Category Archives: NCAA

Survive and Get Rich

Scotty Gruszka

As this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off and moves through the bracket, millions of people countrywide are suffering from March Madness.  Brackets are being ripped up and thrown in the trash as “cinderellas” move on and power houses fall.  While all that seems like enough madness, what goes on behind the scenes is even more maddening.  The NCAA Men’s Tournament brings in over $700M and that money is split up between the schools who make the field.  As teams advance they receive more money from the NCAA so while your school losing may be a tough one to swallow, it’s even harder for your school’s Athletic Director who could have had more money coming in. Continue reading Survive and Get Rich

Final Four Predictions Re-Visited

Just like the majority of the nation, my predictions for the Final Four didn’t quite pan out the way I was hoping for.  Nonetheless, my national champion pick Florida Gators are still in the running along with UConn, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.  With the field narrowed and set, it’s time to make the predictions again for the national championship.

FINAL FOUR

Florida vs. UConn

The Florida Gators are the only team that made it from my original Final Four for one reason: they’re a legit force.  The Gators are a tough-it-out type of team and they work extremely hard on the defensive end to shut down teams.  UConn on the other hand is built around solid guard play in Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier.  This game will be a big matchup between Scottie Wilbekin and Shabazz Napier but the toughness of the Gators will send them to the championship.

Kentucky vs. Wisconsin

The Kentucky Wildcats have ridden their Fab Freshmen all the way to the Final Four and they won’t stop there.  This game will be a contest between the over the top athleticism of Kentucky vs. the contained strength of Wisconsin.  However, with the battle down low between Julius Randle and Frank Kaminsky, the Kentucky guard play will put them on top to set up the SEC laden finale to the season.

NCAA CAHMPIONSHIP GAME

Florida vs. Kentucky

This championship clash between SEC rivals will be a game to remember.  At the beginning of the season, Patric Young was quoted saying in regards to the Kentucky freshmen: “I hope they think they can just walk on the court and they’re going to beat everybody…I hope that’s what they think”.  This game will be one for the ages, fast paced, high scoring, and full of emotion.  Four years in a row Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, and the Florida Gators made it to the Elite Eight but lost.  Their long journey now culminates with a shot at the trophy their senior year.  On the Kentucky side, the freshmen are looking to prove themselves worthy for the NBA and silence all the critics with this final run for the championship.  In the end however, the experience and poise of the seasoned Florida Gators will come out on top holding the national championship trophy up high.

Picks For The Final Four

The board is set, teams are preparing, and fans everywhere are writing and scratching out picks made for March Madness.  Amongst all this mayhem, I’ll be providing my choices for the Final Four and the tournament winner.

FINAL FOUR

#1 Florida vs. #4 Michigan State: This game is going to be a hard nosed, gritty, tough it out type of game.  The Gators have been working 4 years for this chance behind seniors Scottie Wilbekin at the guard and forward Patric Young.  Patric Young is a physical specimen and has enough heart and energy to bring Florida fans back to the glory years of Joakim Noach and their back to back tourney championships.  Michigan State though is also very tough behind guard duo Gary Harris and Keith Appling and forward Adreian Payne.  Adreian Payne and Patric Young will almost cancel each other out in this game and it will come down to guard play.  Reigning SEC player of the year Scottie Wilbekin and the workhorse Gators will get it done and move on to the championship game.

#3 Creighton vs. #4 Louisville: Doug McDermott and Creighton have the ability to put some monster numbers up on the scoreboard and they’ll get it done in the tourney.  When they’re on their game, Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge just don’t seem to miss a basket.  Louisville on the other hand who unfairly was handed the #4 seed show the committee why they deserved a higher seed and move into the Final Four behind guard Russ Smith.  This game, unlike Florida and Michigan State, will be a shootout.  Both teams have the capability to put up big numbers and both will, but #4 Louisville moves on to the championship game to go for the back to back championships.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

#1 Florida vs. #4 Louisville: These polar opposite teams will battle it out in the NCAA Men’s Tournament.  Both teams have veteran strength and freshman flare, but the tough defense and the will to win that the Florida Gators have shown all season long puts them out on top in this nail-biter of a finish.  The Gators will lock down Russ Smith and breakaway at the end of the game to win their first championship since 2007.

