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What College Basketball Needs to Get Back for a Revival

March 11, 2013

The Unique Character Corollary

By Jake Springer

The question is everywhere these days.  What will it take to bring college basketball back to prominence?  There are many issues with and suggestions for the NCAA Men’s league, but few logical or pragmatic solutions.  I won’t pretend to be informed enough to demand wholesale changes in eligibility, on-court rules, or stipends.  However, in this case, the “Band-Aid on aflesh wound” formula could be just what College Hoops needs.  Like all major sports, it’s not the structures that create prosperity, it’s the players.  College basketball is sorely lacking unique characters.

Sure, ability and longevity molded viewership when BirdMagic, and Alcindor were storming the court.  But the mass audience has and will always tune in for the stories behind the ballers.  If college basketball just had enough distinctive personalities to fill March, I would be back to the tube in no time.  I could care less if the mentioned players broke any records.  Just give me a good story.  I’ll take Chris Herren over (insert boring Duke All-American) any day.

There are a couple easy exceptions to my proposal.  1. None of this works unless it’s the players personifying charisma, NOT coaches.  For far too long we’ve made the headlines about the guys in suit and ties.  Mike Krzyzewski has been around a long time and it’s not doing the trick any more.  2.  The personal back story has to have redeeming value.  We have crooks running wild in college sports.  I’m no prude, but ramping up the coverage of players on parole won’t get NCAA hoop back in my living room.

This may very well be an “easier said than done” idea.  After all, the unique characters actually have to exist in the sport if they’re going to be highlighted.  I bet if we stop following the points on the stat sheet (the few that are left) and start following the smiles and styles, the stories will be there.  Can’t we all agree that finding the next Chris Andersen is easier than making wholesale structural changes to the game?

A great case for the unique character corollary is being made in the Lone Star State.  Special personalities are at a premium at The University of Texas, in all sports.  Long expired are the fresh stories of Earl CampbellRicky WilliamsAuggie GarridoTJ Ford, and Vince Young. Consequently, UT hasn’t fielded a dominant major sport in several years.  Alas, not all is lost thanks to Awesome Sports Logos.  There’s a particular team down by the Tower with a heavy influx of eccentrics called the Austin Weirdos.  Here at Awesome Sports Logos you can waive the Weirdo banner, and feel mighty comfortable doing it.  Check out our funny Austin t-shirt below. Support the cause and pick up your Awesome Sports Logos t-shirt today!

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