Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some links

More on D-Rose "scandal" -

One month after Memphis lost to Kansas in overtime in one of the most thrilling national championship games in recent memory, the Tigers were rocked by an e-mail from the NCAA.

It was then that Memphis was first notified that star freshman point guard Derrick Rose, who helped the Tigers to an NCAA-record 38 wins and was soon going to become the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft by his hometown Bulls, had an invalidated standardized test score the previous year at Chicago's Simeon High School, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the e-mail.

Bulls to take best available -

The Bulls head into the June 25 draft without any single glaring need.

Their overall team wish list would include better interior defense, a post-up scorer, a taller shooting guard, someone who has a chance of guarding LeBron James and more speed or outside shooting to complement point guard Derrick Rose.

In other words, they're in a spot to take the best player available player and hope he becomes an asset.

Since the Bulls are getting close to the luxury tax, unloading a pick or taking someone who will play overseas for a couple of years is another option.

Del Harris retires

Bulls assistant Del Harris will announce plans to retire from coaching today.

Harris, 71, worked one season on the Bulls bench after spending the previous eight seasons as an assistant with Dallas.

The Indiana native was a head coach for 14 seasons with Milwaukee, Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers. He was NBA coach of the year in 1995 with the Lakers and led the Rockets to the 1981 NBA Finals.

There was speculation during the season that Harris might stop traveling with the team next season, but he is expected to make a complete break from coaching.

Longtime Bulls assistant Pete Myers will most likely move up in the chain of command to replace Harris on the bench.

Kmart beat me to this story yesterday in his "Hate on LeBron" post. But does Pete Myers moving up mean we can get a real big-man coach?!

D-Rose "scandal" again -

Experience it in IMAX . . .

Thank goodness for this Derrick Rose embarrassment.

This fake-test-taking, grade-changing, broken-rules-all-over-the-place embarrassment.

We needed this. We in sports and life, I mean. We needed this to pop like a zit in the middle of your forehead.

I’m in favor of anything that makes the point that college is the biggest cesspool in sports. Colleges themselves, the actual ivory towers, are the most overpriced, overhyped institutions in America, extortion with elbow patches, but that’s a whole other rant. If college sports isn’t the biggest cesspool we cover, it’s at least tied with the Olympics, and how fitting that one scandal is rooted in the corrupt city of Chicago and some people want to bring the other slimy event here.

Good luck finding ethics in any of it -- college sports (and by extension the stench of us media types glorifying snot-nosed, booger-eating teenaged athletes before they even get to high school sometimes), the Olympics, Chicago, the state of Illinois. There’s too much money and power to stop.

More D-Rose -

Memphis was unable to find proof a former player cheated on his SAT exam in its internal investigation of NCAA allegations against the men's basketball team.

The investigation report, released to The Associated Press and other news outlets Tuesday under a public records request, details Memphis' internal investigation into allegations that a former player -- widely reported to be Derrick Rose -- allowed a stand-in to take his SAT test and of grade tampering.

School officials argue that even if the NCAA's Committee on Infractions believes a former player cheated, the program should not be penalized because the school was unaware of any wrongdoing.

Memphis was first notified by the NCAA by e-mail in May 2008, one month after the Tigers lost to Kansas in the NCAA championship game, that star point guard Rose had an invalidated standardized test score the previous year at Chicago's Simeon High School, multiple sources with direct knowledge of an e-mail told ESPN.com.

Most names in the report released Tuesday were redacted by Memphis because of privacy concerns, but multiple sources have told ESPN.com that representatives of Rose did tell Memphis he took the SAT in question.

The report said the school had no reason to suspect the SAT was fraudulent until notified by Educational Testing Service that the player's score had been canceled. That letter came May 5, 2008, after Rose's only season at Memphis.

"The university ... took all reasonable steps to confirm that [name redacted] had met eligibility requirements," the report states.

