In reality, the NCAA would not exist as it does today without the University of Kentucky. A lot of us, as casual and not so casual fans, love to rant and rage against the NCAA, but very few of us are aware of the true origins of the organization. During the early 1950’s, Congress was tasked to come up with a regulatory commission for college basketball and originally intended for a group of college presidents (American Council on Education) self regulate themselves:
Desperate to end the impasse, Congress gave up on the ACE and asked the NCAA to be the regulatory body. Even though football was the dominant spectator sport, it was basketball that provided the crucial test case for the NCAA’s new watchdog mandate. The University of Kentucky was center court along with City College of New York, Bradley University and Long Island University due to charges that some players were involved in the point-shaving scandal at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The NCAA prohibited any member institution from playing against UK, prompting UK to cancel its 1952-53 varsity schedule. This sent a message nationwide to athletic directors, coaches and presidents that the NCAA had the necessary strength to make (or break) high-profile programs. When it comes to the broad powers enjoyed by the NCAA today, it’s important to note that without UK there would be no NCAA.
The article is a fascinating read and worth the ten minutes of your time. It also ends with the realization that the days of the NCAA may be doomed:
Hard to imagine today that as late as 1980, the NCAA had the authority to restrict televising college football to a total of eight games per weekend — further confined to a formula of two games in each of four regions. It could do this because the NCAA had acquired the power to punish and to promote programs.
The conflicting priorities of commercialism and amateurism in college sports were joined. But an important reminder is that the NCAA is a voluntary association. A college has the right to leave and form new cooperative alliances in tune with its own academic and athletic values.
As we saw last week when Andrew Wiggins visited FSU, he is the center of attention. The fact that the school recruiting his was losing to Florida by 37 points at one point, Andrew Wiggins was the main focus of the fans. And it seems that everyone wants a piece of Wiggins, but he is not letting that faze him:
“I know people expect a lot from me and want to see certain things when I play, but it’s not really any pressure for me,” said Wiggins, who played Sunday in front of several college coaches, including Ohio State’s Thad Matta. “I guess I like the attention. . . . well, I mean, I don’t mind it. Sometimes it can be a lot. I deal with it, though.”
But for every recruiter fawning over Wiggins, there are a handful of opponents who would rather not see Wiggins succeed, and Sunday, Princeton Day was eager to play the role of spoiler. Large crowds are nothing new for Carr, who is nicknamed the “Crimestopper” for his ability to draw people off the Baltimore streets and into the gym, and it appeared he’s taken Sunday’s draw as a personal challenge.
The latest news on Wiggins is that he will visit Kentucky, Kansas, and North Carolina once his season ends.
Now that we are in the “Finals schedule” part of the UK schedule, there are three Kentucky basketball games in a three week span, on each Saturday. That gives us bloggers not a lot to write about, so thankfully, Coach Cal made available a video of the Wildcats basketball practice for the BBN to dissect. Check it out here.
My favorite parts of the video? The fact that according to the comments that the BBN thinks the players are not practicing enough, the fact that Joe B Hall sits in on practice, and we have a Mark Stoops cameo at the 1:12 mark.