John Clay

College basketball coaches lost right to complain about rule changes

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke during a news conference at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis in April. The Commission on College Basketball, led by Rice, released a detailed 60-page report seven months after the NCAA formed the group to respond to a federal corruption investigation that rocked college basketball.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke during a news conference at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis in April. The Commission on College Basketball, led by Rice, released a detailed 60-page report seven months after the NCAA formed the group to respond to a federal corruption investigation that rocked college basketball. AP Photo

Random notes:

The Commission on College Basketball took a lot of flak when it issued its report in the wake of the FBI’s investigation into college basketball corruption. In the end, however, the sport is much better off thanks to the NCAA adopting some of the common sense recommendations made by Condoleezza Rice and her colleagues.

Example 1: Players who declare for the NBA Draft and participate in the NBA Draft Combine but go undrafted may now return to their former school.

Example 2: Elite prospects in high school and college will be allowed to have an official relationship with agents. USA Basketball will identify the “elite” prospects who are eligible to take advantage of the new rule.

Example 3: School presidents will now be held responsible for making sure their athletic departments go by the rules. The buck will stop not just with the coaches and athletic directors, but the people who hire them, as well.

Example 4: An outside body, not affiliated with schools or conferences, will review findings from investigations and make decisions on penalties.

In addition, the recruiting calendar will undergo major changes, which has already brought criticism from coaches. Too bad. The coaches were obviously unable to clean up their own sport.

Speaking of coaches, Rick Pitino reportedly now says he will start a podcast in conjunction with the release of his new book on Sept. 4. You would think that one self-serving Pitino enterprise would be more than enough.

The bottom line with Pitino remains the same now as it was before he was fired at Louisville, if he did not know what was going on in his basketball program, he should have known. That’s why coaches get the ridiculously big bucks.

Same goes for Urban Meyer at Ohio State, by the way.

The NCAA reportedly did fumble the release of the rule changes, however. USA Basketball claims it was not consulted about identifying “elite” prospects. And high school players will not be allowed to have a relationship with agents until the NBA removes its age restriction rule.

UK football offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said Tuesday the staff had picked up some plays from the NFL over the summer it will incorporate into its playbook for 2018.

So I asked quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw which way is the current trend leaning? Is the NFL borrowing more stuff from the college game? Or is the college game borrowing from the NFL?

“It’s a combination of both,” said UK’s quarterbacks coach. “Everybody is trying to steal from everybody. If it can help us win football games, we don’t care if we get it from Pop Warner, honestly.”

There is one crossover trend right now, however. You see NFL teams adopting more of the run-pass option (RPO) plays, colleges have run for the past few years.

Maybe Kentucky football’s 2018 schedule is not as difficult as we think. Sports Illustrated’s preseason Top 25 contains just two UK opponents. Georgia is No. 6. Mississippi State is No. 21.

Mitch Barnhart was undoubtedly correct at UK football’s Media Day last Friday when he said part of the reason for declining attendance is the secondary ticket market. Fans don’t need to secure season tickets to make sure they have a seat at games. They can buy from ticket re-sellers.

There is a possible solution to that problem, one that goes back to the economic principle of supply and demand: Reduce the price of the ticket.

The Reds’ sub-.500 record after the All-Star break strengthens my belief the front office should do an extensive search for a manager at the end of the season. Interim skipper Jim Riggleman can be included in that search, but he shouldn’t get the permanent job without first exploring other possibilities.

I might have to splurge on a Showtime subscription just so I can watch the LeBron James’ produced “Shut Up and Dribble” docu-series.

Condoleezza Rice and the Commission on College Basketball is advocating for an NCAA program that certifies agents. Only those agents would be permitted to be in contact with student athletes.

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