There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a big time fan of your favorite sports teams. I get it, I am a lot like the rest of you. Sometimes I find myself caught up in the moment and having unreasonable expectations for the teams I follow.
Still, especially at the college level, I know a lot of the decisions that get made that I am not a fan of are made for reasons that have nothing to do with the team I am rooting for. Instead, it is often about an athlete or coach going after a better life.
Someone might want to let a certain Syracuse Orange fan know that. Syracuse.com published an angry fan letter:
To the Editor:
I get upset at this time every year with all the college basketball underclassmen who declare early for the NBA draft.
Why isn’t basketball like football and the student athlete needs to stay at the college for three years?
Who loses here? The fans, of course. The program that builds a team around certain recruits loses also. How about the fans who stop getting season tickets after 30 years of having them? I know Coach Jim Boeheim will find a way, like he always does.
Michael Carter-Williams is not ready, but the money, not the education, influences his decision. The heck with the fans and the program, right, Michael?
Okay, so clearly Mr. Ilacqua is a die-hard Orange fan. However, it strikes me as odd that he thinks that Michael Carter-Williams going pro is somehow an evil tactic done by the young men, as if Carter-Williams is doing this to hurt him specifically. I love how he questions Williams choosing millions of dollars over an education that he can get later (with said millions).
I wonder if Mr. Ilacqua would pass on millions of dollars to go back to school to earn a Masters Degree? If the thing he loved to do the most would end up earning him so much money that his family never had to work again — that he would still be able to pass that up for some free schooling?
Not to mention the fact that a student-athlete owes the program nothing. Each player who is on a scholarship is actually on four one-year deals, meaning the school could pull it at the end of a season — not that the Orange would have done that to Williams.
Still, Williams technically lived up to his end of the bargain. He went to school, played well and helped the Orange reach the Final Four.
Although, none of that is good enough for Mr. Ilacqua, who thinks that Williams has somehow wronged him as well as the Syracuse faithful. Thankfully, though, he does not speak for the majority of the sane Syracuse fans who get the fact that Williams is going pro rather than being exploited by the NCAA for financial gain.
It is all laughs and giggles until someone declares early entry in the NBA Draft. Good for you Mr. Ilacqua, have fun writing editors about your hatred for kids chasing their dreams, but not matching yours.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone