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Roundup From BN Walk: Kermit’s Song, Kareem’s Common Sense & Other UCLA News & Notes

Let me start with following up on the fanshot I shared last night about the story on former Bruin Kermit Alexander. That fanshot will get bumped off the frontpage soon but I want to make sure everyone here took note of it. It is simply an amazing story. tWWL also featured it on their Outside The Lines show:

As if that wasn't compelling enough, the details in the published story on ESPN is just as riveting. I think going through the list-building exercises this week was a good reminder for all of us about what those four letters stand for. Reading and now watching Alexander's story was yet another reinforcing of what kind of special people have represented our school over the years. Rest of the roundup including some poignant observations from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on state of today's interplay between the NCAA and the NBA after the jump.

So this has been already fanshotted but it is worth highlighting on the home page. The Captain once again laid out common sense concerning today's NBA/college game this week talking about "disturbing sense of entitlement" among "many of today's young pros" and asserting NBA should raise its minimum age for entry to 21:

 "They get precocious kids from high school who think they're rock stars- ‘Where's my $30 million?' " said Abdul-Jabbar, who was in Omaha to speak at the B'nai B'rith sports banquet. "The attitudes have changed, and the game has suffered because of that, and it has certainly hurt the college game." [...]

"Coach John Wooden encouraged me to be more than just a jock," Abdul-Jabbar said. "He said if I let my intellectual life suffer because I was so into being an athlete that I would be less than I could be. I would tell all students to pursue your dreams but don't let your education suffer."

The NBA in 2005 changed its entry age to 19. Players who previously might have jumped from high school to the NBA now end up playing one year of college ball before declaring for the draft.

Those players are still too young, Abdul-Jabbar said, and many deprive themselves of the emotional and physical maturity necessary to meet on- and off-the-court challenges.

"When I played, the players had to go to college and earn their way onto the court, meaning that there were upperclassmen ahead of them," he said. "Players who had to go through that and had to go to class, when they got to be professional athletes, they were a lot better qualified."

I don't think this has anything to do even about being "old school" or pining for the "good old days." For me it is really all about the quality of the game. It just hasn't been very good or watchable in recent years (at both levels).

No matter how much tWWL try to hype up the "King" (without any jewelry) and other stars, most of these kids are just not as polished as they were few years when they were coming into the league after at least spending 2-3 years in college.  I don't understand why it would be so difficult for the NBA to go the MLB route requiring kids either to go straight pro (via minor leagues) or spend 3 years in college.

Going back to football KSU is fired up about matching up against UCLA on ABC:

The Big 12 announced four early TV selections for the 2010 football season, and all four involve Pac-10 opponents. The matchup of interest for Kansas State fans - UCLA's visit to Snyder Family Stadium on Sept. 4 - was selected for ABC's 2:30 p.m. time slot.

"We have a tremendous opportunity on Sept. 4 to showcase our university and football program to the nation," athletic director John Currie said. "Our fans responded with over 50,000 last year for the family reunion, and we need Bill Snyder Family Stadium to be packed with purple when we kick off against the Bruins."

I will keep repeating that this is going to be a very tough game for us. A game at Manhattan infront of a packed KSU home crowd is not going to be an easy task for our team. On the other hand the game is winnable and if we can pull it out, it could set us up for a nice run to start the season.

Elsewhere, Pittsburgh ended up bouncing UCLA out of tWWL's silly "NFL Pipeline" game. Ted Miller gave a valiant effort representing UCLA but didn't work out in a "matchup" which ignored the fact that there were football games going on before 1979.

Lastly, let's end with another note on Pac-10 expansion. Jon Wilner gives the reasons for why BYU is a nonstarter for our conference:

* The presidents and chancellors of the secular Pac-10 schools are wary of joining forces with a church-affiliated school (any church-affiliated school).

* As it moves forward, the Pac-10 wants to increase its scheduling flexibility to provide more broadcast opportunities for networks. BYU would decrease flexibility because it doesn't play on Sundays.

* The potential TV revenue generated by BYU's national appeal is not enough to overcome the above concerns - it's not like BYU is Notre Dame.

(Part of BYU's national subscriber base, remember, already falls within the Pac-10 TV footprint.)

* The Pac-10 coaches and athletic directors aren't interested in sending their 18 years olds up against BYU's post-Mission 25 year olds.

* BYU does not meet the Pac-10's academic standards - it's not a major research university.

Makes perfect sense to me. We gain NOTHING by adding BYU to the mix.