Friday, June 4, 2010

RIP John Wooden 1910 - 2010

UCLA Basketball coach John Wooden died today at the age of 99. He was considered by many to be the greatest coach in NCAA history. I share those sentiments. It's no coincidence that I stopped watching College hoops right around the time Coach Wooden retired. I just lost interest in College sports due to recruiting scandals, students who never seemed to be able to graduate with their classes (or even graduate at all) and what seemed like an overall lack of respect and/or values for the game.

At that time I also came to the conclusion that the the modern student/athlete programs are nothing more that a surrogate minor league system for Pro Basketball, Football, and to some extent, Major League Baseball. The scholarship system is complete waste of money and time and robs legitimate scholars of their chance at a great education. And of course the abuses that go hand in hand are disgusting.

But John Wooden was a throwback to an earlier era when coaches stressed grades, common sense values, and above all - respect. His students would be the first to concur. UCLA hasn't been the same since his retirement in 1975. The members of his Basketball teams read like a "who's who" of the NBA Hall Of Fame. RIP John Wooden.

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