The New Lobbyists: Basketball Coaches
It might be a little early to be talking basketball, but it isn't too early for basketball coaches to be talking about Selection Sunday, apparently. Maryland Coach Gary Williams spent part of last week's media day pleading the case for the ACC to get six teams in the NCAA tournament, and you can expect Williams and his ACC colleagues to continue that refrain at Sunday's media day. At yesterday's Big East media day, our Liz Clarke reported that Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said, "I honestly believe that we ought to get 10 teams [in the tournament] this year."
Williams and Pitino know more about basketball than I ever will, but I think it's worth pointing out this one detail they might have overlooked: NO ONE IS PLAYING ANY GAMES FOR 18 DAYS!
Honestly, I don't understand the point of these early campaigns. Do coaches honestly think their efforts will have any effect on the tournament selection committee?
I get that perception is important in influencing any subjective decision, but here's the thing: Seton Hall or Syracuse or Maryland will be judged on its own merits at the end of the season, and while part of that conclusion will entail a somewhat subjective judgment of the league each plays in, no one is going to say, "Well, Syracuse doesn't seem that good, but we've got just seven Big East teams in and we need an eighth." I'm willing to assail the selection committee for any number of errors in judgment in a given year, but that's just not one of them.
It makes sense that coaches lobby for their own teams; after all, an NCAA bid is the ultimate referendum on a season's success. But pleading for X number of bids for a conference in October is ridiculous, no matter what the conference is.
Posted by: hclark1 | October 23, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lmiller328 | October 24, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse
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