Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dick Vitale [Print without images]

Thursday, June 4, 2009
College eligibilty needs to be reworked

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

I recently spoke on the Mike and Mike radio program about the Memphis basketball situation. Those guys are so passionate about sports, as am I.

I have said for years that the one and done is a joke. I believe that kids like Derrick Rose should be allowed to go to the NBA instead of being forced to spend a year in college.

If a kid like Rose could have gone directly to the NBA, this current dilemma would never have happened. For seven months, Rose was forced to go to college.

My friends, college is supposed to be for those who want to be there. It is not for kids that are forced to be there because of an absurd rule. It is a joke to those who are really student-athletes.

I had another thought on this subject, popped in my head after the show. I wish I had said it then, but I have room to write about it now, baby!

We hear about grades being changed, courses being adjusted and all of the things that happen to get kids eligible to participate.

I hate hearing about that stuff. It is an embarrassment and not the way you want a young man to learn about life. What kind of message are we sending out there?

Do you want these youngsters to learn that cheating is the right way to go? Are you kidding me? The message should never be that it is OK to do whatever it takes to gain eligibility.

It is important that these kids should try to succeed in the classroom.

Why must the NCAA legislate on this? Why should that body jump into this situation? They should be involved in the areas where they are trained, making sure that things are done within the rules.

Why shouldn't the admissions offices of Division I school take charge? They are the experts on who should be in school and which athletes don't truly belong. I can hear the cries that these people would be pressured by coaches to get kids in. Schools would want to get great players in.

The admissions office should analyze and study the transcripts and be the final decision-maker on eligibility. Believe me, they don't want to be humiliated by making a horrible decision.

Let them determine if that athlete fits the profile of the school they represent. I don't feel clearinghouses are the answer, and mistakes have been made on several occasions.

You hope and pray that admissions personnel will do the right thing, with integrity and reflect their institution in a positive way.

Eliminate the process of the clearinghouse. Put it in the hands in admissions offices across America.

The Memphis situation is just another negative story. It takes away from the positives of the sport. There are so many beautiful things going on.

We will find out about Derrick Rose soon enough. There is one guy who knows the truth -- his name is Derrick Rose.