There is a general sentiment rising that the NCAA should have allowed
Lamar Odom to a) declare for the draft, b) sign with an agent, and c)
renounce it all and head back to Rhody. Sorry, we don't agree at all.
We have been very consistent is saying that education is a good and
great thing, and that we think these kids are making a mistake in leaving
early. Having said that, though, Lamar Odom has played the system
for a sucker since he was in high school. He wasn't exactly an
inspired student, had some serious controversy over his SAT scores, which
were invalidated, and even the new Rhody coach, DiGregorio lamented his
lack of responsibility.
So are we saying he should be punished now that he realizes school is a
tremendous opportunity? No. We're saying that, having had people bend
rules and cut corners for him all the way through, there is absolutely no
justification to do it again just because he changed his mind.
It's good that Lamar understood, if belatedly, that college offers a
lot, but he made a decision to leave, understanding full well the
consequences of hiring an agent, and as the rules stand, he has to give up
his eligibility. We hope he pursues his education, but he can no longer do
so as a scholarship athlete, and paying a price for one's actions is a
lesson that a lot of athletes really need to learn.