News, Notes and Puppet Rants (June 5th)

-We will be doing our June Session podcast within the next week or two.  Be on the lookout for that.  Barring something totally unexpected that deserves immediate attention, it will be our final podcast of the athletic year.  On July 1, we will OFFICIALLY be in the 2015-2016 athletic year, so this year will suddenly be last year and next year will suddenly be this year.

-This is old news, but Northern Kentucky has moved from the Atlantic Sun to the Horizon League.  2015-2016 will be their final year as a transitional program.  The Atlantic Sun is now down to just seven full members, which is the minimum a conference is allowed to have while still being an automatic qualifier.  We’ve said this before, but NJIT would make sense despite being a geographic outlier.  Most A-Sun teams travel in the OOC portion of the season anyway, so this would be just one more trip.  And, NJIT has plans to build a new arena, and would be a formidable basketball program by Atlantic Sun standards.  They advanced to the semifinals of the CIT a year ago, and anyone who can do that would be an asset to a league like the A-Sun.  If this is going to happen, it  needs to happen before July 1st, so let’s take to Twitter and make this happen!!  #NJITtoASun!!!!  #TeamOfThePeople!!

-North Carolina is about to go through the NCAA equivalent of a full body cavity search.  The NCAA has accused UNC of five level 1 violations, which basically means they could be looking at a postseason ban for the sports that were involved.  The violations include lack of institutional control for failing to monitor its academic programs, extra benefits, and not cooperating with the NCAA, The report mentions that 169 student-athletes were involved, and 15 of those were men’s basketball players, so this is no small thing.

-UAB has announced they intend to reinstate their football program, which should allow them to remain in Conference USA.  This is good news for their basketball program seeing as how the three best basketball centric conferences (Big East, Atlantic Ten and Missouri Valley) likely would not have had much interest in adding UAB, which would have likely resulted in them landing in a league like the Sun Belt as a non-football member, or the Atlantic Sun.

-Fred Hoiberg has left Iowa State for the NBA.  He did an unbelievable job with the Cyclones, especially the past two seasons where the team entered the NCAA Tournament as a #3 seed in each of those years, and won two Big Twelve Tournament championships.  Unfortunately they were inflicted with injuries going into the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but still made the Sweet Sixteen, and they were upset in the round of 64 by UAB in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, but despite that the program was having a terrific run.  I for one am kind of sad to see him leave the college game.


-And finally, I will close with my rant on the Graduate Transfer Waiver, or more accurately, those who oppose this waiver.  Here’s the thing.  People in college athletics love to claim that these are student-athletes, and that academic are important, and that it’s about getting a free education.  Well, if that’s the case, then what the hell is a “Graduate Transfer??”  There’s no such thing.  In the world of academics, which people in college athletics (falsely) claim to value, graduating and enrolling in another institution to seek an advanced degree, or simply to seek a second undergraduate degree is NOT transferring.  Transferring is when you begin a degree program at one school, and opt to complete that same degree program at another school.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that if college athletics actually does value academics and claims to be tuned in to academics, then they should not refer to college graduates as transfer students when they enroll in another college.  The only thing that should change about the “Graduate Transfer Waiver” is the name.  It should be called the Graduate ENROLLMENT Waiver” since these players aren’t technically transfers…at least as far as the academic side of things is concerned.

….and no, this waiver should NOT go away.  You cannot claim to have the best interest of the student-athletes in mind, and then take away one of the few things that is advantageous to them.



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