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Urgent! Coaches to meet to seek solutions


Sept. 5
The National Association of Basketball Coaches has done the right thing by scheduling a mandatory meeting on Oct. 15 in Chicago. NABC executive director Jim Haney has asked all Division I men's college basketball coaches to attend.

Coaches who don't attend the meeting will reportedly lose their ticket privileges for the 2004 Final Four in San Antonio. This proves that the NABC means business -- and accountability for coaches is a key discussion topic.

Many of these problems are created by coaches recruiting athletes who have not performed in the classroom.
The plan is to share ideas and views of what needs to be done to solve the myriad problems existing in the coaching profession.

When you think about what has transpired across America, men's college basketball has really suffered.

Think about what happened at Georgia, Fresno State and St. Bonaventure last season. What really threw things over the top was the behavior of Baylor coach Dave Bliss. Now there are investigations under way affecting Missouri and Auburn.

When will this end?

Among the topics under discussion at the meeting will be suggestions about what can be done to reduce the stigma that's hurting the sport.

To me, there is one common denominator and one area where it can be improved immediately. Coaches should be careful about recruiting young men who have not performed at a level of scholastic efficiency to warrant the opportunity to wear the college uniform.

You have to wonder about guys like former Georgia guard Tony Cole, former Baylor guard Carlton Dotson and Missouri guard Ricky Clemons, to name a few.

I have to admit that when I coached years ago, it was no different for a coach trying to climb the ladder of success. You go out, wanting the opportunity to win, and you believe you can change every youngster out there -- including kids who haven't posted a resumé of success in the classroom.

Yes, many of these problems are created by coaches recruiting and enrolling athletes who have not performed in the classroom or produced as worthy citizens at the schools they attended before reaching the Division I campus. Just look at the recent problems and notice the common denominator -- in high school or junior college, these young basketball vagabonds have struggled.

Coaches believe that a change of environment can help these athletes become student-athletes. They believe in providing an opportunity, but often it leads to their own downfall and harm to the schools they represent.

This is one area that must be addressed. Making good decisions and judgments in recruiting is so important these days.

I look forward to hearing the ideas that come out of the Oct. 15 meeting. Haney must be commended for calling the coaches together to address the issue.

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