S.A.T.’s: Superstars And Truancy

This is child's play compared to the tales of Memphis men's basketball players as well as Florida State athletes.

This is child's play compared to the recent tales of Memphis men's basketball players as well as Florida State athletes.

A youngster cheating on a college exam is as American as Sally or Johnny Commuter driving an SUV at 40 mph in a school zone while conveniently talking on their cell phone on an otherwise chirpy Monday morning in May.

In fact, the suburbanite taxpayers are the ones who can afford to regularly attend NCAA sporting events on their Saturdays off. Furthermore, these are the same people whom are shaming former Memphis guard Derrick Rose for allegedly not taking his S.A.T’s.

Relax. You were born to manage investments; he was born to dribble circles around defenders for your pleasure. Rose is getting paid to entertain Johnny Patron.

Whether he took the S.A.T.’s or not, I still support Rose because I hate on the game, not the player. What I don’t support is the fact that he and every other rookie of his stature is granted millions of dollars before he proves that he can handle the hedonism that is the NBA lifestyle.

Whatever happened to getting the good job AFTER you went to college or paid some kind of dignified chore to society?

The NBA moved a step in the right direction by enforcing an age limit when it did, but who wants to commit to college for a year? Before that age rule came into effect, nobody in the history of state college lore would have raised a hand for that question. There is a solution to the one and done epidemic, and it’s a win-win for everybody.

The NBA would lift its age restriction then enforce all rookie and second year salaries to the league minimum with one exception: If they have two or more years of college playing experience under their belt, they could be free to earn as much as Derrick Rose did this year (reportedly close to five million).

Rose to coach Calipari: "Coach don't call any more timeouts. I got a math final I gotta study for tomorrow."

Rose to coach Calipari: "Coach don't call any more timeouts. I got a math final tomorrow and I gotta study."

Is two years of proving that you can manage the “panhandling-girlfriend-in-every-NBA city” lifestyle too much to ask? Once the player reaches his third season, then he could seek arbitration and a judge can decide how much money he is worth per season.

Now the NCAA and its vacuum rulebook could exercise some PR with clarity and attempt to fill in the modern transparencies behind the term “student athlete.” I say, if you’re going to call them “student-athlete,” then institutionalize it: create scholarships for qualified student tutors who would be assigned to overlook each full ride athlete for the duration of his/her freshman and sophomore years.Think of it as a buddy system. The Derrick Rose’s of the world could think of it as having a “personal assistant” to be their eyes and ears. The scholar could think of it as an authentic resume builder and/or having a protégé. The pair could meet for an average of an hour a day for five days a week. If they can’t meet for consecutive days, then they can make it up some other day. At the end of the week, the tutor has the athlete sign for his attendance and participation, while the student will have kept an NCAA designed log to be submitted. If the deadline is missed more than once, then games will be taken away.

Is this a perfect system? Absolutely not. There will be the occasional wonk who will let the athlete off the hook after being bribed with court side tickets or valley girls that offer sexual favors. But at least one hand knows what the other is doing-and more importantly-one is accountable for the other. This would be the essence of portfolio building for the tutor-scholar, and it provides merit on paper for the student-athlete.

Charles Barkley was right when he proclaimed that athletes were not role models. How on earth could we expect young men like Derrick Rose, who has no role models of his own (if the S.A.T. allegations are true) to play the part of influential public figure for youngsters?

Athletes of all ages and both genders find ways to make their jobs easier, even if it includes breaking the rules.

“You’re trying to find where the holes are in the rule book,” Danica Patrick recently said.

Can you blame them? They have one short life, one shot to get to the top and stay there.

If Derrick Rose didn’t have the fortitude to take the S.A.T.’s like everyone else who goes to college, then five million dollars and a shoe deal later, I assure you he still doesn’t. And that’s now the Chicago Bulls’ problem.