I never expected to actually see this, but now that I have, I really must bring your attention to it. Sometimes, schadenfreude at the hypocrisy of your foes is really the best medicine.
Comes now one of my favorite writers, Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, to excoriate the hypocrites who went nuts when John Calipari produced a dominant basketball team out of a bunch of college basketball short-timers, often represented as "one and dones," back in 2012. Let's begin by quoting a bit of the piece:
One Florida journalist called them "college basketball’s worst nightmare."
One national website called them "really bad for college basketball."
Bob Knight called the whole "one-and-done" phenomenon that empowered that UK team "a disgrace."
So what will he say now? What will all of them say, all of those who behaved as if this were John Calipari’s rule, his personal province? Because this morning, the university that has collected three apparent one-and-dones, three top-10 prospects in the 2014 recruiting class, is not Kentucky. It is Duke.
How about that for a setup? DeCourcy, like me and probably you, are incredibly fed up with hearing these non sequitur complaints that cast Calipari in the role of the archetype of what is wrong with college basketball, and hold up Mike Krzyzewski of Duke as the epitome of what is right with the sport.
At this point, I must issue a disclaimer — I am not criticizing Krzyzewski for recruiting his fantastic 2014 class. To the contrary, I applaud him for it. Whether or not it represents a change in his thinking is debatable, and I'm not going to try to divine his intentions. Krzyzewski can no more be blamed for others who laud him than Calipari can be blamed for the "one and done" rule his detractors relentlessly try to blame on him.
What is good to me is to see a sportswriter, in this case, DeCourcy, who has been consistent in his embrace of the reality of the rule pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of silence among those in his community who were quick, loud, and vehement in their condemnation of Calipari, and yet are unable to improve their silence concerning Coach K. Nobody has asked him yet, at least, that I know of, but surely some enterprising and curious sports journalist will inquire Bob Knight's opinion of the matter. I suspect Knight will filibuster.
Consider this indictment by DeCourcy:
The people who turned "one-and-done" into a curse word managed to ignore that such fine young men as Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis and, oh yeah, Kyrie Irving were the supposed problems that needed to be eradicated. They ignored that picture of the UK team that was so obviously together, in the precise manner we hope for all of our best athletic teams. In decrying that athletes merely could pass one semester of classes and then blow off the entire spring term, they’ve ignored that APR success at programs such as Kentucky indicates that almost never happens. And, frankly, they’ve ignored that players such as Carmelo Anthony, Stephon Marbury and, oh yeah, Corey Maggette and Luol Deng were "one-and-done" years before the rule was in place.
With that, he can rest his case.
I vote for conviction, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation — conviction on charges of hypocrisy, lack of reason, abuse of position, unforgivable ignorance, not to mention abject groupthink. Too bad the sentence can't be more than a heartfelt belly laugh at every one of them, shared among those of us who have long ago rejected the stupidity of their transparently false arguments.
It will just have to do, though.