Real March Madness: Pretending players are students

While the phenomenon of March Madness college basketball seems to grow each passing year, I need to vent about what has transpired this past season.

It's a travesty that basketball athletes like the ones at Kentucky are there solely for one season. Some of our esteemed universities have become "one-and-done" proving grounds for young men who move on to the NBA. Let's not mistake these men for aspiring scholars. Shame on places of higher learning like Kentucky and North Carolina for encouraging these talented athletes to attend those universities, simply to use the time there to showcase their talents for the NBA. They are attending these schools for two reasons only: to direct millions of dollars to the schools and to bring additional recognition to their basketball prowess. Ethics and education? Forget about it.

As if that's not enough, the revelers who ran amok in the streets at the University of Kentucky after their championship victory were pathetic. Just when did the trend begin when so-called fans of these teams have to act out in alcohol-fueled celebration, setting fires and overturning vehicles? It's an embarrassing black eye for all institutes of higher learning throughout our nation.

Something has to give. Perhaps we should seriously investigate the feasibility of paying college student athletes. All I know is that the current system, at least for basketball players, is an absolute joke.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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