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State of college basketball address

**Quick Note - Monday begins part one of a five-day guest writers series here at Ed The Sports Fan. Today, we have Mr. Soul on Ice, Kenny Masenda from the Great State of Texas here to get onto his soapbox. Kenny is a graduate student at Texas A&M-Commerce and his a self proclaimed sports nut. When he's not on ESPN, he's writing in his own personal blog where his words come to life in more ways than one. Check him out @ www.kennymasenda.blogspot.com Back to our scheduled programming.**

The Fab 5 (L to R) - Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Chris Webber, & Ray Jackson w/ Coach Steve Fisher

This is, by far, the best time of the year, in my opinion: March Madness, where stars are born, stories are told, and they'll probably be sold. It's about two in the morning over here, and I'm sittin' on YouTube, looking at old Fab Five highlights, and while I'm happy it's March Madness, looking at this brings back memories, and, at the same time, makes me wish something could be done about the corruption of the game.

Right now, there is a one-year limit that makes players wait at least one year after they graduate high school before they can enter the NBA Draft. Personally, I think the rule is a fa├žade, because it is not with the kids' best interests in mind. If it was, it would be like college football, which makes student-athletes wait three years. At least, they can continue to hone their craft, get closer to earning their degrees (some even earn them in three years, believe it or not), or just...have fun in college. It's impossible, because the way it's set up now, we know these players have no intention on staying. It's almost like, "Well, damn; I gotta go to school; lemme go do this lil' bid, and I'll get paid next year." It's more evident than ever this year.

Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, and Eric Gordon, just to name a few, played in a grand total of four NCAA tournament games (Beasley and Mayo's squads played each other), and as sure as I know my shirt is black, all three of them are going to go to the league, and it honestly breaks my heart, because the best times of your life are in college. Granted, I don't know their personal situations, so they may need to go, so they can aid their families faster, but in my humble opinion, something needs to be done about this, because it isn't in the best interest of the players, and it KILLS the integrity of college basketball, and it hurts the game.

Anyway, back to the YouTube part, which was the basis for my entire dissertation. Chris Webber said the last time he felt like no one had ulterior motives was in college, and he says it was the greatest time of his life. They used to go to K parties (AKA's, for folks not familiar with Greek life), and most importantly, he said it was the last time he remembers when someone was genuine. That says a lot.

Who knows??? Maybe one day, there will be another group of five kids, who will see the Fab Five (the Thad Five "Ohio State '07" was NOWHERE NEAR the Fab Five), see its greatness, and its significance, and all go to the school together and make their own mark. And as much as I love this time of the year, if things do not change, it will continue to rob itself of fulfilling its potential.

Be easy.


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