In the midst of the 2015 NBA Draft, basketball fans across the nation are either loving or hating the University of Kentucky basketball team. Seven UK players broke the school record this week by declaring for the 2015 NBA Draft.

Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker, have executed the University of Kentucky’s one-and-done tradition perfectly, but sparked the continuous controversy once again.

But are the freshman really to blame?

The Rule

The one-and-done rule was implemented in 2006 by former commissioner of the NBA, David Stern. The infamous Article X allows athletes to either enter the NBA Draft if they are 19-years-old at the calendar year of the draft or sit out one year after high school.

It is apparent that both the NBA and the NCAA dislike the rule and basketball fans nationwide hate it. But what reasons are that effectual that the rule must be cut?

Cons Of Going Pro

Education

Players use college basketball as a stepping stone to the NBA rather than an opportunity to obtain a college degree.

Bob Knight, former head coach of the Indiana University men’s basketball team for 29 years, claimed that the one-and-done rule was “the worst thing that’s happened to college basketball.”

Knight proposed that the rule had a negative effect on college sports. “Now you can have a kid come to school for a year and play basketball and he doesn’t even have to go to class,” said Knight. “He certainly doesn’t have to go to class the second semester.”

According to the NCAA, “Student-athletes must achieve 90 percent of the institution’s minimum overall grade-point average necessary to graduate (for example, 1.8) by the beginning of year two, 95 percent of the minimum GPA (1.9) by year three and 100 percent (2.0) by year four.”

To put into perspective, a freshman is only required to pass two classes in their fall semester to maintain a grade point average to stay eligible to play.

However, the purpose of earning a college degree is to increase a student’s likeliness of getting a job. But if a multi-million dollar job was offered to a student before graduation, doesn’t that host the same outcome? Isn’t that not satisfying the real reason why coaches want big time players to stay in college and graduate?

Quality of NBA

Since 2006, 60 one-and-done players have played in the NBA.

Charles Barkley, former basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers and current sports analyst for Inside the NBA, criticized the NBA’s quality of play due to these one-and-done players.

“I hate the one-and-done rule in college basketball,” Barkley said during a Kentucky v. Auburn game. “Just ’cause there’s a rule does not mean you have to do it.”

Barkley’s concern is that college basketball players are not ready for the NBA but are influenced greatly by family members and agents.

“The family members are greedy, the agents are pigs,” Barkley said. “These agents are such scumbags, and you know that, they just want their percentage of the money.”

Barkley understands the pressures as an NBA prospect through his own experience and is concerned about the well-being of the student-athletes coming into the pro league.

However, with regard to the quality of play, Chris Johnson, a writer for Sports Illustrated, examined the results of the college one-and-done era.

The chart represents all one-and-done male basketball players that joined the NBA in the past 8 years.

To distinguish between the four levels of performance, here is a visual of players that fall in each category:

  • Stars: Anthony Davis, John Wall, Derrick Rose.
  • Rotation Players: Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans.
  • Big Contributors: Cory Joseph, Quincy Miller, Anthony Bennett.
  • Flops: Grant Jerrett, Josh Selby, Daniel Orton.

Johnson calculated only 7 players to be “flops” and almost half were considered “rotation players”.

“On average,” Johnson said. “A majority of them managed to play significant roles in the league for at least a few years.”

Pros Of Going Pro

Financial

Choosing the one-and-done route gives student-athletes an opportunity to be financially stable and earn a living early.

According to a study conducted by Ramogi Huma, President of the National College Players Association, 86 percent of college athletes live below the poverty line.

Student-athletes entering in the NBA Draft are likely to receive a signing bonus that would would allow athletes to provide for themselves and their families.

Risk of Injury

The more time spent participating in college basketball creates a higher risk of injury.

Nerlens Noel, former University of Kentucky basketball player, was predicted to be first overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. Due to tearing his ACL in February, 2013, Noel was the sixth pick and lost more than $4 million of his predicted salary according to the NBA’s rookie pay scale.

