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On going to Europe to pay for play

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, San Diego junior (in high school) Jeremy Tyler has left high school and intends to play the next two seasons in Europe while waiting to become eligible for the NBA draft.

Here was my take on the situation in our Thursday discussion:

QUESTION: Another fine (and fabulous day), gentlemen! Now that Jeremy Tyler has become the first major college prospect to drop out of high school and begin his pro career in Europe, do you expect this to become an increasingly frequent outcome for superlative high school talent, or will this defection from the traditional pro route remain uniquely uncommon?

It seems this is the natural and probable result of the NBA’s delayed-entry rule. While the possibility of more kids dropping out of high school to play abroad takes the situation to the precipice of a slippery slope, I can’t help but feel Stern/Brand/NBAPA essentially opened the door for a European internship program under the rule. After all, if the kids have incomparable talent and 0 interest in academics, why shouldn’t they be allowed to seek compensation for playing their game so exceptionally well? Should the NCAA drop the facade of the “student-athlete” for these kids and ease its eligibility requirements, or create a professional athlete/personal finance major to accommodate them? Should the NBA drop the rule all together? What’s your take on the situation?

ChronicHoosier, B-town!

CHRIS KORMAN: Chronic,

Put simply, I believe in freedom.

We let actors and actresses “go pro” at as young an age as they are able. Same for tennis players and figure skaters. In Canada, premier ice hockey players are drafted into juniors at age 15 and more often than not move hundreds of miles away from their families.

The current situation most of the upper echelon basketball players face is a sham. It would be better for everyone if the players who wanted to concentrate on playing basketball had an avenue to do that. It would also be better for everyone if the players who were interested in academics and basketball (maybe even in that order) didn’t have their avenues clogged by those who are essentially pros in waiting.

I have been a proponent of the NCAA dropping its facade for some time now; I have also been realistic about how unlikely that is. Once you’ve dealt with the organization for a while you see that it considers its image sacred. What you really have is a little shop that sells apple pies and plays soft jazz for customers, while in the nearby warehouse the young, often under-compensated workers are providing the real goods that make the business so successful (hint: they ain’t baking pies). But don’t talk about that. Talk about the apple pie. It’s delicious!

What bothers me about the NBA rule was that it came in collusion with the NCAA; if the NBA had simply decided it was too risky for players younger than 18 to join the league (for physical reasons) that would have been OK. But to make a rule that makes kids basically wait one year after their graduation, regardless of age, is a blatant attempt at funneling top players to the NCAA.

Andy Staples, the recruiting writer for Sports Illustrated, had his say Thursday night. I agree with it.

Your thoughts?


More IU twitterers

If you don’t have enough people to follow on Twitter, or just need more IU sports fixes, here you go. Men’s soccer and women’s basketball are both tweeting now. Just visit twitter.com/IndianaWBB and twitter.com/IUMensSoccer.

You can also follow me now: twitter.com/JPPrice. That is all.


Thursday Chat, 11 a.m.

Hope you’ll join us for our usual weekly discussion.

You can find it here.


Indiana gets commitment from 2010 recruit

*There’s some discrepancy over Williams’ stats, and he may not have averaged nearly as many points.

Sometimes, the recruiting process moves slowly.

Other times, it happens as it did today for Indiana and David Williams, a 6-7 wing from Jacksonville, Fla.

The Hoosiers offered a scholarship. He accepted.

In doing so, Williams (who averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds a game last year for First Coast High School, which won its first ever district title) became the first player to pledge to join the 2010 class.

“Indiana is just a school that everybody knows, and it is every player’s dream to play at a place like that,” Williams told me moments ago.

Williams plays AAU basketball for the Atlantic Celtics, an organization that Indiana assistant Roshown McCleod was close with before being hired late last summer. Indiana head coach Tom Crean was accompanied by McLeod in Florida today and the duo saw Williams work out at the high school.

“I knew coach Ro and knew that he would be part of an exciting team that would want to get up the floor,” Williams said.

His high school coach, Charles J. Showers, said he thought Williams would thrive as a big guard in the Big Ten.

“He liked the style of play in the conference,” Showers said. “He’s a big-time player who likes to play against other big-time players. That’s what he was looking for, and he found it with a great program.”

Showers said Williams has a 3.8 GPA and was a leader for his high school team.


Terps coming to Bloomington

You can always count on the Big Ten/ACC Challenge to manufacture a few interesting matchups.

Indiana announced today that the Hoosiers will play host to Maryland, their opponent in the 2002 NCAA title game, on Dec. 1.

Very intriguing game, since it could be argued it’s been downhill for both programs ever since that moment.

Obviously, Indiana’s presumed rise back to national prominence has been well-documented. But Gary Williams fought off the alums gunning for his job and is after Lance Stephenson, maybe the second-best (or best) remaining prospect in the nation.

And let me tell you, all of you will absolutely love Greivis Vasquez if he’s still with Maryland (he might declare for the NBA Draft). Dude was cussing out Cameron Crazies as a freshman.

No time or channel for the game yet, but we also know that Michigan State will head down to North Carolina in a rematch of this year’s title game, and Duke will play at Wisconsin. Purdue will play host to Wake Forest.

Here’s the full schedule: (more…)


A human moment

Riley Children’s Hospital

Indiana linebackers Matt Mayberry, left, and Will Patterson talk with a patient Tuesday at the Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — I have two stepsons.

Hunter is 13 and Ian is 9. We have no genetic relation, but I have that fatherly feeling for them.

So, when I walked into the Riley Children’s Hospital on Tuesday, there was only one thought that went through my mind as I saw sick kid after sick kid. (more…)


So you say you have things you’d like to talk about

We’ll chat tonight, along with the fine folks from Inside the Hall.


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