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July 28, 2009

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Brian McCormick

I agree with your comments, but also agree with Kevin Stallings.

I went to several girls' events this summer. At one game, a tournament that cost teams $600+ and colleges coaches $250 for the first coach and $50 per additional coach, I saw a girl twist her ankle. She was on the floor for a couple minutes and I thought it was an ACL tear at first. The coach carried her to the bench. A parent went to the snack bar and got ice. She sat out the rest of the game and the game later that afternoon. Not once did I see a trainer attend to her. There were two courts and I never saw a trainer in this gym, which was the main gym.

I agree with Stallings' comments. I spent the time wondering how and why college coaches put up with tournaments where they are charged so much money, yet the schedules were almost always wrong. Coaches going to the wrong gym because the tournament changed the schedule and did not update the web site. College coaches guessing who won games because the tournament did not put the results on their web site. Games that started late, etc.

But, as Stallings says, nobody will question an organizer because people are scared to piss off someone who has access to talent.

When I wrote an article about Sonny Vaccaro and the problem with recruiting in U.S. basketball, I received so many comments from coaches who thanked me for finally speaking out, because, as they said, everyone would like to, but nobody can afford to.

Of course, I also think it's ridiculous how much money the coaches spend on their side recruiting players. Like, does a college coach have to rent a Mercedes to drive to an AAU game in Las Vegas?

Everyone on every side says that someone else is using the kids. The events are using kids, the colleges are using kids, the AAU teams are using kids, etc. The problem is that each entity thinks that their efforts are noble, so when they use kids it is okay. Everyone can rationalize their own actions while they criticize others. But, at the end of the day, it's all just different sides of the same coin.

As for the packets, I would not have a huge problem with it if it is a quality run event that runs on time with accurate schedules, timely updates, etc. I prefer passing on the expense to the colleges who have billion dollar TV contracts than to grassroots youth programs. But, if you are going to charge a lot, you have to deliver. The package costs less than $10 to make and print (I know, I have a 207-page self-published book!). I believe people should be paid for their work. However, the local teams do most of the work by sending in the rosters and information.

So, to charge $300 for a $10 book, you have to offer value - the value is the on-time games, accurate schedules, convenient gyms, and updated web sites.

Mike Rapp

This situation follows on the heels of Vanderbilt head baseball coach Tim Corbin calling out the NCAA for approving what proved to be an illegal composite bat. Almost all of the coaches who were lambasting the bat privately refused to even confirm Corbin's beliefs publicly.

Georgia head coach Dave Perno was even threatened with a law suit if he went public.

This week, the NCAA announced their recommendation to ban the bats for the 2010 season. When Corbin went public almost everyone said he was doing so out of self-interest. Now, everyone is saying I told you so.

Stallings is right. The big problem is that NCAA members are scared sh*tless to go public with information that virtually everyone knows. They are afraid of becoming "that coach" and being ostracized — both with recruit contacts and with potential future employers.

Kudos to Stallings, Corbin and Vanderbilt. At least someone has the kuhones to call a spade a spade.

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Money Players: The book