Coaches are a big reason to classroom problems
Just ask me next time, NCAA!
The National Collegiate Athletic Association spent $1.75 million over the last year to find out, among other things, that football and basketball players on campuses with major athletic programs spend more
Cats' Pause Columnist
time on their sports during the season than they do studying and attending class.
I wish the NCAA had asked me.
I could have saved them $1.75 million.
I could have added that "during the season" has nothing to do with the situation. Because of the total absence of institutional control, coaches are allowed to control their players' time the year around. It's never off-season.
And the problem doesn't start with colleges; it begins for some athletes in the grades and then increases in high schools and reaches ridiculous proportions in college.
Three-a-day - even four-a-day - practices are not unusual. College coaches today are demanding more of their athletes' time than ever before.
In the NCAA study, athletes reported feeling "isolated" from other students. How could they not feel isolated when they are forced to live apart from regular students? Athletes must constantly be available to coaches and under the thumb of coaches.
The NCAA did a good thing when it recently started demanding normal progress toward a degree for eligibility. But now it should investigate the degree programs athletes choose - or that are chosen for them Of the communications majors at UK and U of L, for instance, I wonder how many athletes actually are working in the communications industry.
It's a mess nation-wide, and the biggest thing wrong is that coaches are allowed to take so much of their athletes' time that that is almost impossible for an athlete to earn a degree in the normal four years.
Where is the institutional control? Are presidents looking the other way? What do you think?
WONDER OF WONDERS - Please note that at exactly 12:33 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, in the Year of Our Lord 1988, that Eddie Sutton, acting on his own free will, actually said something nice about Richie Farmer.
If that ain't a man-bites-dog story, I don't know what is.
Until then, Sutton had been the only coach I know who publicly criticized one of his players. Hold it!
Let me rephrase that: Until then, Sutton had been the only coach I know besides Bobby Knight who publicly criticized one of his players.
Maybe it was the jet lag; Sutton and the Wildcats had arrived back from Alaska just the night before.
But, anyway, here's what the UK coach said about Farmer "I think hell start scoring. He's playing better defense now."
Until Sean Sutton proves that he can shoot from outside, teams aren't going to respect his shot and defenses will continue to clog up the middle on LeRon Ellis underneath. If Sean doesn't start hitting, the
UK coach may be forced to give Farmer a chance. There aren't any other point-guard candidates on the team.
Sutton, the coach, thinks that his son, John Pelphrey and Deron Feldhaus will begin to see their shots fall.'They have to be threats," he said.
Reggie Hanson can score, too, but he has to guard the toughest forward and that, said Sutton, "takes away from his offense, but he can score."
AID FROM FOOTBALL - Sutton plans to talk
with Jerry Claiborne about some of the football players playing basketball. I will be surprised if Claiborne allows any underclassmen to be contaminated by the basketball mess, but it wouldn't surprise me if senior Ray Gover would be willing to try basketball.
SUTTONS TV SHOW - SomefJiing's missing from the UK coach's Sunday television show. Last season, Sutton went out of his way several times to compliment Dave Baker's features. Baker's pieces set Sutton's show apart from the usual drab coach's show. But this time around there's no Dave Baker.
I asked Dick Gabriel, who heads Channel 27's sports operation. He said he didn't know, that Rob Bromley runs the Sutton show. Your hard-working reporter, smelling a rat, asked Bromley, who said he didn't know why Baker's features are no longer a part of the show.
Shortly before Sutton's show started, it was Baker who gathered the news about Shawn Kemp's involvement with stolen jewelry. That led to Kemp leaving UK
You don't suppose that Sutton had anything to do with keeping Baker off his show, do you?
Oh, 111 bet I know what it is: Last season Oscar Combs and I had a weekly show that perhaps only Sutton would think was in competition with his. I guess the coach thought he had to improve his show!
ELLIS USED RIGHT? - When LeRon Ellis would show flashes of brilliance last season, I often wondered why Sutton didn't play this magnificent athlete and get him ready for post-season play. If Ellis had played, Kentucky would have been a vastly better team by NCAA time. And the Cats would be much better now.
As an example: Think how good Chris Mills is now, and how much better he will be by tournament time.
HE'S PICKING ON ME! - Doyle Cunningham, 12410 Brookgreen Drive, Louisville 40243, says I'm a good writer, but I get ready for a pounding when I see that word but Here are Mr. Curiningham's comments - and my answers.
1. Roselle removed Hagan in a professional manner, not tacky as you said, certainly much less tacky than Hagan handled Fran Curci's removal.
Cox: Sorry, but Curci didn't report to Hagan. He had a straight line to former president Otis Singletary. How ever Curci was removed, I can assure you that Hagan didn't do it.
2. You said there's only one problem with one sport and one coach. How about the 70s football probation and the Herald-Leader revelations?
Cox: We are concerned now with only basketball. I seem to remember tint the NCAA reported that it
could find nothing to the paper's allegations. The NCAA current allegations deal only with current basketball problems.
3. Isn't Hagan's removal a breath of fresh air (as called for by Dick Vitale).
Cox: Only if you blame H?gan; I don't.
4. You criticized Gov. Wilkinson for getting involved, yet haven't you done the same by using the power of the press?
Cox: I am not aware of any university ever getting in trouble with the Southern of Secondary Schools and Colleges because of anything a writer wrote. But some have lost their accreditation because of political
......- .____ v. 9 f jflBBB
Huh? Sutton actually praised Farmer
rr^dling. Ask Morehead State University.
5. This concerns Richie Farmer's situation, which has been discussed to death.
Cox; 111 give you this one, Mr. Cuiiningham. But I still tiiink the kid can play - and will prove it. If given the chance, that is.
6. You accused Joan Mellen of biased reporting in favor of Bobby Knight. You are biased against Knight and so am I. How come you can be biased yet she can't? That's hypocritical, right?
Cox: No, because I tell the truth.
GOHEEN THE HERO - You know about Barry Goheen, the U of L killer. But you may not know about his remarkable academic side. At Marshall County High, he earned National Merit honors, which put him in the upper 2% of all the seniors in the nation. He also was an All-State basketball player.
Hundreds of Marshall County fans believed - and still do - that Goheen should have been Mr. Basketball because of his athletic and academic prowess. Seneca's Tony Kimbro was selected Mr. Basketball, which still burns people in the Purchase county.
Goheen was chosen on the pre-season All-SEC team Can you imagine what he would mean to UK or to U of L this season - a bright kid who can run the team and shoot the lights out?