It has been a week since the soulless NCAA scammed Akron out of the postseason.
Most Zips fans will agree Akron did not deserve an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. (Although, watching some of these games makes me think the Zips would fit in as an eight seed.)
The NIT snub is still infuriating, but not so much because Akron doesn't get to travel to Timbuktu to play a lousy high-major. It's more disturbing because it's a symptom of the path of college athletics. IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY AND PRESTIGE.
Fans always talk about the purity of college athletics. The players don't get paid. They play with passion. Blah. Blah. Blah.
All that is true. Somewhere along the lines, money spoke louder. Somewhere, attendance, TV ratings and name recognition took the place of the traditional ways of judging teams (RPI, records, etc.).
Sure, the Zips didn't play last week. They won't play again until November. Although I hate to see two fine careers end in such a way, my larger concern is that this will happen again.
(As convoluted as the system has become, these tournament games are absolutely thrilling. It might be a good thing for our collective health that the Zips aren't driving up their blood pressure further.)
- Terry Pluto devoted a good chunk of his View From Pluto to the Zips. He talked with Kent State's athletic director Laing Kennedy, who served on the NCAA selection committee. Akron was in the final six to eight teams the committee considered for an at-large bid. (AND YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THE #$^%%^ NIT STILL SNUBBED AKRON?). Sorry, had to get the last bit of fury out of my system.
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