The Point After

Kentucky's coach doesn't look to instill a loyalty to the Kentucky Wildcats in his players. Photo courtesy of

Though March had some madness, my bracket being one of its many victims, when the smoke had settled, four very familiar programs were left standing.

Unfortunately, for all of us fans out there with teams that didn’t make it, there is no way for us to enjoy the Final Four at all. There are no connections to be made because the rise of one-and-done players has destroyed the sense of loyalty once vehemently obvious in college basketball.

As a fan, I am often left wondering if the fans are the only people left who are truly loyal. If you stand unconvinced, let us now take a look at the Final Four.

Arguably the best team in the Final Four, Kentucky is the epitome of a me-first organization. Their coach, who, I will make no effort to sugarcoat, I despise more than the steroid era in baseball, perpetuates the mantra of team while making no effort to instill in his players a pride in the program for which they are playing.

The top talents in the country go to Kentucky because it is the greatest NBA promoter in the land.

It is sad to here commentators use words like “veteran” and “old guy” when referring to the sophomores on Kentucky’s team. Four of Kentucky’s starting five will leave for the NBA after the end of this tournament, probably with a national championship in tow.

That is the price of a championship nowadays, it would seem. When you take a coach who is loyal only to himself (Kentucky should ask Memphis what Callipari means when he says he’s their coach for life.) and players interested only in making money and being famous, you get a program that levies the next 20 years of their players lives against the entirety of their lives.

It is the inescapable truth of game right now.  The average length of an NBA career is less than five seasons, due to injury and a continuous inflow of new talent. There is no guarantee of success on the highest level, much less remaining healthy.

I am not sure about you folks, but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be ready for life after just freshman year.

But that is what the game is saying.

One year to grow up and the rest of your life to regret leaving college so early. This is the kind of exploitation that enslaves a person to his own ignorance.

Yet, that is what will continue to be.  That is the madness in March this year. A champion will be crowned, and countless players will lose.

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