Entitlement problem with high school basketball players

This is a great article from Dave Telep. I have a feeling Gott is facing some of these issues. When you recruit the McD AAs you have to be very good at managing egos.

A few points Telep made.

I asked the staffers at Elite 24 who’d been part of the game for the past seven years and they said last year’s crop was the most entitled bunch of players they’ve seen.

Those of us who cover basketball from the grassroots level share many similar opinions on the state of the game, and the college guys bend our ears daily with tales from their end. Something has to change, but change isn’t easy.

About Rick

1992 and 2002 graduate from NCSU. Born and raised an NCSU fan. I remember the good ol' days and they weren't in the last 20 years.

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43 Responses to Entitlement problem with high school basketball players

  1. Pack78 04/29/2013 at 11:24 AM #

    Good find-and an apt description of much of our society at large…

  2. TheCOWDOG 04/29/2013 at 11:50 AM #

    I figure that it has taken a decade to reach the level of putrid we see, and will take as much to correct itself.

    Thanks go out to the Michael Jordans of the world who have given so much to the AfAm youth. Allen Iversons…take a bow, too.

    It’s a culture and to deny it, just means denial of truth. Can a white man say that without implicating himself as a racist? Probably not, but I’m no racist to ask why it is that the moms of these kids are the central figures, either.

    That said, if one looks for an immediate fix:

    1. Open the NBA draft to HS seniors
    2. Close the draft to college players until the age of 21

  3. SaccoV 04/29/2013 at 11:54 AM #

    COWDOG, I see this as reflective of a culture of acceptance on the part of coaches more than reflective of one particular race. The fix is simple, but simple never means easy. Stop accepting those kids, and then the behavior will change. It still doesn’t appear that certain coaches put up with too much attitude from players!

  4. wilmwolf80 04/29/2013 at 12:13 PM #

    I first noticed a big change when Coach K began recruiting players like Corey Maggette. When Duke began accepting one and done guys with questionable backgrounds, you knew that the whole landscape had changed. Entitled athletes are certainly nothing new, that has been happening for as long as sports have existed. In many ways, what makes a player great is knowing that they are better than everyone else. The problem comes when there is no one around to keep that ego in check. You can’t expect a college coach to all of a sudden be able to instill values in a kid that has not had them for 18 years. As with most issues relating to kids, the answer goes back to the parents, which is not something that most people in our society want to hear.

  5. PackerInRussia 04/29/2013 at 12:21 PM #

    You just have to believe in yourself and you can do anything you want. All of your dreams can come true. No one can stand in your way.

  6. Mike 04/29/2013 at 12:35 PM #

    The problem still comes back to winning. Dont get me wrong, we ALL want to win.

    When a coach has a 15 or 16 year old superstar, he coddles him. Coach gives in because he wants the talent of the kid on his team, rather than on a rival team.

    Player has an attitude – what can the coach do? Bench the player? Of course, the coach has that right. But when he does, the player bolts, says the coach was too hard on him, and goes elsewhere. AAU ball has ruined the players and will continue. When they get to college, they have the same attitudes and expect everything to be given to them.

  7. WTNY 04/29/2013 at 12:41 PM #

    Speaking of character development:

    gopack.com: NC State Athletics Establishes Student Athlete Leadership Academy


    “RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State Athletics, in association with the Janssen Sport Leadership Center, announced Monday the formation of the Wolfpack Leadership Academy, which will help the Wolfpack develop the next generation of leaders, both in competition and life.”

  8. SuperStuff 04/29/2013 at 12:55 PM #

    My dad is an assistant basketball coach at a high school. The thing that bothers him are the kids that don’t want to put in the work to get better. They think just because they show up at practice and walk through the drills they have done their part.

  9. YogiNC 04/29/2013 at 1:27 PM #

    The problem ISN”T high school athletes, it’s high schoolers in general. Way too many kids today get too much for nothing. When I was growing up I had two choices if i wanted to go somewhere, I could walk, or I could earn the money to buy my own car (including insurance). IOW you want it EARN it.

