As I sit here waiting for the University of Michigan’s appearance in the 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament I cannot stop thinking about how so many times we hear folks speak about “what is best for the student athletes.” Only one year ago, the NCAA changed a number of rules in response to Michigan taking their football team to Florida during the University’s Spring Break as part of their annual spring practices. While it would be naive to think that there were not some logistical advantages for Michigan to do so with recruiting, that is not the point.
Fast forward to this evening. Michigan is tipping off at 10:29 ET for their tournament. If they’re lucky, they will leave the arena after some media obligations sometime between 1:00 and 2:00 am ET. The NBA doesn’t play games that late at night and, last I checked, they are not amateur athletes. If the primary focus of the NCAA is the student first then the athlete, why play games so late at night? Is this really the best for the student-athletes and those at the University who are pulling for them? Or is this more about he TV revenue associated with the NCAA tournament which is setting the schedules. If that is the case, maybe we should talk about payment for the players who are bringing in the revenue. On second thought, that seems to be a whole other post……. Until next time and Go Blue!!