Tag Archives: ncaa

NCAA decides to allow some compensation for players

By J.D. McKay

This time period is a bit of a dead period in FC sports. Football sectionals are starting, which is very exciting, and cross country is going to state Saturday. But other than a home game Friday and a meet in Terre Haute, every other sport is just beginning practice. Next week I will be writing about my favorite rivalry I have been a part of in high school. Then, I will be back to previewing games and doing underrated athlete spotlights. So this week will be nationals sports before diving back into FC sports in the following months. 

The biggest issue the NCAA is facing right now is if they should pay players. Several pro and retired athletes have be outspoken on this recently, and apparently, the NCAA is listening. 

About a month ago, California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows athletes to make money off their likeness in things like jersey sales and gear that could be promoting a signature look like Anthony Davis’ unibrow. I am not completely sure why the California government did this because there could be huge repercussions passing it, mainly, not allowing California teams to participate because of an unfair recruiting advantage. Regardless, it has made the NCAA think and make some sort of decision. 

Yesterday, it made the decision everyone was hoping for. They decided athletes could make money off their name and likeness. This is probably the biggest decision made by the NCAA since taking Louisville’s National Championship away, maybe ever. Now, athletes who previously might not have had any spending money or money to buy things they need like a car, potentially can. 

Some people will push to get them compensated for playing; however, that is too far. Not all athletes are out of state, but many are. Out-of-state athletes that attend North Carolina, Alabama, or Oregon, are paying about 50 grand a year for all expenses. That is 2 grand more than the average income in America, which seems more than fair. Most college students are not making that much a year while in college, and the average Bama student is leaving with 26 grand in student debt, something that none of these scholarship athletes will need to worry about. 

This new program will not see huge payouts for all athletes. The main people to see the benefit will be men and women basketball players, as well as football players. However, if a team has a national champion they could find themselves making some money because of their achievement. Another non-football or basketball player that might get a payout is an athlete whose local town loves and will pay him or her for ads around town. 

This has more impacts than just some money for athletes, though. The NCAA has not released their official plans yet, but I imagine that they will be getting a little bit of that cash from the promotion. 

The part of this that I am most excited about is the potential of NCAA football and basketball video games coming back out. I would be shocked if this did not happen because of my basic understanding of our economy, which I learned in Gage Brogan’s class. NCAA Football 14 came out in July, 2013 and sold for $40 new. It has been the last NCAA game produced since then because of licensing and players arguing that the EA used their likeness and the players got no compensation. That was definitely a legit argument. Anyway, since then, the new game price has peaked at $153 and is currently being bought for $70 used at Gamestop. That kind of demand will mean that it will either be made by EA and become one of the highest selling video game of all-time, or 2K or some other brand will jump on it and basically control the sports video game market. 

Regardless of when the best video game of all time comes out for the first time in over half a decade, this was a huge step by the NCAA. It needed to be done and does not seem to be going to far too pay players. It seems to me that they are basically giving athletes the opportunity to make money just like all students have.


It is time to start seeding sectionals

Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

Of the sports associations I pay attention to — NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA, and IHSAA — IHSAA is probably the most well run. I cannot recall a time where I heard that they laid out a significant ruling on a team for next to nothing like the NCAA just did to Mary Hardin-Baylor, who recently had their 2016 championship revoked because a coach allowed a football player to use his car. 

The IHSAA rule most often criticized is the transfer rule. To explain it in one sentence, if a player wants to transfer the athletic director must sign off that he or she can play at the school they are transferring to. I do not have any problems with this rule. However, I do see three noticeable flaws in the IHSAA. 

One is that not all sports are classed and I already wrote a column about that (read here https://wordpress.com/view/fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com), and the other is that not all deserving athletes can make the state tournament in individual sports (read here https://wordpress.com/view/fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com). The third is that the IHSAA does not seed team sports. 

So, it is possible that next year New Albany and Jeff could be top five or even the top two basketball teams on the state. Then, when sectionals roll around in March, if their ping pong balls roll out first, they could be playing each other on a Tuesday night in Seymour. That would be the most anticlimactic way for a game of that caliber to go down, and I think most of my readers would agree that it should not be that way. 

This year, there was an unlucky draw that affected our volleyball team a little bit. They have Providence, a top 25 volleyball team in the country, in their sectional. Providence should have had one of the byes as well as New Albany, because they beat us in the regular season. Then, we would have probably played Seymour before playing New Albany. However, we got the bye and will be facing the winner of Providence and Jennings County. Had that sectional been seeded, we probably would have gotten another shot at New Albany and maybe one more game for our seniors. 

Supporters of the blind draw would say that sometimes you just need to play with the cards you have been dealt and suck it up. However, if that is the case, some coaches could not play regular season with the intention of winning. If they had a really good team that had almost no depth, they could play their studs for a quarter, then put in the JV to avoid injuring the stars until the postseason. I am not saying I view it like this, but in the right situation it might make sense. 

As I have made clear, the solution to this is seeding. It makes sense to have the team with the best record against other sectional teams to play the worst team first and to play both games at home. Sectionals where the teams do not play each other could be a problem. However, the tournament makes could compare their records, and records against teams that teams several of the teams in the section have played. If that does not solve the problem, the IHSAA could look at total points scored and points allowed to make their seedings. 

There are a few situations where it would not make sense to just give home field to the top team, though. For example, it makes sense to play basketball sectionals at Seymour because they have one of the biggest high school gyms in the world. Those could be decided by the IHSAA and, if needed, the teams in the sectional.

Some times, the ball does role in your favor and fixes seeding on its own. Football was 3-0 in the regular season against three sectional teams that are all pretty good. So, FC gets the team with the worst record, Bedford at home and the winner of Jeff versus New Albany at home. Plus, Jeff beat New Albany in the regular season, so it makes sense that they have home field advantage against the Dogs. It should make for an interesting November at Ron Weigleb Stadium. 

And, while I am mentioning football sectionals, come out and support the Highlanders on Nov. 1 against Bedford.


Students show their team spirit for March Madness

By Grace Runkel

Tonight, Indiana and Kentucky will face off in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. Students supported their teams by showing up to school in their team’s colors.

Indiana and Kentucky prepare for intense tournament rematch

By Luke Geraghty

Ever since selection Sunday, fans around Kentuckiana have been wondering if a rematch between UK and IU will take place in the Sweet 16. This past weekend, both the Cats and the Hoosiers won their their round games to help advance to the Sweet 16. The rivalry between UK and IU had been down for a few years since IU was rebuilding. However, when IU beat UK on a last second three pointer in December, the rivalry is as intense as ever.

Both UK and IU came into the NCAA tournament with not a lot of momentum after both teams lost in their conference tournaments. However, both teams have fought back to win their first two games of the tournament. UK beat Western Kentucky and Iowa State quite easily. IU beat New Mexico State handily, but saw themselves in a much tougher battle with Virginia Commonwealth. Nevertheless, getting a win in the NCAA Tournament is crucial no matter what the margin is. In order to get a win, both teams will have to play their best.

For UK, the key to getting a win will rest on their front court. The size and strength of UK’s front court makes them the most talented in the country. Freshman Anthony Davis may go down as the best freshman to ever play at UK. His ability to block shots makes it extremely difficult for any player to get a shot off against him.

Sophomore Terrence Jones joins Davis in the front court. Jones is a great all around player who could have been a lottery pick had he declared for the draft last year. Keep him off the offensive glass will be a tough task for the Hoosiers.

In order for UK to win, they will need to keep Davis and Jones out of foul trouble. In their previous meeting, Davis had been in foul trouble which made his minutes limited. This was probably the biggest factor in that game. Also in that game, Jones had trouble scoring and rebounding. It was one of his worst games while playing at UK. If UK can get them going, and get some contributions from their backcourt, UK will find themselves in the Elite Eight.

For IU, getting another win against UK will be very difficult. However, if IU uses a similar game plan like they did in the first meeting, they have a shot.

Getting Davis in foul trouble will be critical for the Hoosiers. Freshman Cody Zeller may not be able to score on Davis, but if he can draw fouls on Davis, that will be a victory in itself. They will also need to pray that Jones has a similar game as he did before. IU will also need a contribution from their perimeter players. IU has was it takes to get hot from three-point range, but UK has been known to be a stingy team when guarding the perimeter. This is probably the most important area for the Hoosiers in this game.

Getting to the Sweet 16 has been a great accomplishment for the Hoosiers. IU has the better coach in Tom Crean and a lot of great players, but UK is more talented. If Davis and Jones stay out of foul trouble, then UK is almost unbeatable against any team. UK will get off to a strong start and will hold off the Hoosiers 78-68

Bagpiper sports writer makes NCAA predictions

By Luke Geraghty

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No I’m not talking about Christmas; I’m
talking about the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Each year this event brings upsets, tons
of excitement, and occasionally some game winning shots. This year should be the most
exciting, given the fact that there are now 68 teams instead of the typical 65.
Last year, Duke won a thrilling National Championship after defeating a
surprising Butler team which had a number five seed. Experts have said that some of the
top seeds this year are weaker then some of the ones in the past, which means this year
could bring out more surprises. So with that said, it’s time to pick apart the bracket and
break down every region.
In the East region, the top seed is Ohio State. Led by Freshman Jared Sullinger,
the Buckeyes have tasted defeat only twice. Some of the other teams that stand out in the
region are North Carolina, Syracuse, and Kentucky. North Carolina had been playing
lights out up until getting blown out by arch-rival Duke in the ACC Championship.
Syracuse and Kentucky both seem to playing their best basketball of the season right
now. In my mind, the East region is the toughest region. I have the four teams as
mentioned all playing in the sweet 16. Ohio State has an advantage inside, so I’ll take
them over Kentucky. Syracuse and North Carolina will be another great game. Both
teams always play hard, but I think Orange will squeeze out a tight win. This brings up a
showdown between Ohio State and Syracuse. I’ll take Ohio State because of their solid
outside shooting.

East champion: Ohio State

The West Region is headlined by the defending champion Duke. Even without
their star freshman Kylie Irving, the Blue Devils are still a legitimate threat to take the title again. However, Kemba Walker and the Connecticut Huskies will be standing in their way. The Huskies are coming fresh off a Big East championship in which they won five games in five days. Four of those wins were against ranked teams. Don’t sleep on San Diego State, though. They have had the best regular season in school history. Some upsets I have in the first round include 13th-seeded Oakland over Texas and tenth-seeded Penn
State to keep up its momentum with a win over Temple. In the end, I have Duke and Connecticut both making a run to the Elite 8. The Huskies will finally run out of gas and Duke will get the win.

West Champion: Duke

Kansas is the number one seed in the Southwest Region. Last season as the top overall seed, the Jayhawks were upset in the second round. This year they are looking to rebound. The number two seed in the region is Notre Dame. The Irish are led by a talented senior class that includes Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansborough. After making a run in the Big East tournament, Louisville finds itself as a number four seed. Their run and gun approach could give teams trouble in the tournament. I believe Purdue will also join those teams in the Sweet 16 despite the fact they are on a two-game losing streak. In the end, Kansas and Notre Dame will both head to the Elite Eight and Kansas’s balance will send them to the Final Four.

Southwest Champion: Kansas

The Southeast Region appears to be the weakest region. It is led by Pittsburgh, who is coming off an early exit in the Big East conference tournament. Assuming they win their first game, they will have tough test against Butler and Old Dominion. Florida is the number two seed, although some people believe they don’t deserve it. If they win, they will have a tough time stopping Michigan State. Despite their disappointing season, the Spartans always seem to be threat in the NCAA Tournament. The number three seed is BYU, which is led by Player of the Year candidate Jimmer Fredette. The number four seed is Wisconsin. The Badgers don’t score a lot of points, but they seem to give some of the big teams trouble. In my sweet 16, I have Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, BYU, and my surprise pick, Michigan State. In the end, Wisconsin and Michigan State will each pull off an upset. In the end, Wisconsin wins a hard-fought game that sends them to the Final Four.

Southeast Champion: Wisconsin

My Final Four features three one seeds. The Duke-Ohio State game will be a highly competitive game that will go down to the wire. I think Duke’s experience will send them to the National Championship. In the second game, Kansas matches up against Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s great run will come to an end, as Kansas wins. The National Championship game features to of the best college basketball programs in the country. It will be a battle, but Kansas’s balance will help them yet again.

National Champion: Kansas