  10. bill.onthebeach 04/29/2013 at 1:58 PM #

    …. just fuel for the proverbial fire…..

    Is it a “coincidence” that a lot of big “open-enrollment” high schools have great basketball / athletic programs ?

    Those HSs have to recruit to keep that going, but more importantly, under the NCLB rules….. those kids can transfer to another high school anytime that want … as in cases where they don’t “see eye to eye” with their current coach.

    That, IMO, sets the tone on both ends of the bench that carries over to college.

    And for those who didn’t know or hadn’t thought about it….. a lot of HS recruiting goes on at the eighth grade level or earlier.

  11. BJD95 04/29/2013 at 2:05 PM #

    Cowdog is exactly right in suggesting the two word solution to college hoops – Baseball Rule. Draft eligible after HS, can either sign as pro or go to college. If you choose the latter, you aren’t draft eligible again for three years.

    Simple, fair, and effective.

  12. Texpack 04/29/2013 at 2:07 PM #

    Compromising principles for wins is what got us to this point. Basketball can obviously be more greatly influenced by one dominant player than any other sport. That makes coached more likely to cave in.

    I agree with the idea of a three year post HS commitment (like the NFL) before you can enter the NBA. The NBA and college basketball would both benefit tremendously from that.

    Some of this has filtered down to the HS level from the NBA. It began when they decided to market star players instead of teams. Ironically it began with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird who were themselves great team players.

    The linkage between hard work and results is why I have encouraged both of my kids in endurance sports. (distance running and triathlon) There’s something about working out largely in solitary and only having yourself to blame or credit that teaches that lesson.

  13. ryebread 04/29/2013 at 2:25 PM #

    The Telep article reads like the manifesto in the beginning of Jerry McGuire. The cynic in me wonders how many middle aged people aren’t writing the exact same thing about their chosen career. I know that I am.

    Now, with respect to high school and college basketball, the game is ruined. It is not returning.

    The short term fix is to re-instate the “straight to the NBA” open draft. The one and done is ridiculous. Put the baseball rule in as well.

    The medium term fix is really for more kids to go to the D-League, Europe, etc. as opposed to playing NCAA basketball. Yes the talent level in college basketball will go down, but the game itself will improve drastically.

    The long term fix is to build basketball academies like they have in Europe in the US. Make these the NBA’s D-League. Players will get much better by playing basketball 24/7 and thus be more attractive candidates to professional employment in basketball. This should ultimately replace AAU.

    The problem is that the NBA has no incentive to build out a farm league because the NCAA provides them with that. The NCAA has no incentive to fix its game for the long term because there is so much money to be made in the short term by being that farm league. The coaches certainly aren’t going to buck the system that is paying them record salaries. The tail is wagging the dog at the schools and nothing seems to be changing there. It is a vicious cycle.

  14. 13OT 04/29/2013 at 4:15 PM #

    I think the college game was “ruined” in the mid-80s when the shot clock was inserted, making it more like the NBA. Skills were the real deal before 1985; now, the real deal is talent.

    With most of the talented players spending little if any time in college, the lesser-talented and slower guys are left with NBA rules which speed the game beyond their capabilities. The slow-down tactics of the 60s and 70s were eliminated with a 45-second and now 35-second clock, but scoring is less than it was in the 1960s.

    The 3-point shot was added to offset the shot clock advantage of bigger teams, but with most of the talented players who can create their own shot spending little time in college, you have a bunch of smaller and slower players trying to get off 3-point shots at the end of the shot clock. Look at what that’s done to shooting percentages.

    The bad attitudes in the college game are a microcosm of the NBA. The few really good college players nowadays are mostly bad-attitude cases and are simply out for themselves. It’s no longer a team game to them.

    Eventually, most of the BCS-level schools won’t even have a senior night anymore if the current trend continues.

