The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Hoops

The Politics of Hoops

The University of Connecticut wrapped up the NCAA Men’s Basketball championship. Congratulations to Kemba Walker and his merry band.  You have no idea how hard that is for me to say.  [One Shining Moment]

After VCU made the final four, every team in need of a good coach came calling for their coach, Shaka Smart, despite the fact that the Rams finished the regular season with 10 losses, good for fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association.  Smart opted to stay at VCU. They gave him a raise from $325,000 to $1.2 million. The kids playing ball?  They still make $0.  [Gregg Doyel]

Speaking of how much money coaches make, did you know Geno Auriemma makes $1.6 million? This is an interesting post asking whether or not men’s basketball is asked to subsidize women’s basketball too much. It’s anti-Title IX, and makes a lot of resonant points. The main postulation here is that no one could have predicted that men’s college basketball could have exploded into the “hyper-profitable behemoth” which it has become, and now it is expected to subsidize all other sports. No matter what your thoughts on Title IX, this is worth your time to read.  [The Big Lead]

Speaking of the popularity of men’s college basketball, in true Gawker fashion, Deadspin has obtained an e-mail from some sorority sisters (Chi-Os, for those of your who are into that sort of thing) who are bringing Kendall Marshall, John Henson, and Harrison Barnes to their formal. Don’t take pictures of them with alcohol, please. [Deadspin]

Moving on to the professionals, the Piston’s honored Dennis Rodman by retiring his #10 jersey.  This article is a really nice portrayal of the night for one of the most maligned players in the history of the game–who happens to be maybe the best defender to ever play the game.  It’s also been announced that he will be in the hall of fame class of 2011.  [Detroit Free Press]

Rodman broke through in the early nineties as a member of Detroit’s “Bad Boys.”  If any team fits that description in today’s NBA, its the Miami Heat. The most talented team in the league who everybody loves to hate overtook the Celtics for the #2 spot in the Eastern Conference last night.  Stephen A. Smith sat down with Dwayne Wade to talk about the Heat. Deadspin summarized the interview.  [Deadspin]

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post defends the athletic scholarship in a column for the newspaper.  I don’t really agree with much of what she says–in my opinion, college players ought to be paid–but she’s got some very interesting points which you really ought to read. [WaPo]

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