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Epiphany And Ennui

I suppose it's not a rarity to find both examples of human conditions in a single daily newspaper, but on the sports pages? Yet there they were in Sunday's Herald-Leader: the epiphanic words of John Clay regarding the plight of the maligned student athlete and Mark Story's comments on one-and-done players and Calipari's recruiting — a story that you must admit passed the ennui stage of discontent and weariness a while ago.

Actually I was a bit surprised that Clay who normally has a reasonably acute perception of the inner workings of the sports world especially the machinations of the NCAA and its various conferences was only now recognizing the transparent hypocrisy of those who administer college athletic competition. The sanctimony of the claim that all or most administrative decisions are made with student athletes in mind reeks to high heaven and should be obvious to any observer of average wit. Clay does advert some prime examples in the SEC and thus his comments have some value in enlightening the naive.

As for Story, I'm not sure if he's composed a prior piece on the 19-year old rule but I know he's commented on its impact on UK's program. That he finds it necessary to comment at all, considering that every sportswriter who's worthy of the appellation — and many who aren't — is at best tiresome. But to the lede of his piece: Could UK's recruiting be too good?, I would pose this scenario:

Suppose there was this choice — instead of Calipari signing possibly the top recruiting class of all time and having those players develop to a point that surpassed most all expectations and then leading UK to a 35-3 record, two conference championships, a number one seed and an Elite 8 finish, and the individual excellence of 4 members of the class leading to them likely being first round NBA selections; instead of that, the class was either of considerably less potential, say top 10, or the actual class failed to meet expectations resulting in a record of, e.g. 26-9, no conference championship, a #4 seed and a loss in Sweet 16, plus, due to the lesser performance and lack of national hype only John Wall represented the class in the draft — which would be best for the future of UK? Considering the status of UK BB going into season the choice is a slam dunk for me and to even pose the question of whether the recruiting was too good is ludicrous at best.

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