  15. Tau837 04/29/2013 at 4:22 PM #

    Another vote here for the baseball rule. But I don’t see it happening.

  16. Lumpy 04/29/2013 at 6:17 PM #

    I would say that one of the things that needs to go are the plethora of games like the Elite 24 and Jordan Brand ball hog conventions. All they are is McDAA knockoffs. I love how the organizers of the tournament were shocked at the players attitudes when they were the ones slapping the “Elite” label on 17-18 year old kids who have only shown themselves to be above the competition in high school.

  17. highstick 04/29/2013 at 7:03 PM #

    ” The cynic in me wonders how many middle aged people aren’t writing the exact same thing about their chosen career. I know that I am.”

    Ryebread…you may have a point as I hear that on occasion, but I have conflicting views in my own profession, i.e. pubic accounting..The young guns are generally better trained coming out of school that I was in IT and theory..Not so with application because of lack of work experience.

    They have different work ethics though…I’d work my butt off in the beginning, but also learned that “working long did not equate to working smart”. They’ll work hard, but it’s pulling teeth to “work long” when you have to…And it is a rare female bird that will work long and hard..

    I tend to agree with Cowdog..When we changed the rules in athletics and moved more to the “entitlement society”, things really started going downhill. Race does not(or maybe it should not)matter, but then again, have you watched many basketball games lately?

  18. Alpha Wolf 04/29/2013 at 7:41 PM #

    Just to play devil’s advocate, a lot of these kids are “entitled” to let the NCAA use their likeness in perpetuity, to allow the schools, shoe companies and others sell their jerseys with them getting nothing, etc.

    Basically, college sports – football and men’s basketball in particulary – has become a multibillion dollar business based on free labor. And recently, it has come to light that the players aren’t even fully insured for catastrophic injuries. Sure, sure, they get their education, but keep in mind most of them are not prepared for it and cannot take advantage of it fully.

    Kids aren’t dumb and a lot of them know they’re being used, so in a way, I can see why they want to “get theirs.” The coaches, the companies, the television broadcasters and the advertisers sure as hell are getting theirs.

    Go and look back at the history of the NCAA, in particular why it was formed to prevent athletes from getting proper compensation and workman’s compensation coverage. College sports is a dirty business and the worst part of it is that we’re taxpayers and WE ultimately foot the bill.

  19. highstick 04/29/2013 at 8:12 PM #

    Alpha, they are “supposedly given a scholarship to get a degree”..If they choose not to, that is their issue. They are given a “stage” to show their talents to get those big Pro bucks…No guarantees in life about injuries whether you’re a player of a CPA cutting firewood and cuts his hand off…

    I vehemently do not agree about being “used”. They are given an opportunity to earn more “than they are worth”. Risk is high, but so is the payoff.. Or they can stand on the corner and sell drugs and take a bullet in the head…Used?

  20. BJD95 04/29/2013 at 8:52 PM #

    I do think that revenue sport athletes (scholarship players only) should get a stipend, since NCAA football and basketball really are farm systems. I have no problem admitting that reality.

    Do that, and allow for kids that aren’t interested in “work/study” to go pro right away (via baseball rule, including Europe and D-league as need be)…and it’s more of a mutually beneficial relationship.

  21. packalum44 04/29/2013 at 9:01 PM #

    Baseball rule would be great for college basketball, but it would not be wise for the NBA.

    A more likely, but improbably scenario, would be for the NBA to adopt a 2 year rule. I do not believe that will happen nor would I advise it to the NBA.

    The last thing the NBA want is to force teams to start playing roulette again in drafting high school seniors. Having kids play a single year in college gives an enormous advantage for NBA talent evaluators to wager money on whether the kid will contribute in the NBA. The roulette player now becomes the dealer.

    The marginal advantage of watching Marcus Smart, for instance, another year or two would not be nearly as large as his freshman year.

    What is the cost to the NBA to implement another 1 or 2 years? Simple, lost revenue. If a kid can contribute and sell tickets, the sooner the better. Players have a finite career and you want to monetize that talent optimally.