Isn't the real issue here the NBA's rule that does not allow players to go straight from hig school to the association?! Players have no choice but to go to "college" for a year, but they have no reason to try/care about academics in high school or college. Players like OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose know prior to their senior year of HS that they are headed to the NBA, but they have to find a way to waste a year in between.

If the NBA is going to keep it's 1-year-out-of-HS requirement, then Stern needs to put some serious effort into making the D-League legitimate. As of right now it turns "college" into a one-year minor league system, makes a joke of the academic-side of college, and steals scholarships from kids who want to get an education. Rose had no choice but to go to college for a year, so can you blame him for doing what was necessary to make it work?!

A timely article that I just found ...

The one-and-done rule -
There are probably a lot of people out there who still believe that the NBA’s age limit is a good idea. Who are certain that the best high school basketball players’ annually spending a mandatory year in college benefits the player, college ball and the NBA.

Those people will watch the NBA Finals starting this week, gaze at Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard (and, for that matter, Andrew Bynum), and recall the marquee players they overcame to get where they are, like LeBron James and Kevin Garnett, and conclude, “Yes, the NBA is much better off stopping the flow of players straight from high school.

Devastating, the havoc these kids have wreaked on the poor NBA lately. It’s been horrible, the way the ratings and buzz and widespread interest in the recently-lagging sport have risen this postseason, led by such unschooled, unskilled, unprepared youth.

Speaking of “unschooled,’’ I forget – how did Pau Gasol’s and Hedo Turkoglu’s teams do in the NCAAs? What about Yao Ming’s? Luis Scola’s? Tony Parker’s? Manu Ginobili’s? Dirk Nowitzki’s? Nene’s? Any handwringing about their high-school GPAs, or are only U.S. players lucky enough to receive that kind of grief?

Thankfully, though, there are plenty of recent examples of the wisdom of the rules, from the college end. The two signature one-and-done players of the 2007-08 season, for instance, are now central figures in the two ugliest scandals in the sport – O.J. Mayo, who allegedly received money from Southern California’s head coach before enrolling; and Derrick Rose, whose high-school grades and SAT before arriving at Memphis are now being brought into question by the NCAA.

Yup, paid players and academic fraud. It’s that sort of atmosphere of higher learning to which the NBA wants its players exposed before joining its ranks.

It’s been so beneficial all around, the NBA reportedly is prepared to ask the players association to agree to raise the minimum age by a year – to 20, or to two years beyond high school – when they next meet to discuss the labor agreement. Awesome. One extra year to funnel money illicitly to a player instead of allowing him to earn it above the table. One extra year to find substitute test-takers, falsify transcripts and create fake classes with phony credits in order to keep a player “eligible.’’

If the impressionable youngsters don’t take valuable life lessons from that, then when will they ever?

Better those lessons, though, than the unsavory ones being taught by Bryant, James, Howard and Garnett – that one is entitled to make a living off one’s skills, even at age 18, rather than be forced to give those skills away for someone else to make a living off of them. (Someone like, say, Tim Floyd or John Calipari or the athletic department officials at their schools.)

Or, if that lesson is way too fundamentally American and constitutional, then: If you’re good enough to play in the NBA, you should go do it. And if you’re great, you can have the sport’s very foundation built around you. A couple of puppets are tossing up chalk and displaying their rings in agreement.

Another award for a member of the Bulls -

Chicago Bulls Head Team Physician Dr. Brian Cole has been named the 2009 NBA Team Physician of the Year as voted on by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA).

"The Bulls organization is proud of our association with Dr. Brian Cole and this award recognizes what we have been keenly aware of the last five years,” stated Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson. “Brian is an outstanding doctor who cares about our players and works extremely hard to give them the best care possible. The entire Chicago Bulls organization congratulates Brian and thanks him for his dedication."

In addition to the award, the NBATA will be making a $1,000 donation to the charity of Dr. Cole’s choice.

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