NATIONAL CHAMPION: FLORIDA GATORS

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Why College Athletes Should Not Get Paid

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For decades, college athletes performed for their schools without the expectation of any reimbursement for their performances.  College athletics always has been an amateur spectacle because, well, the athletes are still in school.  Now however, with all the money pouring into college athletics, there has been an increase in discussion over whether or not these amateur athletes deserved compensation.  But even with all the money going into college athletics, it would be incredibly difficult and irrational to try and pay all college athletes.

There are many reasons why college athletes should not be paid but to start, one needs to look at how many sports and athletes are actually involved in college athletics.  When most people hear college athletics, they think of basketball, football, and maybe baseball.  But those are just the major sports at schools.  There are several other sports like soccer, track and field, tennis, swimming, and diving.  With almost every school in the nation participating in these sports and then having men’s and women’s teams for each sport, that’s thousands of athletes that would have to be paid.  Divvying up money amongst all these athletes would be a monumental task and after dividing up the money, each athlete would receive only a miniscule portion because of how many athletes there are.  Not only are there thousands of athletes to pay, not every sport brings in as much money as the big time sports.

Every year when March rolls around, basketball fans everywhere look forward to the beginning of the Men’s March Madness College Basketball Tournament.  It is estimated that appearing in just one game of the March Madness tournament generates roughly $1.9 million for a team’s conference and a trip to the Final Four generate $9.5 million for a team’s conference.  While this is a lot of money, there is only 64 teams that compete in the tournament and 351 total schools in men’s Division I basketball.  March Madness and the Bowl Series for college football are the main moneymakers for schools.  But what about the swimmers, tennis players, and all the other athletes?  While other athletes are just as athletic and talented as the athletes from the “big time sports”, they don’t bring in nearly as much money so it begs the question: if college athletes were to be paid, how would the pay be divvied up between the different sports?  Yes, the men’s basketball and football players bring in the most revenue for their schools, but is it fair to pay other athletes less when they compete at the same level?  And then what about the bench warmers on teams who rarely ever take the warm-ups off and get into the game, what would they be paid when they didn’t contribute?  With all these dilemmas on how the money would be distributed amongst the schools, sports, and athletes it just seems to make more sense to not pay the athletes and to keep college athletics amateur.

With all these reasons to not pay college athletes, there are good cases to be made to pay them.  Many advocators for paying college athletes look to how college athletics has had such an influx of money into the big money sports.  There are lucrative television deals, independent athletic departments who receive funds separately from the university, and many other endorsements that bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars into schools across the nation.  What many people fail to realize is that even though there is all this money going into athletic departments across the country, almost no schools turn a profit at the end of the school year.  So even though there’s really no money to give college athletes, let’s assume every school made a profit.  Would the lower tier teams be paid less than or the same as the Dukes and North Carolinas?  Then there’s also the issue of whether teams from Division II and Division III should be paid.  If a decision is made to pay Division I and not pay Division II or III, then that would spell the end of the lower divisions of college athletics because athletes would only want to play for the money of Division I.

There can be cases made to pay college athletes, but for every reason to pay them there are several more reasons not to.  With all the money flowing into college athletics, there’s just no way right now to figure out a way to divide that money amongst every single school and athlete in college.  The only way to put these discussions to rest for the time being would be to stem the flow of money into college athletics.  The idea of paying amateur college athletes is really heating up, and it is something that will continue to be discussed for years to come as more money is brought into the equation.

Sources: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2012/03/14/march-madness-a-trip-to-the-final-four-is-worth-9-5-million/