Opportunity

Not every individual has a chance of being an athlete. Not every athlete has the chance to play in college. And certainly, not every collegiate athlete has a chance of going to the NBA. According to NCAA statistics, it’s a very small percentage.

Wayne Langston, a junior forward for the Murray State University men’s basketball team, understands the possible opportunity that many Division I basketball players can get.

Langston’s sophomore teammate, Cameron Payne, is one of more than twenty-five players entering early in the 2015 NBA Draft.

“Coach doesn’t talk to us before season about it (playing in the NBA),” Langston said. “It just something that comes up. But if you’re good enough, why not go?”

Who deserves the benefits?

At the end of the day, the university and basketball coaches lose money when their best player leaves for the NBA.

Fans are upset when they can’t watch their favorite player participate in college basketball games. Now they have to watch both college and professional basketball.

And the one-and-dones are taking a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Racheal Foxley from Bolton, England, was 18 years old when she became an official Murray State University Racer in 2012. As a player on the Murray State University Women’s Soccer team, Foxley was introduced to compliance meetings the first week of preseason.

Student-athletes are required to sign contracts in exchange for eligibility, however, one rule that many athletes, including Foxley, are almost unwilling to sign is the university’s social networking policy:

  • “The Department of Athletics reserves the right to take action against any currently enrolled student-athlete, or any person receiving athletically related aid, engaged in behavior that is deemed unacceptable or inappropriate or violates University, Department, or team rules, including such behavior that occurs in postings on the internet.”

“I knew America was going to be strict, but not on the social media side,” Foxley said.

The Murray State University Women’s Soccer Team was required to erase all content on their social media accounts that went against the social networking policy.

“I was kind of annoyed that I had to delete all my pictures because I felt like I was deleting memories,” Foxley said. “Coming from a culture where the drinking age is 18, I’m legally allowed to go out and have a drink with my friends. Nobody had ever told me before to be cautious of what I posted, not even my parents or coaches. I was in shock when I had to do it here.”

First Amendment Rights

What many student-athletes, including Foxley, are unaware of is the general rule under the First Amendment.

  • “A college or university is prohibited from regulating speech based on the content or viewpoint of the message or expressive activity.”

However, university athletic departments across the nation continue to infringe upon the First Amendment when adopting social media policies.

University vs. Athletic Departments

Although the hyphen in the term “student-athlete” symbolizes the tie between education and sport for a collegiate athlete at a university, it is becoming more apparent how separate the education and athletic departments really are once policies become established.

Wes Gay, publisher of “Hands off Twitter: Are NCAA Student-Athlete Social Media Bans Unconstitutional?”, explains how unwilling school administrators are to contest the athletic department’s choice to restrict a student-athletes’ freedom of speech.

Universities class winning as a priority because it draws “more notoriety, more ticket sales, more alumni donations, and more revenue,” Gay said.

A theory is presented: if a successful coach requires a policy that will generate revenue for the university, the university heads will support the decision of restricting free speech.

Social Media Policies

In 2014, journalism students at the University of Maryland, conducted a study to determine the number of universities that monitor student-athlete social media accounts. Results in the study showed that of 83 universities investigated, more than 59 universities have restrictions on student-athletes’ social media usage.

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Source: https://infogr.am/app/#/home

Social media policies are enforced only by universities rather than conferences and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Collegiate athletic conferences do not enforce social media policies according to Kyle Schwartz, assistant commissioner for media relations in the Ohio Valley Conference.

“Right now as a conference office we don’t have a blanket social media policy that all of our schools must abide by,” Schwartz said. “Since we do not put a directive down for specifics, each school formulates its own policy.”

However, after the infamous Tweet by football player Marvin Austin and the investigation of the University of North Carolina Football Team in 2011, the NCAA began to take social media rules more seriously.

