Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Piping in About O.J. Mayo and the Rays

Another college athlete and another scandal is upon us. Did O.J. Mayo take gifts when he knew it was wrong? Is the guy who spoke up just bitter? Either way, the interesting take here is that if there was inappropriate gift-giving, USC will be the one to suffer while Mayo goes largely unscathed. The university would forfeit games and titles that were gained during the time Mayo was on the roster and/or face other fines and penalties. Is this the right thing to do if the school was not aware? On the other hand, if the school and player were aware, why is only one party truly punished?

This story has also renewed the “one and done” debate. Should college freshman be allowed to play only one season and then get into the NBA draft? Not everyone has the maturity to handle this fast track to pay dirt and the phenomenon seems to be happening more frequently. There are many ways to look at “one and done”. For example, if someone truly has the ability to play in the NBA, why wait? What if this guy is being completely hampered by the demands of being a college athlete and just cannot make the grades? Even if he is strong academically, should he risk a future paycheck staying in college where he could get hurt? On the other hand, what happens if this kid gets injured in the pros and has “nothing to fall back on”? He could be a total bust in the NBA, never living up to his potential. There are just too many unknowns and variables.

In a completely unrelated story – have you watched the Tampa Bay Devil Rays lately? (I know, it’s just Rays – you’ll catch me saying Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Rams every so often also.) Yeah, they don’t quite get the coverage they deserve on SportsCenter in spite of handing it to the Yankees 7-1 with Pettitte pitching and sweeping the Angels. Last night's win makes 10 in a row at home for the team. If you notice the overall standings in Major League Baseball, the Florida Marlins have the best record in the MLB along with the Cubs and Diamondbacks and the Rays are in 4th! Are pigs flying or is it just early in the season? Only time will tell…


Lindsay said...

I don't think there should be an education requirement in order to join the NBA. I know there are some NBA players who joined straight out of high school, like Kevin Garnett. If the player is injured and has nothing to fall back on because of a lack of education, then that is his problem. Same goes with being mature enough. With the amount of money a guy gets from playing in the NBA, I don't have any sympathy.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, LeBron James is also a good example. Great points, they do get paid when they get to the NBA and aren't "poor" by any means even if they do get hurt.