Monday, October 15, 2007

Is It Basketball Season Yet?

alternately titled:"Oh Maryland; she may not be dead nor deaf, but she sure is dumb"

Though I'm still fully confident in Duke's ability to make a bowl game, I think Friday night was the official start date where college basketball practices could be held. Which means one thing if you're in ACC country; it's Basketball season. And so in honor of this occasion and Duke's regular season and tournament ACC championships, (and plus because this article is amazing) I'd like to make fun of the University of Maryland, a school that has never been, and never will be Duke's rival.
This is from Norman Chad's "Couch Slouch" column (via Duke Basketball Report)

To: The University of Maryland

From: Couch Slouch, Class of '81

Re: Graduation rates

I didn't want to write you all again -- I mean, just last month I politely requested that my alma mater eliminate Division I sports -- but several people e-mailed me some rather startling numbers about our hoops-playing, class-dodging student-athletes.

No Maryland men's basketball player who enrolled between 1997 and 2000 graduated within six years. This is commonly called a "zero percent graduation rate," and it ranked us last among the nation's 321 Division I programs --that's 321st out of 321 schools.

Geez, what happened to the academic legacy once created by Lefty Driesell?

Only one other men's basketball program in the ACC -- Clemson, 31 percent -- had a graduation rate below 40 percent. We can't do better than Clemson? Clemson? That's a Stuckey's with a student union.

The NCAA uses a formula called the "Graduation Success Rate" -- actually, in College Park, we call it the "Graduation Failure Rate" -- and this indicates that, uh, absolutely nobody on the basketball team gets out of Maryland alive with a degree.

Well, at least we're not cheating on exams!

I understand that coach Gary Williams is simply recruiting basketball players to win games. He has shown no intent in recruiting students who also play basketball well. But somewhere along the line, can't he find just one 6-foot-3 fella who will sit at the end of the bench with a strong interest in, say, metallurgical sciences?

He did not recruit a single player between 1997 and 2000 -- and that includes all the starters and top reserves on the 2002 national championship team -- who graduated at College Park within six years. None.

"I've graduated 42 players in 18 years," Williams said.

Wow, 42 in 18 years? Heck, MIT's rowing team graduates 42 people every two weeks.

A single woman of 38 is more likely to find a husband at a Daughters of the American Revolution rally than a Maryland basketball player is to graduate within six years.

Williams argues that while none of the top eight players on his 2002 title team graduated within six years, all of them went on to careers in professional basketball. And it should be noted that forward Lonny Baxter did get jailed on a weapons charge within six years of enrolling.

Now, if you ask most Terp alums if they would trade the 2002 national title for a 33 percent graduation rate or a better English Lit department, they'd likely choose the championship.

Great job College Park. I really do see that blush upon your cheek. So it seems quite likely that none of your players can actually spell terrapin. I blame Gary Williams. Spear the Turtle.

(and in the sake of fairness Duke's men's basketball team only had a 67% which seems kind of low. I blame William Avery, Corey Maggette and Elton Brand for leaving after the 99 season. Overall though we have a 97% rate.)

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