  • “While we do not impose an absolute duty upon member institutions to regularly monitor such sites, the duty to do so may arise as part of an institution’s heightened awareness when it has or should have a reasonable suspicion of rules violations.

Dave Clarke, head coach of the Quinnipiac College Women’s Soccer Team, identified the benefits of social media as a tool for coaches to recruit prospects. Clarke views his athletes’ social media usage as a positive when used correctly.

“I am not against my players using social media,” Clarke said. “Players just need to post in a responsible manner – think before posting, cool off, or edit (the post).”

But doesn’t a human being have the right to express themselves under the First Amendment regardless of the content?

Legal Issues

Dr. Kevin Qualls, a former trial attorney and current media law professor at Murray State University, compares the social networking policies at universities to the military’s policy on free speech.

“Just because you have the right to speak,” Qualls said. “You can always forfeit that right via contract.”

The University of North Carolina, with the already tainted reputation for their athletes’ use of social media, states on their social media policy that “each student-athlete must remember that playing and competing for The University of North Carolina is a privilege, not a right”.

“A privilege is something you can lose,” Qualls said. “A right to something, you cannot lose.”

In return for an athlete to enjoy the status of being a member of the varsity team at a university, they must give up their rights to whatever conditions come under that contract.

Divisions alike

Rebecca Dowling, an Irish senior playing for Division II’s University of Montevallo Women’s Soccer Team, does not agree with the idea of social media policies.

“I know that the athletic department tell us that they enforce policies to help us with employment in the future,” Dowling said. “But I still think people should have the right to express how they feel and post whatever pictures they want. It should be the student’s choice and they shouldn’t be punished for it.”

Regardless of division in the NCAA, social media policies are universal and are considered a priority for many universities. At the end of the day, athletes are the driving force for athletic departments and every action taken can bring either success or failure to the program.

Racheal Foxley has grown accustomed to the business of American collegiate sport, and although her rights were exchanged for playing time, her three years as a Racer has been one of a kind.

“I guess it’s just the perks of being a student-athlete,” Foxley said.

Newsrooms are constantly dealing with digital media evolution. From the pen and paper to telephone interviews, from broadcast documentaries (radio and television) to live news stream. But to trump the basics of journalism, the introduction of Vine, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well as a variety of digital media (video, etc.) used to capture news stories has brought news to a whole other level.

 

How are news organizations dealing with the changes in video media?

1. One way that news organizations deal with changes in video media is by adding their own personal journalism to reach out to the audience. The reason why video is added to a news story is to provide a visual for the audience and make the story more exciting. Have some fun with it, engage the audience and make them want to watch the news.

So let’s make sure that the news has less of this:

And more of this:

 

2. News organizations need to steer clear of documentary styled videos and aim for informative news reporting with great visuals. Here’s an example of CNN’s use of visuals in their videos.

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/business/2014/04/15/orig-pkg-what-is-high-frequency-trading-zain-asher.cnn.html

 

3. News organizations are using different media to produce a more appealing way of communicating news to everyone. Check out this 6-second Vine of an earthquake in a studio that went viral.

The way that news organizations deal with the change in video media is determined by its viewership. If the viewership goes up, they’re doing it right, and vice versa. So by introducing digital media, such as video, to a story, it can makes the story more watchable for the viewers. The video also needs to have good visuals to maintain the viewer’s attention and by using social media as a tool to explain the story, it can help attract different age groups.

What types of skills do you need as a student journalist in order to survive in the coming job market?

I feel like student journalists have plenty of natural skills needed to survive in the coming job market, two of which I think are the most important; students know how to use practically all media and are knowledgeable of the interests of a young market. What a great combination!

Firstly, us youngsters were born into the era of video games and have been the target market for each new and improved game system to date. This means that for the past fifteen years or so, we have been experts of technology which gives us the advantage over every other generation.

