5. You OK with UCLA's Ben Howland reportedly close to hiring an AAU coach from Atlanta?
I'm OK with anything within the rules, and this is within the rules. Honestly, I don't know why more coaches don't do it. Success in college basketball is rooted in recruiting, and if I were a high-major coach my staff would feature one assistant to help me coach and two player-getters, and if one of them had a direct link to a prominent AAU program, well, that would be terrific. So if UCLA (an Adidas school) hires Korey McCray from the Atlanta Celtics (an Adidas program), it'll be viewed as more smart than shady in my eyes.
I've never pretended this sport is anything other than what it is, and what it is, is a sport where men make millions of dollars when they win and get fired when they don't. The best way to ensure winning is to get talented players, and the best way to get talented players is to create advantages. Best I can tell, Howland is in the process of creating a nice advantage that could lead to Class of 2011 standout Kevin Ware -- a Georgia native and former Tennessee recruit who is now back on the market -- enrolling at UCLA in time for next season. If I had just lost Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee to the NBA Draft, I would almost certainly do the same thing.
One could say that Parrish's answer is may be tinged with a little cynicism but I think his perspective is fair and even handed.
I have had lot of issues with how Howland has managed the program last three years. But I do appreciate how he has been making an effort within the rules to get the program back on tract. Whether a potential hire of McCray will be the answer to our recruiting questions remains to be seen. But I like the fact that Howland is trying and is not being afraid to look for creative solutions that are well within NCAA rules. Now let's hope he gets the job done.