Morning Five: 04.29.11 Edition
Posted by rtmsf on April 29th, 2011
- Dear unnamed ACC coaches who are more interested in their own selfish interests than the well-being of their players: go eff yourselves. You got what you wanted in that the NCAA approved yet another change to its NBA Draft withdrawal deadline, making it virtually impossible for players to work out and solicit good advice on their draft status in 2012 and beyond before making a final decision. The May 8 withdrawal deadline this year is already too short, allowing players merely two weeks to get full information that will help them make a life-changing decision; next year’s deadline will be a ridiculously-early April 12, only ten days after some lucky team will cut the nets down in New Orleans. The ostensible reason behind this change is that coaches want to know what their rosters will look like going into the spring signing period (which begins at approximately the same time as the new deadline), but it rings extremely hollow when they’re claiming to care about their players first while banking millions of dollars themselves. The coaches driving this legislation, every one of whom is a millionaire, has the luxury of wealth and privilege to fall back on if they make a hasty mistake, while their players get… what, exactly? A couple of phone calls, a rumor or two, and a pat on the back? It’s embarrassing and it’s shameful, and if anyone believes that this change will frighten players who are not draftable to stay in school, they’re dreaming. Successful people generally believe things will work out for them, no matter the decision — it’s just that now they’ll be making their decisions without proper information on which to rely. Congratulations, fellas.
- Ok, on to the players in this year’s draft who still have another ten days to make a final decision. The NBA released its official list on Thursday and the biggest surprise name on it was Minnesota’s Ralph Sampson, III. DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony makes the call on every one of this year’s early entries, including analysis that shows several players — Tennessee’s Tobias Harris, Michigan’s Darius Morris, and Xavier’s Tu Holloway, to name a few — have difficult decisions ahead of them next week.
- Georgia’s Mark Fox received a nice raise as a result of his guiding the Bulldogs to its first legitimate NCAA Tournament appearance in nine seasons last year (the Dawgs’ 2008 appearance with a 17-17 team was a fluke in part caused by the Atlanta tornado). His contract was extended by one year to 2016 and his salary was increased by $400,000 annually for a total package worth $1.7M per year. Not bad for a football school, eh? Fox will lose stars Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie to the NBA Draft this offseason, so his ultimate worth will be determined by how he does the next four years with his own players. Still, he’ll have plenty of dollars put away to carry him for a while if things don’t go as well as last season did for his program.
- Hey, we can’t say that we did or did not write a couple of letters in a similar vein to this back in the day, but what we can say is that Ethan Peikes’ letter to Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich applying for the open head coaching position this spring was probably more logical, likely more witty, and definitely better written. This is a great story from Mike DeCourcy about how a 15-year old kid from Stamford, Connecticut, made a name for himself by simply, well, making a name for himself. Nice resume booster.
- Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday made headlines when he said that the bombastic businessman-turned-politician Donald Trump was “God’s gift to comedy.” Little did he know that another God’s Gift would be making his way to the Big Apple, and this one doesn’t involve a weird comb-over and a penchant for egomania. As far as we know, at least. God’s Gift Achiuwa, a 6’9 sophomore forward from Erie Community College picked St. John’s over Washington and Cincinnati for his services in the post next year. Steve Lavin calls him “Gift,” and he represents exactly that to his packed recruiting class that comes in long on talent but not particularly sizable. The Johnnies will be extremely young next season but should remain fun to watch for a number of reasons, not least of which will be enjoying various announcers handle Achiuwa’s God-Given name.
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