Wildcats turned doubters into believers, gave fans great lasting memories
I am still savoring the elation and aura of this amazing University of Kentucky Wildcat men's basketball team. It has proven to be exactly as billed. It did take a while to get here, but the wait is worth it all.
I will admit to being one who had doubts and misgivings about the players and coaches at times. However, we must remember that those who do most of the complaining are those of us who probably never even made their church league team and the only shots we made were on our driveway or backyard goals.
In the early rough going of the Michigan game, hardly anyone noticed Marcus Lee enter the game. He played above the rim rebounding, dunking, blocking shots and even a drive down the middle of the lane right into the hearts of Kentucky fans.
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This unflappable, unwilling to lose team never lost its poise in the face of veteran players and teams in a bracket laden with top-ranked teams. This team did take off down the runway in time and has now etched itself firmly into the lasting memories and history of UK basketball.
I, of course, would also like to congratulate the UK women's team and Coach Matthew Mitchell for the amazing job they achieved and their ventures reaching again into the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. I would just like to say to all the players, "thank you, thank you, thank you" for coming to UK and representing our state with class and dignity.
Fred Copeland Sr.
College athletes deserve a living wage
"One and done" might not be best for the University of Kentucky basketball money-making machine, but it's best for the kids playing. Why should they give their labor to the NCAA for free? Billions of dollars in advertising and merchandise revenue, using the players' images and the players' work, go into other people's pockets.
If we truly care about the great sport of basketball and the benefit of the young men and women playing it, we should just go ahead and pay them. What is the harm of someone being able to make a wage off their own labors? If a player can support himself while in college playing basketball, he will stay in college longer.
The large NBA paycheck won't be as tempting when a player can make a living wage. University of Connecticut star Shabazz Napier recently gave an interview in which he revealed he sometimes went to bed hungry at night in college. Is this how we want to treat our players? They play their hearts out for us. We owe them a living wage.
Police state lives to attack public
March Madness turned into April fools when the police went to war against happy basketball fans. The police reaction to the celebration was, as usual, heavy-handed and hysterical.
They came prepared for war in their riot-gear costumes that looked like a cross between Darth Vader and the Michelin man. Having clubs, tasers, handcuffs, pepper spray, guns, rifles, flash grenades and beanbag guns just wasn't enough protection against cheering college students. This is what the police state lives for — attacking the public.
After the 9-11 attacks, police budgets were increased to fight terrorism and forces have become militarized. Since there is not enough terrorism to keep them busy, they have to turn inward and start attacking the public they are supposed to serve.
It is long past time to cut police spending. We do not need a domestic military to keep us in line. Cutting police budgets is the most simple way to stop the rapid expansion of the police state. Are we really so frightened by a few happy basketball fans?
Practice could make Cats perfect
The Wildcats beat themselves several times this year, including the championship game, because they could not make their free throws.
It's time to start practicing those shots, and excellence in that aspect of the game should be a mandatory requirement to play. In the dribble-drive style of basketball favored by Coach John Calipari, free-throw shots are plentiful and our players must start making them or change the style of play.
Our current team is a great one but it could have been the greatest one if they had just learned to make free throws. I hope they will practice and practice and practice free throws this summer and come back this fall shooting 80 percent as a team. Go Cats.
Astonishing, implausible, amazing
I think a good name for this team is The Unbelievables. After the NCAA tournament games, I've said they were unbelievable.
If anyone wants to see what pure joy looks like, all they have to do is look at University of Kentucky basketball player Julius Randle's smile.