Secondly, news organizations need viewers. According to the Index Mundi website, 16.8 percent of the world’s population are 15 years old to 24 years old which are the key users of digital media. That’s a lot of viewers missed out on if you’re not using the right medium to output your news. So who better to put into the journalism world than student journalists who understand the audience!

 

What skills do you feel are no longer needed as a journalist and why?

I feel like the only thing that journalists don’t need to concentrate as much on is writing for print but instead to be able to convert a print story to a story compatible for the web.

However, I feel like all the skills of a journalist are never no longer needed, instead, all the skills are still used in every day work. “A good journalist must be resourceful. Resourcefulness gives a person the ability to be able to always find a solution to difficult situations that can sometimes be at a dead end” (Journalism Facts and Directory). A difficult situation may be an experienced journalist having to make the switch from the traditional pen and paper to the computer and social media.

Especially with so much change in the field with social and digital media, journalists have to adapt to new ways of spreading news to the public. The author of Journalism 2.0, Mark Briggs says “Just like the telephone didn’t replace the face-to-face meeting over coffee, and e-mail didn’t replace the telephone, social media doesn’t replace other forms of connecting with people. It adds to them.” See, changes aren’t all that different!

 

Where do you see the future going in regard for mobile and social media, particularly digital media?

Digital media can range from digital video to digital audio, digital pictures, cell phones and even the Internet. With the many advancements in the digital media department over the past few years, it can only keep us asking “What could they possibly invent next?” Here are some ideas:

Whatever the new trend will be, it’s going to be even bigger and even better than today’s technologies. The future is going to be huge for mobile and social media, especially digital media. Can you imagine what the world of technology will be like 10 years from now?

Do these changes and innovations excite or scare you?

The changes and innovations of future technologies excite me. It’s always interesting to know what the next new trend will be. How many more versions of iPhones are they going to bring out? What’s the next step with social media? How many different formats of media could be used to cover a story? I know I’m not the only one who has questions but I am the type of person who would sit back and just be like “Bring it on!”

With snow still falling in mid-March this year, I think the students in Murray State University needed a reward for sticking out the never ending winter of 2013-14.

 

Murray State student, Carley Sommer, ditches the library to study outside.

Murray State student, Carley Sommer, ditches the library to study outside.

Nursing students sunbathe on the hill at Cutchin Field.

Nursing students sunbathe on the hill at Cutchin Field.

Paula Vick, Samantha McClintock and Nikole Rickard enjoying the weather in the Quad.

Paula Vick, Samantha McClintock and Nikole Rickard enjoying the weather in the Quad.

The smell of freshly mowed grass on Cutchin Field lingers in the air.

The smell of freshly mowed grass on Cutchin Field lingers in the air.

Disc golfers throw a few holes at the Murray-Calloway County Park.

Disc golfers throw a few holes at the Murray-Calloway County Park.

The ten minute block between classes when the campus strip gets busy.

The ten minute block between classes when the campus strip gets busy.

A typical sighting of squirrels running around campus.

A typical sighting of squirrels running around campus.

It's laundry day in the Murray State University Soccer locker room.

It’s laundry day in the Murray State University Soccer locker room.

The semi-finals of the CIT played in the CFSB Center, Murray KY.

The semi-finals of the CIT played in the CFSB Center, Murray KY.

 

 

 

baseball

Photo source: Murrayparks.org.

A possible 700 youths will sign up for Murray’s upcoming baseball and softball seasons starting April 7 at the Murray-Calloway County Parks (MCCP).

The first day of baseball and softball practice begin April 7 and the opening day of games starts May 2 according to the Murray Youth Baseball and Softball Association (MYBSA) website. The season ends with a postseason tournament on Fourth of July weekend held at MCC Park.

The deadline to register is Feb. 27.

Hopes for upcoming season.

62 teams participated in the postseason tournament last year, but the numbers were no match for Tab Brockman’s “biggest tournament” in 2007, which hosted 100 teams.

“We used every field in Murray including the high school and the Murray State field,” said Brockman. “It was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to put together.”

