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Who's Overseas, Who's Overboard?

We periodically get e-mail from either libertarians or self-styled
realists who criticize us for repeatedly insisting that education not be
ignored in college athletics and, further, that if a kid wants to make a
living he should be able to do so. We don't disagree with that basic
idea; what we find really irritating and somewhat obscene, frankly, are
the schools which take kids in, exploit them for however long they stay,
and then cast them aside, having used them to make as much money as
possible for school and coach. Every school and coach makes money; some,
like Duke, UNC, Indiana, Utah, Stanford, Temple and Virginia, among
others, actually do take the academic side seriously, and so the
exchange is usually fair (ask parents who are paying Duke tuition if you
disagree). What happens at some schools starts as child abuse,
essentially, and ends, when they are pushed out the door, as a
viciously cynical introduction to the real world, with no tools to
make their way, and the fact that it tends to be grown white men taking
full and knowing advantage of poor young black men only compounds
the disgrace.

We were sent a link to a Euro basketball page with a list of Americans
playing overseas. Check out some of the high school and college hotshots
who are now laboring in Turkey, Croatia, and Cyprus, among other fun
potential hot spots. We know two of these players personally,
and have seen their college work, and in our opinion, they were fully
taken advantage of by adults. The kids were too naive to even understand
what was happening; all they saw was NBA money. The coaches, grown men
all, should have sleepless nights for the way they dealt with these young

Most of these players will be out of basketball in a few years, and
when they are, they will enter the work force with, in many cases, no
college degree, functionally illiterate, and with slim hopes of catching
up to their age group in terms of earning potential. Keep in mind
that salaries in places like Japan, Poland, and Brazil are not what
they are in the NBA. We can't find the link now but an economist
worked out how money would not last if you weren't a first round pick
(taxes, agents, lifestyle, etc). We'd say it's safe to apply the
same principle here, only with more severity. So what will
Shackleford be doing in ten years? Good thing he's amphibious! (note to
youngsters: greatest ACC quote of all time: "I can go to my
left. I can go to my right. I'm amphibious.")

  • Wayne Buckingham Vevey (SUI) 98 99 Clemson
  • Damon Bailey Pau-Orthez (FRA) 98 99 Indiana
  • James Forrest Cocodrilos (VEN) 99 99 Georgia Tech
  • Keith Gatlin Chalon (FRA) 98 99 Maryland
  • Devin Gray Valladolid (ESP) Clemson
  • Evric Gray Cibona (CRO) UNLV
  • Steven Hood Maccabi Haifa (ISR) Maryland /JMU
  • Antoine Joubert Ruda Slaska (POL) Michigan
  • Charles Kornegay Sevilla (ESP) Villanova
  • Sherron Mills Manresa (ESP) Va Commonw.
  • Rodney Monroe Forli (ITA2) N.Carolina St.
  • Jerrod Mustaf Paris (FRA) Maryland
  • Jerrod Mustaf Paris (FRA) Maryland
  • Ed O'Bannon Valladolid (ESP) UCLA
  • Victor Page Mibiline (PHI) Georgetown
  • Charles Shackleford Sporting (GRE) N.Carolina St.
  • Roy Tarpley Apollon (CYP) Michigan
  • Shon Tarver Panasonic (JPN) UCLA
  • Anthony Tolbert Santurce (PUR) Detroit Mercy
  • Orlando Vega Moca (PUR) Providence
  • Kendrick Warren Flamengo (BRA) Va Commonwealth
  • Kelsey Weems Sydney (AUS) N.Carolina St