Thursday, April 09, 2009

Offseason Posting, Part I

I got an e-mail about an article in this week's SI a couple of days ago and finally decided to write a quick post about it. Here's the article.

I find this pretty sickening. It seems to be basically a combination of everything that is wrong with the AAU system. A basketball "school" set up in cooperation with an international academic program. A couple of highlights:

"In addition, these kids live in a $425,000 five-bedroom house in Las Vegas with everything paid for, including lodging, transportation, food, laptops, Nike gear, and full cable TV, among other things."

"Taylor says that the Findlay Prep Pilots program is the latest step in the evolution of elite high school basketball: “A program that operates completely outside the traditional high school system and makes no pretense about its top priority—to acquire the best talent from all over the world… Not being sanctioned by the national federation means the Pilots have no academic eligibility requirements and no restrictions on travel, transfers or practice time, as conventional high schools do. Findlay Prep answers to no one…. It’s that freedom from rules that makes critics see Findlay Prep as little more than an AAU team masquerading as a high school program.”

Taylor writes: “The naysayers didn’t worry teams such as Findlay Prep, runner-up Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and Montrose Christian School (Rockville, Md.), which are not members of any state federation, nor ESPN, which seized upon the opportunity to showcase some of the nation’s top high school recruits—and ignored any questionable circumstances, describing Findlay Prep as having an enrollment of 775 and never mentioning its unique arrangement with Henderson International during Sunday’s broadcast.”

Thanks a lot, ESPN.


Anonymous said...

AAU is a sewer that many big-time coaches have jumped head first into. Too much unregulated cash in the form of "consultant" fees being paid to the "street agents". This is not a new phenomenon but has grown exponentially in the last decade. The shame of it is that the kids are pimped under the delusion that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Regrettably, in 9 out of 10 cases this is a false illusion. The only people making money, once again, are the sneaker companies and the low-life "street agents". I guess the hotels have also figured that this is a good way to fill rooms as well. I believe that these high profile kids are tired of travel by the time they get to college.

Just think about it - How do these kids and coaches afford to go over all then country playing every weekend from March through August? Who is footing the bill? Why would someone do that?

BlackandGreen said...

You absolutely hit the nail on the head. It's all about the money. Coaches might get lucky and hit the jackpot with a college coaching gig after a successful run in high school. As for the players, a handful might play professionally but the vast majority better take advantage of the free college education it might lead to because the chances are so slim of making the NBA.