Saturday, March 8, 2014
As the NCAA basketball season winds down, and March marches inexorably toward madness, many colleges are hosting "Senior Nights" at ball games. These games, typically the final home game of the regular season, offer fans the chance to honor and bid farewell to those players who will soon be graduating. But these days, virtually all of the best players--those destined for NBA superstardom--leave college as underclassmen; many are "one and done" players, serving their obligatory (since an NBA rule change) freshman-year sentence in relatively luxurious serfdom at a major university, before declaring for the draft and reaping millions come June. So, if you think about it--and I do--those seniors everyone is bidding adieu are almost inevitably not stars, not frontline players, not likely to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated or the back pages of your local tabloids any time soon. They are talented, to be sure, but not quite talented enough to rise to the top tier of their field. One cannot help but wonder--and perhaps worry a little--about how these young men and women will fare once they depart the cozy confines of their university gymnasia, as highly educated (we can only hope!) members of the common herd.