As most of the students went home for February break, the Castleton sports teams never took a minute off. The men’s basketball team made a great run to the NAC Championship game where they fell just short against Husson. Their ECAC tournament bid began with a one-point thrilling win over Wentworth. The women, after dropping a heartbreaker to Colby Sawyer in the NAC championship, responded brilliantly to win their second straight ECAC Championship over Suffolk.
For the hockey teams, there were similar results in tough losses during the ECAC tournament. Our women lost to UMass Boston, while our men suffered a loss to rival Norwich in the ECAC Semifinal.
As we look forward to wearing shorts and t-shirts while watching our spring teams dominate the conference, I want everyone to think about the state of Division I College Basketball.
With the recently new “one and done” rule, 18-20 year old star athletes are either staying in college for one year and bolting to the NBA, or going to Europe to play overseas and then registering for the draft. Either way, college basketball is diminishing. Could you imagine if there was no March Madness? Nobody would care about the regular season, which few do now anyway.
What happened to the days of college rivalries and dynasties? Of course, nobody will ever win 88 games in a row like UCLA did in the 60’s and 70’s, but what about Duke’s back-to-back titles in the 90’s or the Fab Five at Michigan? While the NBA was struggling in the 80’s and early 90’s, college basketball was flourishing. There were teams who had four-year starters and, when you saw them in the tournament, you knew who they were.
Last year I found myself, a huge college basketball fan, watching the tournament and literally trying to learn names. When players like Kyrie Irving or Carmelo Anthony, or Kevin Durant stay one year in college, it hurts the game. Is it possible to establish a different set of rules?
Personally, I do not believe you can make someone stay at college for at least two or three years. There is no law that states kids must attend a school for four years, but, if college basketball wants to regain its integrity, a rule must be passed. But can you? Can you tell an 18 year old kid who clearly possesses the skills to be in the NBA that he must go to college and risk injury and millions of dollars? No, you cannot. Kids need to get the right information from their loved ones and make a decision based on their future, not their bank account.