    Sure there will be some kids with the talent to start out of high school. There will be far more Kwame Browns however. The Kwame’s of the world far outweigh the LeBron’s.

    The current rule is the most optimal to the NBA. College coaches must accept this and build their strategy around it.

  22. rlgray 04/29/2013 at 9:10 PM #

    Until we (all colleges) stop recruiting athletes who cannot do college work (due to lack of preparation or ability) we will have this and other worse problems in college athletics. We need, must, put the STUDENT back in student-athlete or just go totally as farm teams for the pros and drop the pretense that keeps biting us in the rear-end.

  23. triadwolf 04/29/2013 at 9:16 PM #

    I don’t agree that there is no benefit to the NBA moving to at least a 2 year rule. However, I do not think it’s in the NBA’s favor to recruit from HS unless they go to a minor league system like baseball. In principle I agree with Cowdog.

    The benefit to college kids playing longer at school is that kids can build a following staying in school for multiple years and that following carries over to the NBA which brings in more fringe fans. I am much more likely to watch someone like Julius Hodge in the NBA vs. JJ Hickson. I really don’t connect Hickson to NC State and don’t really care how/what he does. Magic, Bird, etc. had a huge following as they started their NBA careers and I’m sure the NBA benefited. I don’t watch the NBA for various reasons, but I would probably watch more if I felt connected with some former State players in the league. One and done’rs aren’t going to do it for me.

    Not to mention that the quality of the game would improve, as if that matters to anyone.

  24. choppack1 04/29/2013 at 9:28 PM #

    One actor deserves the majority of the blame for this -and it ain’t the kids.

    The entitlement view is handed down straight from the parents, and if you think it’s a racial thing or even an income thing, you’re dead wrong.

    In my former life working for an insurance company, I dealt with several parents with the means to know better who didn’t want to pay for the damages their kid did to a car…They’d bring up the court case and I’d have to explain it to them, “that’s the criminal case – this is for the damage that your kid did that someone else paid for. Your kid pled guilty- now he owes money for this man’s car.”

    This is learned behavior – and it starts early. Too often, the attitude is “my kid is a saint”.

    If you want to see this behavior embodied in an institution, just look down the road from Raleigh, West about 20 miles.

    Sportscenter doesn’t help either.

  25. packalum44 04/29/2013 at 9:43 PM #

    Though I have limited knowledge of professional baseball as compared to the NBA, I can speculate on the logic of their rule, and compare it to the NBA to illustrate the difference.

    Though college football and basketball are farm systems to a large extent, as BJD contends, college baseball IS a FREE farm system.

    Baseball requires more SKILL than basketball. The nexus of that skill is the pitcher. Inherent talent, athleticism and eye-hand coordination are key to succeed offensively. These are not extremely dissimilar to b-ball players. Here’s the rub….there are no Roger Clemmons in basketball – offense has the advantage.

    NOT SO in baseball. The DEFENSE has the inherent advantage. You can be the next Babe Ruth, but you probably would not bat over .250 as a 18/19 year old prodigy. It takes years of refinement against better competition. Said another way, you must develop your skill in a farm system against more elite pitchers.

    No other position in baseball requires more skill than the pitcher. The same guys that effectively bar the offensive talents from playing early are the ones who are barred b/c their position requires the most repetition and skill of all. Pitchers need the farm system too.

    Assuming limited market frictions (e.g.., the farm system infrastructure being disassembled), the current rule would suggest that there is less inherent risk in identifying blue chip talent. The risk is not gambling as in b-ball per se, but more simply, the Josh Hamiltons and Rodon’s of the world need more practice. Teams are happy to draft the blue chips early, and own the rights to those future cash flows, but either way, the players are going to a farm.

    The MLB rule also suggest that the best players can start to be monetized around 21 years of age.

    If the NFL had a farm system, it would be the same paradigm. Not the NBA.

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