While sweating it out on Selection Sunday, La Salle was in the play in game as a 12th seed taking on Boise State in Dayton. The Explorers would get through them, and then they had to take on the 5th seed in the Kansas State Wildcats in Kansas City.
Why does an organization formed when the idea of paying money to attend a sporting event was in its infancy still operate under the same (now completely out-of-context) model?
It was sixteen summers ago. I had just had my first child and was working my way back into my job with NBC sports. Baby in tow, I travelled to the NBA Finals with bottles, stroller and crib, chronicling Michael Jordan's heyday while just beginning to comprehend the delicate balance of work and motherhood.
Fifty years ago, a landmark basketball game exposed racist attitudes and helped spark a path toward progress. Universities helped bring change, and campus leaders today must remember our important role in continuing to be on the right side of history.
As an intern in the sports department, the youngest of all my colleagues, I was given the task to travel to the NBA Draft and give live coverage of the event. It was as if my editors knew my birthday (November 18th for those wondering) was too far away. So instead they gave me my gift a few months in advance.
Far too many college basketball players, especially players of color, leave college without an NBA contract and without another crucial ingredient for success: a college degree.
The irony of these allegations is that as a graduate student in education and sport I am acutely aware of the importance of academics in the lives of athletes. As a coach I made it my mission to educate and guide my student athletes' academic lives.
The bold move of hiring Julie Hermann as the new athletic director of Rutgers University signaled an important recognition in the sports world: not only can women do a 'man's job', but a female touch may be just what that world needs.
College athletics, as it intersects with the educational and life outcomes of black male athletes, is in crisis. This crisis is evident in many ways, including the prevalence of once-aspiring professional black male athletes who end up with no degree, few job prospects, and used-up eligibility.
The NCAA and President Mark Emmert seem incapable of reorienting college athletics within higher education as a positive component of the campus experience, instead embarking on a Darwinian chase for revenue. Student welfare and development is no longer the priority but an afterthought.
There is no need for a coach to abuse his power in order to gain the respect of his players. The players at Rutgers deserve a coach that mentors, not a bully that demoralizes.
Life doesn't turn out the way we expect it to be. Yet, perhaps we hide in those expectations. Perhaps we hide from today in the plans for tomorrow. Today, however, is not only a bridge to tomorrow. It is a springboard to eternity.
Perhaps the only constant in a college basketball coach's lif are the up's and down's faced throughout a career. At a point, though, each coach faces the decision as to whether the up's outweigh the down's, and to what extent a semblance of a personal life can be sacrificed.
Is Bobby Knight ever hurt by what's said about him in the media? That question lodged itself in my brain about 15 years ago when I was hosting a radio talk show on a station in the small town where I still live.
Louisville, the top overall seed in the tournament, wins the NCAA basketball championship beating Michigan 82-76.
Louisville rallied from another 12-point deficit with their relentless play to defeat Michigan 82-76 in the national title game.