Men's basketball Coach Keith Dambrot came into my Sports Law class. I know. I know. It's a pretty cool class.
Here are some interesting notes...
He asked the class a good question: What makes Akron a winner? It's not better tradition, facilities, fan support or publicity. Many schools trump the Zips in those areas, yet Akron wins more games.
The answer to his question, in my opinion, is effort in recruiting and coaching philosophy. The reason I say philosophy is that day-to-day and in-game coaching decisions do not vary too widely. Dambrot's philosophy, however, is unique: if you don't play defense, you don't get off the bench.
Dambrot felt a couple of the NCAA's recent rule changes have favored the BCS teams. He thought the text messaging ban affects mid-majors more than bigger programs. Same with the restraint on coaching contact during Fridays of
LeBron James' April AAU tournament.
His contract includes incentives for a satisfactory Academic Progress Rate, championships (MAC East, MAC and NCAA), and coach of the year awards (MAC and NCAA).
Dambrot thought the NCAA would better serve its members if it was flexible. He pointed to
Jimmy Conyers' problem. His high school was a wreck. It published two transcripts and, somehow, there was an NCAA violation. Despite the fact that it wasn't Conyers' fault at all, the NCAA would not budge.