Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which, sorry to report, isn’t going to get into that story about the four players. I wrote a couple paragraphs about it, and they say all that needs to be said. Cited, possession, pre-trial diversion, charges dismissed. This is not to say it doesn’t matter. It’s four on-scholarship players who strayed from the responsibility that comes with privilege. I know that, you know that and I’m pretty sure they know that and will be reminded of that quite often in the near and distant future.
It’s news. I don’t think it’s headline news. I don’t think it’s something you bury, either. But there have been worse — far worse — things to happen to that roster this season and they got the coverage they deserved. I think this will, too.
So let’s move on…and perhaps we can even tie that to this. The four-year scholarship deal isn’t getting a lot of play even though student-athletes are now guaranteed a scholarship as long as they choose to stay at their school of choice for four/five years. (In case you didn’t know, the old scholarship model was a series of one-year pacts … and some places made their numbers, be they 13 or 85 scholarships, work by deciding not to renew replaceable players. No more. WVU wasn’t really for or against the idea that passed last week, but the Mountaineers didn’t see the need for it, either.
“It’s not a dramatic change in the sense that we have not taken anybody’s aid away since Dana’s been here based on athletic performance,” WVU’s Ryan Dorchester said. “I don’t think anybody would dispute that. It’s not a huge change from our perspective. I guess it gives a kid a little more security when it comes to the long term, but it’s still the same deal for us.
“If you’re academically ineligible or if you do something unlawful, those are situations where you can be removed from the team and your aid can be terminated. But for athletic or performance reasons, we haven’t done that. I think it’s important and I think it’s good, but for us, it was kind of like that anyways — just not on paper, which it is now. I guess maybe it’s kind of like Office Space. You just fix the glitch.”
The NCAA has been glitch fixing for a while now, and, since we’re in the season, we’ve long thought many of these student-athlete welfare initiatives would become recruiting tactics. Your stipends for cost of attendance will vary and thus be used as leverage. Further down the road, the you might see sports eliminated or the support dwindle noticeably, and some coach at some more affluent school will get in a recruit’s ear and whisper. Some leagues were going to offer multi-year full rides, and that would have been important to those programs, but that’s going to be the norm moving forward. Some of the other permissive legislation — like medical insurance, later education, etc. — will be used similarly.
This is the first signing day since the deregulation of eating and all the possibilities we thought that would provide.
Reality? The players on campus like it, and the ease of access is a major convenience. Walk-ons treasure the availability, to say nothing of being treated more like scholarship players now than ever before. The recruits? Hardly a factor at all, Dorchester said, when it comes to comparing one school’s training table to another and using that in the decision-making process.
“I would think we’d be pretty turned off if that was a big deal,” he said.
WELP! Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, have a code.
Somewhere along the line Holton was conditioned to believe that pouting will get you out of a tough time. He’ll need to unlearn that before he can move forward. He’s clearly got the physical skills but he acts like Eron at 12.
With respect to Adrian, it seems that many of Huggs’ players develop confidence issues, perhaps from knowing they will get yanked at the first mistake. I’m not questioning Huggs’ methodologies, just an observation.
What happened to BillyD? Leprosy? Alien abduction? Extended Winter Break? Saving him for post-season?
Yeah, that Eron Harris comparison has merit. Holton carries fouls and misses and no-calls with him the same way … but I think he tries and wants more than Harris. That might be part of the problem, too. Every one of his teammates I’ve talked to said Holton wants to do something good so badly that he worries he’s letting everyone around him down when he doesn’t. More than anyone else on the team, he needs positive reinforcement because he sinks faster than anyone else. As for Adrian, I don’t know what to make of all of it except to say it’s a season-long slump with one 11-point deviation … when he was very good. But I watch him and I don’t see issues with effort or mental wherewithal. Confidence? Sure. But even when he’s not scoring, he’s trying to guard and defend and do something positive. Those things just aren’t happening. BillyDee has had problems acquiescing, so to speak. WVU really needs a scoring wing, no?