Saturday Morning Cartoons: Youth Sports Suck, Calipari$ Cat$, No Excuses, Upsets at the BOK, and Union Busting

1.  The Current System Doesn’t Put Kids First.  Kids should play as many different sports as they can and have as many different healthy experiences as they can.  If you or a coach thinks that it is a good idea for your child to specialize, then you do not have your child’s best interest in mind.  There’s a guy named Steve Nash who has a pretty good youth basketball blog.  You can check it out here.   In an article posted near the beginning of this basketball season by John O’Sullivan titled: The Race to Nowhere In Youth Sports; O’Sullivan takes on the system, the parents, and the coaches who enable this system of “select” sports clubs and “specialization” to enter the equation.

From the Author:

As I said to my wife recently, the hardest thing about raising two kids these days, when it comes to sports, is that the vast majority of the parents are leading their kids down the wrong path, but not intentionally or because they want to harm their kids. They love their kids, but the social pressure to follow that path is incredible. Even though my wife and I were collegiate athletes, and I spend everyday reading the research, and studying the latest science on the subject, the pressure is immense. The social pressure is like having a conversation with a pathological liar; he is so good at lying that even when you know the truth, you start to doubt it. Yet that is the sport path many parents are following.

The problem is not that coaches explicitly prohibit kids from playing other sports; that would be against the rules in most places.  Its the environment these coaches cultivate and allow to exist that forces kids to feel like they have to choose.  They put the onus on the kid, by using all types of indirect pressures.  They encourage them to play for other teams in the same sport, AAU and other quasi amatuer adventures that will directly impact the seasons of other school sports.  They weave a web that gets the kid and his family caught up and stuck in a position where they have to choose.  Its sick and its selfish.  It is not a healthy culture.

I had a discussion with a parent a few months ago where I mentioned to him that his son could probably play some other sports.   As we stood there in a basketball gym without one single championship banner hanging from the rafters, the father told me: “(insert school name) is not very good at (insert other school sport).” Exploding head.  You should encourage your child to be a leader.  Challenge them to do things that don’t come naturally or easily.  Quite enabling this terrible system.

2.  Kentucky Basketball is Out of Control.  I know almost all of you that visit this site consider yourselves UK basketball fans.  This isn’t a place to come to be coddled.  Hopefully you are here to find something interesting, entertaining, or funny.  Well John Calipari fits that bill and will likely become a regular of the Saturday Morning Cartoons.  People all over the country think he is a joke. If you don’t believe me, travel outside of Kentucky and ask.  A lot of it is unfair criticism and hatred of a winner, but a lot of it is that Calipari has finally found the one place in college sports where he will be sheltered and given every opportunity to exploit the system that he can. The only thing that truly embarrasses #BBN is losing in a one and out tournament in March and April.

This week the Courier Journal released a report about the Wildcat’s trip to the Bahamas where over $700,000 was spent on the trip.  Only in Lexington is this not a scandal.  Because it is UK athletics, the NCAA will look the other way.  This isn’t Memphis or UMass that can be pushed around.

The total cost of the trip was $792,845.68. By comparison, an expense report acquired in an open records request showed that North Carolina’s Bahamas trip last summer cost $154,825.91. Portland State, meanwhile, paid a total of $37,714 for its seven-night stay.


UK’s own team expenses were eye-opening, too, from coach John Calipari’s $1,550-per night Atlantis hotel suite to a $23,855.50 reception dinner that included a band and an open bar.

If that doesn’t make you pause and feel the least bit of shame, I don’t know what will.  Did you know that Clay County, Kentucky is the hardest place to live in America?

Meanwhile, the college football National Championship did better than the NFL in television ratings.  Kentucky’s football recruiting budget is a little over $500,000.   I guess Damien Harris made the right choice…

3.  Mr. Anthony was looking for his Cleopatra and was willing to pay good money. CBS says basketball analyst Greg Anthony is indefinitely suspended and will call no more games this season after his arrest yesterday in a D.C. prostitution sting. Apparently when Anthony isn’t dancing for the man, he’s looking for the ladies of the night.  Greg Anthony has been very open in his support for Republican candidates since he was in college at UNLV.  Greg Anthony is a no excuse kind of guy:

4.  Covcath upset Newcath last night at the Bank of Kentucky Center.  I wonder how the 859Sports Computer is going to handle that.  Campbell County was also upset in what can only be considered a home game versus Scott. Scott is now in control of their own destiny in a district that seeds.

5.  Michigan has become the first state to exclude intercollegiate student-athletes at its public universities from the definition of a “public employee,” and therefore, the right to bargain collectively through a union.

An amendment to Michigan’s Public Employee Relations Act signed by Governor Rick Snyder excludes from the definition of “public employee” :

(1) “a student participating in intercollegiate athletics on behalf of a [Michigan] public university”;

(2) “a graduate student research assistant or [those serving] in an equivalent position”; and

(3) “any individual whose position does to have sufficient indicia of an employer-employee relations using the 20-factor test announced by the [I]nternal [R]evenue [S]ervice.”

The action came in response to a decision by the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago that the scholarship football players at Northwestern University were “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act and therefore eligible to be represented by a labor union.

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