Two Truths And A Lie: College Basketball Players Speak Off The Record

By G. Hylton / @realgoesright

So a couple weeks ago, the good people over at Athlonsports.com spoke to dozens of college basketball players around the country. They asked them a bunch of questions venturing from who their favorite basketball player was, the most overrated player they faced, and whether they’ve taken illegal payments while playing for their respective schools.

If you want to catch the full survey, run on over to the article and take a look for yourself. What I’ll be doing is doing my own sort of psychoanalysis on the answers given by these “kids” and why they may or may not be bull#$%^.

Who was your favorite basketball player growing up?

  • Michael Jordan (17.8%)
  • Kobe Bryant (16.4%)
  • Allen Iverson (8.2%)
  • Kevin Garnett (6.8%)
  • Steve Nash (4.1%)
  • Shaquille O’Neal (4.1%)
  • Dominique Wilkins (4.1%)
  • Larry Bird (2.7%)
  • LeBron James (2.7%)
  • Tracy McGrady (2.7%)
  • J.J. Redick (2.7%)

Here’s the thing about these answers...it’s a safe bet that most of these kids in the survey are between the ages of 17 – 21. If 21 is the very oldest of the kids being asked this question, it’d mean they were born in 1991. Even if they were 5 years old when they started watching basketball, they’d have basically only caught Jordan during his last 1-2 “good” years in the league.

I’m sure a good majority of the kids questioned were closer to 17-19 years of age, meaning they were born in ’93 – ’95. Meaning they likely never saw Jordan play at all. Now, I’m not saying Jordan can’t be a kid’s favorite player because they weren’t even old enough to watch him play...I’m just saying, I think they’re fudging on this one.

Also of note...how the hell did J.J. Redick make this list? No Duke player should ever make anybody’s favorite player list. Ever. And don’t you dare say Kyrie Irving. Far as I’m concerned, Uncle Drew isn’t affiliated with Duke, he just needed an excuse to sit out a year before he went to the league.

Have you ever received benefits from a booster?

  • Yes (13.7%)
  • No (86.3%)

This is probably the funniest stat on this survey. Side story, there was a high profile basketball recruit who came to FSU about a week ago. Apparently, a sorority whose name will not be mentioned tweeted the recruit a rather vague phrase regarding the activities of the previous night and wished that recruit good luck. Granted, I could be reading too much into it...but I’m an alum. I know how this works.

That number, 13.7% receiving benefits from a booster, seems incredibly low. There were athletes playing for FSU receiving all kinds of “benefits” and they weren’t even star players. Cats that never got off the bench were given “just due” just because they played on the team. They should have changed this question to, “Have you ever received improper benefits just from being on the team?” Those numbers would’ve easily been flipped.

How much should college basketball players be paid?

  • $1-5,000 per semester (46.8%)
  • $5-10,000 per semester (22.6%)
  • Nothing (19.4%)
  • $10-20,000 per semester (6.4%)
  • $20,000 per semester or greater (4.8%)

Of note, there are two things at play here. 1) College athletes want to be paid and 2) they’re apparently not asking for much. 69% of them want to be paid anywhere from $1K - $10K per semester. Proponents of NOT paying the students like to point those college athletes are being given a free education, which is payment in itself.

However, given the overwhelming amount of African American men being used for profit, the fact many of them wouldn’t even BE at school if they couldn’t play their sport because they wouldn’t be academically qualified, or the poor graduation rates found within this demographic...well...it should be a surprise that a “free” education isn’t exactly considered a lucrative deal for them.

Which other coach, other than your own, would you like to play for?

  • Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (21.9%)
  • John Calipari, Kentucky (12.3%)
  • Brad Stevens, Butler (9.6%)
  • Roy Williams, North Carolina (6.8%)
  • Lorenzo Romar, Washington (4.1%)
  • Bill Self, Kansas (4.1%)
  • Shaka Smart, VCU (4.1%)

I have a lot of respect for Krzyzewski’s coaching skills, when it comes to coaching Team USA. And you can’t deny what he’s done over at Duke...but this is puzzling for a number of reasons.

A lot of college athletes want to go into the league and play pro basketball. Blind hate won’t allow me to do any research to see if any person who played at Duke was worth something in the league. At the very least, I know there’s an overwhelming about of NBA failures credited to Coach Krzyzewski’s prospects. In any event, Krzyzewski seems to be a good enough dude so I guess playing him probably would be a good look.

But it’s still eff Duke. All day, every day.

Check out the article for the rest of the questions and hit the comments with how you feel about the answers. Peace.

8 Replies to “Two Truths And A Lie: College Basketball Players Speak Off The Record”

    1. I 100% disagree with you on this, Bro. Republican Clinkscales.

      Because when in the hell else in life are you going to be able to wear an egregious flat top? In fact, I bet it ends up making him some money if his career pans out, but that's just me.

  1. Hey, now. I've always been anti-flat top. It just seems like too much maintenance. Now, if he gets bank, Happy Boxing Day to the homie.

    And I'm not a Republican. I'm Clinkscalesean: The party of "Use common sense, let me get a 2pc and a biscuit and give me my money."

    Now, if someone really had a set, bring back the Anthony Mason style on the court.

  2. Why does this article single out African Americans as not being academically qualified without an athletic scholarship? Plenty of white folks who did not excel academically receive athletic scholarships as well.

    Larry Bird was no Rhodes Scholar. But Cory Booker, the African American Mayor of Newark, NJ, and former Stanford football standout, was.

    In this day and age of youtube and ESPN Classic, a young person can easily follow Michael Jordan's career and declare him to be his favorite.

    One of my favorite players is Walter "Clyde" Frazier. I was three when he went 36-19-7 and brought the Knicks their first NBA Championship in game 7, 1970. But I've heard about the game and even seen it on Classic.

    This article seems to be one man's opinion. That's fine as long as he makes it clear that his "conclusions" are not backed up by any facts.

    1. 1. To your first point about singling out African American males...

      A report released through the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education shows that most of the schools in the NCAA's six major sports conferences have weak graduation rates for African-American male student-athletes.

      The Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education provided data from a four-year study of athletes from the schools that comprise the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC. The findings show that on average, 50.2 percent of African-American male student-athletes graduated within six years and that 96.1 percent of the schools graduated African-American male student-athletes at rates lower than student-athletes overall.

      2. It IS easier to follow a career from year's past with the advent of technology. However, I also happen to think it's alot more plausible to assume people are going with popular opinion as opposed to their own personal preference. We can agree to disagree on that.

      3. The very beginning of the article states "what I’ll be doing is doing my own sort of psychoanalysis on the answers given..." Not sure if you caught that in the beginning, but this entire blog is simply one man's opinion. I didn't make any factual assertions. I didn't even pretend to. I appreciate you reading and commenting on the article though. Have a great afternoon.

  3. Ok. I see your point.

    The poll question was about whether college basketball players should be paid. There was no racial component to it. Arbitrarily introducing one made it more difficult for me to see what you were getting at. Coaches need great players to stay employed at high paying jobs. They will do all they can to get them enrolled and keep them eligible, whether it's some white lineman off the farm or an urban black kid with a great jump shot.

    I agree that some of the kids have been indoctrinated with the whole Michael Jordan mystique. But they have also seen the dunk contests, the 63 point game against Boston, the Finals Championships and the commercials.

    Enjoyed the post. I look forward to reading more from you.

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