as a lawsuit was filed against former Blue Devil Lance Thomas from a purchase he made while a senior at the school. Now, we even have the Ivy League in the news in a bad way, as Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry have withdrawn from Harvard for this year after being implicated in an academic dishonesty scandal that has spanned much wider than just basketball players.

All this, and we still have nearly a month to go until the start of practice. In other words, it’s still early yet and a lot more can happen.

Billy Gillispie may be a dead coach walking right now. As the story develops, it appears he has committed secondary NCAA violations with regard to practice time and also mistreated some of his players. What’s worse is that this doesn’t appear to be something new for him. While he appears to have some health concerns right now, the bigger problem is that more details are emerging that aren’t favorable to him. It wouldn’t be a shocker if he is not employed by the school when practice begins.

The story with Lance Thomas seems like a strange one, but it could be a landmark case. Thomas bought nearly $100,000 worth of jewelry in Manhattan with just $30,000 down, with the rest being in credit. The store extended the credit for just 15 days, which seems strange considering his financial situation was virtually certain not to change in that time since it was early in his senior season. There are many questions all around the case and for all involved parties, so it’s anyone’s guess how this turns out. But it’s not great news to be hearing.

At Harvard, the story is no less depressing. The details are quite murky, and an investigation is ongoing. No one, including Casey and Curry, has been deemed guilty of anything. The reason for their withdrawal is the way the Ivy League schools work as far as eligibility goes; it is a risk management move for both. It deals a big blow to Harvard’s hopes to repeat as Ivy League champs, but that’s not what matters. What matters is what is making news in the first place and going beyond basketball since this involved students who are not athletes.

Hearing about academic dishonesty is never good and especially at the premier institution of higher learning. Harvard’s president is correct that this goes far beyond athletes, but the context has to be considered: athletes are in the news often because their lives are of interest to many in the general public. What’s even worse is that one of the two implicated, Casey, is quite simply one of the best kids in college basketball. You want so desperately to believe that’s the extent of it, that in the end he will be among those exonerated. And that’s why the news was so stunning when it broke.

College basketball fans are still weary with conference maneuvering, especially as very little of it makes much sense. This spat of bad news can be almost depressing, especially knowing there could be more of it around the corner.

Yet the game will go on. We will still have great stories among the players, coaches and teams that compete, and we’ll find plenty to like. The season will remain enjoyable and March will remain the best month of basketball. Still, that doesn’t make this stretch any easier to take, and it’s understandable if a college hoops fan is feeling a little blue at times lately. Right now, the second-best month of the year doesn’t feel very much like that.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

December 4, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

The first big Saturday of the college basketball season gave us all we could hope for, and it started right away. We have notes from a number of the day’s games right here.

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

gonzaga

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

big12

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

hoopguy-yellow

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.