Kansas coach Bill Self has tried to downplay the Big 12 implosion/revamp/status quo. Why worry about the Jayhawks’ conference future when nothing he does affects that? Once Texas and Oklahoma decide what they want, then he can focus on what his program’s next move is.
However … he does acknowledge that everything is about to change. And not necessarily in a good way.
In an interview with 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City, Self spoke at length about how the NCAA’s new APR minimums (and penalties for not making those minimums) might be tougher than ever to hit because of all the travel involved in big-time sports.
Say Kansas – whose latest APR score was perfect – does move to the Big East or the Pac-12. Schools are no longer a few hours away. There’s loads of travel involved, to say nothing of when March hits. From the interview:
“It’s hypocritical to think that APR is so important. They’re going to start pulling teams out of postseason competition if their APRs aren’t certain rates. And there’s a direct correlation between making good grades and going to class. And now they’re putting kids in a position where they’re going to miss more class than what they’re already required to miss… You could miss 10-15 school days just for the NCAA tournament, maybe more in some cases. I don’t know what the answer is. …
“Let’s call it like it is. The NCAA, the presidents, the organization itself, has every rule change, everything involved based on graduation rate, based on the APR, based on providing more educational opportunities, based on the support services. If you want to play big-time college athletics, there’s certain things that schools have to do for the student-athlete. That’s all good. But now you have obviously a situation where it begs the thought of hypocrisy in that, ‘We want this, we say this, and the rules apply to everybody else, but do they really apply to me?”
The NCAA tournament generates nearly every bit of the NCAA’s yearly revenue. If it truly wants to protect its golden goose and not turn away from things that need bold, strong leadership, this would be a good place to start.
Yes, the school presidents may be the ones who have the final say in matters of conference affiliation, but the NCAA oversees those schools. They clear the players, provide the oversight and ultimately are responsible for every sport’s well-being.
If they’re not going to ensure a member’s continued health, then what’s the point?
(Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews).
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