Playing College Basketball On Aircraft Carriers Should End

By Ben Grimaldi

Not every experiment works; for every successful one, there are probably hundreds more that fail. After what happened last night, the experiment of playing college basketball on an aircraft carrier needs to end.

It needs to end because there are problems with the courts, with weather, the health of the players but most of all it needs to end because it’s just a bad idea.

Sure the games are visually cool and the concept is fantastic! What red-blooded American doesn’t love the idea of playing for the entertainment of our military? Those brave men and women deserve all the best life has to offer and college basketball is trying to help in any way they can by offering up the best games they can. However, the experiment of playing outdoors at night has failed and there are too many issues to worry about to continue trying.

Of the four games scheduled to be played outside and on aircraft carriers yesterday, only one and a half got played. Yes, a half of a college basketball game got played between the Georgetown Hoyas and the Florida Gators in Jacksonville on the USS Bataan. The amount of condensation on the court after halftime forced the game to be stopped with Florida leading after 20 minutes of play.

The other game that was played was a women’s game between the Ohio St. Buckeyes and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish which started earlier in the day and actually finished.

In South Carolina, aboard the USS Yorktown, the game between the men’s team from Ohio St. and the Marquette Golden Eagles was canceled due to the amount of condensation on the court before it ever started. In San Diego, the Battle on the Midway between the Syracuse Orange and the San Diego St. Aztecs was rescheduled for Sunday because of the threat of rain. Yup, rain in San Diego.

Luckily for last year’s inaugural event, things went smoothly but as we’ve seen this year, something needs to be done. It just doesn’t make sense to play these games outside among the elements. I am all for saluting our troops with some top notch college basketball but it needs to be brought inside.

The NCAA should continue to schedule these types of high profile games for our service men and women in highly populated military communities but they must schedule them for inside venues. That way the show, and appreciation, can go on.

you can follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi 

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