I am happy for Kevin Love and his future in the NBA. No criticism or regrets about his effort, spirit or personal contributions. He was great in every way, but the whole concept of these one and doners leaves a sour taste in my mouth even though K Love's situation was the best possible good example of a one and doner. He was classy in every way.
But is this what we want as our program, UCLA? Just keep reloading fantastic one and doners and say, wow, what a great college we have when in fact we're really just a revolving door, minor league player development league for the NBA?
I mean, how many classes does a one and doner have to take before he moves on the pros? Two quarters worth, maybe? How many units is that? 20% of what's needed to graduate? A guy's on campus barely 7 months and he's a "UCLA" legend? I don't know.
I just don't like it. To me, it takes the student out of student athlete. These guys are just marking time, going through the motions. Yeah, I'm gonna finish my degree. Of course, I'm gonna make a few million dollars before I get around to doing it, and yeah, I have over three years of classes to take, part time, and I haven't even picked a major yet, but yeah, I'm gonna do that. Sometime. Someday. Really.
Star Trek teaches us that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something. Look what is happening to our "team" and with it the team concept.
Two players are already gone, two more are on the verge and our only salvation is that we hope our new recruits will be so good we can just reload, throw UCLA on ther shirts, and we have another UCLA "team." Of course, if they're really good enough to take us back to the Final Four next year they'll all probably be one and done, too. And we can recruit more "UCLA" one and doners. Great, right?
And then we can hang a banner high, number 12, that says UCLA for sure, and say we're Number 1, but of what? Something we still call "college" basketball when our players don't even stay long enough to get an AA degree?
Funny, in this last tournament, Western Kentucky and Drake and Xavier and all those other mid majors reminded me a lot more of the old John Wooden teams I worshipped than any team that just relies on some big one and doner. And I don't think the Pyramid of Success includes cutting corners, recruiting hot shot one and doners, and doing whatever it takes to get to the pinnacle.
I remember something about success being the self-satisfaction of knowing you've done your best, as a team and as a person, and not just winning at all costs.
Call me old fashioned. Some will call me naive. College sports is Big Business. Fine, but the emphasis should still be more on college than money, right? Can't we win with men that really want a degree? Or even more important, wouldn't we be prouder if we had teams that really were teams and not just a short stop for some guy on the way to his "one and doner's" road to personal riches and fame?
Can BH or any college coach only win the big one by sacrificing the school's integrity? We can only win it all with lottery picks? If so, I'd rather not, thank you.
Just food for thought.