Community reaps the benefits.

With the influx of travelling teams from as far as Louisville, Kentucky, the postseason tournaments rack $50k to $200k worth of economic sport tourism revenue for the community.

“When you have those tournaments, the real winner is the town,” said Tab Brockman, the park director of the Murray-Calloway County Parks.

The community has been the key success for the baseball and softball leagues. “They’re volunteering their time and it’s making a difference,” Brockman said.

The hours of voluntary service from coaches, parents, and supporters brings a sense of unity to locals. Last year’s teams were accompanied by over two hundred volunteers and many generous corporate sponsors.

2012 Pella Sponsor

Photo source: Murray Ledger and Times.

Baseball and softball aid personal development.

Children start baseball and softball as early as 3-years-old and participate until 17-years-old.

There are many benefits to introducing sports to children at a young age:

  • Sport participation supports children’s overall development, especially in the motor skills department.
  • Sportsmanship and team values are naturally acquired.
  • Sport gives youths an opportunity to advance to higher levels, such as travel teams.

“It gives the kids options to do other things than sit on front of a TV,” said Mike Sykes, the Parks’ Aquatics Director, and a previous baseball and softball coach.

It is important for the board members and volunteers to encourage participation and ensure that the interest in sport is maintained.

The Lansing Lugnuts will be one of the many names adopted by the t-ball teams this spring to keep participation exciting.

The backbone of Murray’s sporting success.

Map

Photo source: Google Maps.

The Murray-Calloway County Parks accommodate both leagues with seven baseball fields and three softball fields located in Central Park and Chestnut Park.

Since the merge of the Murray Youth Baseball and Softball Association and Murray-Calloway County Parks in 2011, the numbers of league players have doubled.

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Do you miss social and/or traditional media sources?

I personally didn’t miss social media at all. I’m usually on Facebook a lot to keep in contact with friends and family from back home, and to keep the Irish culture instilled in me. Other than that, I won’t scan through my whole news feed unless I’m terribly bored. Also, the fact that I don’t have an iPhone made this assignment a lot easier. IPhones are so compact and easy to conceal if necessary. They are small enough to store in your pocket and accessible at any time. If I had one, I guess I would know what the addiction feels like but I have an iPad instead, and it’s not quite the same. With an iPad, it certainly isn’t compact and is quite awkwardly obvious at times when it doesn’t need to be. If I need to use social media, I’d rather do it on my own time, and I rarely have time . So, by not having the habit of using my iPad in class, or in the line at Walmart, or in the car, I wasn’t very affected by the “unplugging”. I didn’t experience the fidgeting or the phantom ringing described in Moeller’s blog, thankfully.

Did you think your life was more or less distraction free?

When it came to doing my homework, distractions creeped in. I do agree with Moeller when she states the she is “not at her creative best when I have so much information and distractions.” I was doing a 4-page paper for my world civilizations class and at many points throughout the day, I just wanted to do anything but think. This time I fought the urge, but on any other day, I would give in quite easily. During homework time, it’s not as though I just go onto my social media sites and scan through aimlessly for hours. I, instead, set up a system to reward myself with about a three minute scan for every productive act (I won’t reveal how many times I was rewarded.) I’ve obviously embedded a system because things kind of got out of hand. I’m sure by unplugging every so often could make me a better student.

Did your view of society change any?

It’s not that I’ve never noticed how dependent my roommates were on social media, but being without media really opened my eyes. Before I was “unplugged”, we would sit with each other in the house, and as soon as conversation would stop for a second, all three of them would have their eyes glued to their phones. I noticed that they preferred to keep themselves occupied with something at all times, which allowed the natural transition from one form of communication to the other. Again, with not having an iPhone, it never tempted me to have to convert my attention to media. I can see how students in Moeller’s study felt “withdrawal” and “addiction” and “dependency” during their 24-hour fast. I know I wasn’t feeling that bad during my fast. I usually leave my iPad upstairs if I’m hanging out with the girls. I feel like nothing would be important enough on Facebook to make me to want to walk up those stairs and get my iPad. It also helps the fact that I just hate walking up flights of stairs. I could run all day on the soccer field, but I just can’t handle the stairs.

