10.15.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on October 14th, 2008

 There’s a lot of news out there today…  which only means one thing…

  • Goodman continues on his crusade to expose the underbelly of the game with today’s lead – the father of UK’s new hotshot recruit, Daniel Orton, was paid three times over the summer to give talks at Billy Gillispie’s camp.  This is completely legal, by the way.  Discuss. 
  • Too many preseason/holiday tourneys?  ESPN announced today that the Diamond Head Classic will begin in 2009 at the University of Hawaii.  It will finish up on Christmas Day, which will provide a nice collegiate alternative to the annual Shaq-Kobe matchup in the NBA.
  • Please read this, “conference fans.”  It’s even truer in basketball.
  • Is it sad or compelling that this endorsement could tip North Carolina to Obama in three weeks? 
  • Ok, great.  Players are graduating more than they used to.  But is that because they’re committed to the degree program or schools are making it easier to get that degree?
  • A quick Class of 2009 recruiting update from NW Wins, as well as a nice overview of the likelihood of Carolina running the table in the regular season this year.
  • WAC coaches pick Nevada to win their conference, while Big South coaches/media picked Winthrop to win it again. 
  • NBCSports picks AJ Price, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Tyler Hansbrough and Luke Harongody as its all-americans.  We’re just not feeling Price, sorry UConn fans.
  • Parrish thinks that this year’s Florida squad will be quite a bit better than last year’s, and we can’t say that we really disagree with that.
  • Andy Katz assures us that KU’s 2008 national title is safe in light of the re-opening case of Darrell Arthur’s HS transcripts.  You know, because we were worried, or something.
  • He also gives his preseason view of 37 teams that he thinks can make a run next March.
  • Hey, we’ve always been Stacy Dales fans, BC!  Even when she was married to someone named Schulman.  Looks like we may not be able to root out Psycho T for her attention, though. 

Share this story

Maryland Responds

Posted by rtmsf on October 5th, 2007

With respect to yesterday’s story about Gary Williams’ 0% graduation rate, Maryland has since responded with a press release stating that all ten of its players that qualified under the latest GSR ratings left school before graduation to pursue professional basketball careers. These players include:

  • Chris Wilcox (left after two seasons for the NBA draft)
  • Juan Dixon (four-year player)
  • Lonny Baxter (four-year player)
  • Steve Blake (four-year player)
  • Terrence Morris (four-year player)
  • Tahj Holden (four-year player)
  • Drew Nicholas (four-year player)
  • Byron Mouton (transfer who completed eligibility at Maryland)
  • Jamar Smith (transfer who completed eligibility at Maryland)
  • Ryan Randle (transfer who completed eligibility at Maryland)

In response, Gary Williams stated, “These people are very successful people. If you go to school to improve yourself economically, where have they failed? They make more than the average college graduate. Far more. If you’re judging them just based on getting a degree, then OK, they haven’t gotten a degree.”

Gary & Bonnie

Betcha Bonnie Bernstein Got Her Degree

While we’re perfectly willing to hear GW out here, the fact of the matter is that only one of the above players left school early for the guaranteed millions (Wilcox). The other nine players exhausted their playing eligibility, and yet none of them graduated within the six-year window. Gary doesn’t see a problem with this?

He acts like Maryland was the only school to have its players move on to successful professional careers, whether here in the US or overseas. Sure, the Terps had some nasty teams in 2001 & 2002, but so did its archrival down on Tobacco Road (Duke) who still managed to graduate 67% of its players despite losing several to the League. Same thing with Michigan St. (67%), who went to three straight F4s from 1999 to 2001. Arizona (25%) and UConn (22%) were also loaded squads (Arizona – 1997 and 2001; UConn – 1999 and 2004), and yet neither of them pulled an aught – at least they graduated somebody.

Sorry, Gary, while we recognize that Maryland has improved its graduation rate in the interim (Maryland reports that four of last year’s six seniors graduated, and both of this year’s are on pace), we also have to recognize the reality that the program on your watch has consistently finished at the bottom of the ACC in this regard. It may not be at 0% for the duration of your career in College Park, but it’s painfully evident that your program places minimal emphasis on getting a degree. Shame on you.

Share this story

Gary Williams Hates Graduation

Posted by rtmsf on October 4th, 2007

Yesterday the NCAA released its latest graduation rate figures for all D1 athletes who entered school in the classes of 1997-2000. Unlike the federally-mandated graduation rate, the GSR (Graduate Success Rate) is more realistic for athletes – it gives each player six years to complete his degree and it does not count transfer students against a school (reflecting the reality of athlete puddle-jumping for playing time in D1).

Here are the NCAA’s key findings:

The latest GSR figures show that 77 percent of student-athletes who began college from 1997-2000 graduated within six years. That four-year graduation rate is unchanged from last year’s data and up from 76 percent two years ago.

The Graduation Success Rate for men’s basketball rose from 55.8 percent in 1995 to 63.6 percent in 2000, a 7.8 percent increase. Football increased from 63.1 percent to 66.6 percent for teams competing in the Bowl Subdivision and from 62 percent to 64.7 percent for teams competing in the Championship Subdivision. Baseball increased from 65.3 percent to 67.3 percent.

Gary Williams chicken wing

Gary is Too Busy to Worry About Graduation Rates

Since the NCAA doesn’t provide a sortable database of team information (or at least we can’t find it), we decided to quickly throw together some tables showing how the BCS schools performed in this cohort. Gary Williams should be especially proud of himself. Seriously, Gary, the best you can do with those Juan Dixon/Lonny Baxter teams is zero?!? Not even ONE player???

Big 10 + ACC GSRs 07

Big East + SEC GSRs 07

Big 12 + Pac-10 GSRs 07


  • At the high end, Florida St. at 100% makes us wonder if any of these stats are credible. Then again, Florida is also at 100%, and these numbers are around 2000, so maybe there was a hanging chad issue or something. We’re also amazed that Eddie Sutton’s band of merry criminals men led the Big 12.
  • At the low end, Jim Calhoun at UConn, Lute Olson at Arizona, Tim Floyd/Larry Eustachy at Iowa St., Ron Jirsa/Jim Harrick at Georgia, and the seediest of all, Clem Haskins at Minnesota, join Gary Williams in the dregs of their respective conferences. What a list of slimy characters there.
  • The Pac-10 is surprisingly low, given that Stanford, Cal, UCLA and USC are all great schools. Especially Stanford – how can Mike Montgomery justify graduating only 2/3 of his players? Guess he doesn’t have to at this point – or does he? And the SEC is surprisingly high, with Alabama, the Mississippi schools and South Carolina doing well.

We may have more thoughts on this later, but we’re heading for the airport at the moment, so it’ll have to wait.

Share this story