Did you have to think ahead to make social plans?

I chose to participate in my fast on a weekend in Murray. This meant that even if I did miss a text from my friends, I really wouldn’t have missed out on anything exciting. I made plans with my boyfriend the night before and told him to stop by the house at around 2:30pm if he wanted to hang out. And so he did. That was easy! We stayed around town mostly but stopped by the house a few times to ask everyone what their plans were for the day. As usual nothing exciting was happening. But, I think it would be a different story if Murray actually had something worth going to. In Moeller’s study, some of her students were challenged without their phones. “I couldn’t find out what was happening

Friday night,” “I had to make plans in advance,” “I couldn’t make plans in advance so I stayed home.” I wouldn’t be very happy if I had to stay at home because of the lack of contact I had with my friends.

Did you feel more relaxed?

There was a sense of freedom during my 24 hours. I felt as though a huge weight was taken off my shoulders even though I don’t usually rely on social media that much. Knowing that I had an excuse for not answering emails, texting, or looking on Facebook, made me feel so carefree. Moeller explained how she had a “Zen-like place” in herself while she runs. She could hear her breathing clearly without the use of a soundtrack playing in her head. I feel like the fast made me pay more attention to the quiet time in the car on a trip to the store, or the busyness of a restaurant while sitting waiting for food. It was actually quite enjoyable seeing everything in a different perspective.

http://www.jwtintelligence.com/2011/01/qa-susan-moeller-director-international-center-media-public-agenda/#axzz2VpykgBmO

Roy Keane, the hard-headed 5ft 10 midfielder from the south of Ireland could easily be named one of the most controversial soccer players in the English Premiership and certainly the most talented soccer player in Irish history.

Just like so many soccer players in Ireland, he started in a small local club with limited opportunity. An inspirational young teenager with the rawest talent tied down to the inexperience of the Cobh Ramblers Football Club. He started off in 1989 playing in a stadium holding barely 5,000 people in Cobh to hearing the roar of 76,000 Manchester United fans four years later when he completed a £3.75 million transfer.

Undoubtedly the hero of Irish soccer with his fiery personality on and off the field. A man fearless to voice his own opinion landed him with a hard-ass reputation. On the field for Manchester United, it wasn’t long before he was given his first red card for stamping on Crystal Palace player Garreth Southgate and was fined £5,000.

Also an incident between Keane and a rival player, Haaland, lead to the tearing of his cruciate ligament and the portrayal of his vengeful side. Four years later when the two players met again on the field, this time five minutes before the final whistle Keane ended Haaland’s career with a stud to knee tackle. “And don’t ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries.”

A controversial player indeed not only for his days in the English Premiership but also for his country too. Tension between Keane and manager Mick McCarthy lead him to leave the squad in the 2002 World Cup held in Japan. I remember hearing it on the news, reading it in the papers, listening to it on the radio. Never mind the recession hitting Ireland hard in 2008 because Roy Keane leaving the Irish team was the most heartbreaking news the country had ever experienced. The country went mad.

He spoke out about the poor conditions of the training fields, travel arrangements where the managers and coaches fly in first class while the players fly in second, and most importantly their diet. Before the game against the Netherlands, the boys were eating cheese sandwiches because pasta wasn’t available. At a meeting before a game, McCarthy and Keane had a huge blow out. McCarthy accused Keane of faking injuries and Keane retaliated with words that finished his international career. Between the swearing, McCarthy was hit with the famous words: “I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager, and I don’t rate you as a person.”

I would like to interview Roy Keane to hear his side of the story instead of what stories the media have exaggerated. What does it take to escape being the underdog?