Varsity basketball players at the Illinois Institute of Technology must have been dumbfounded by the editorial in the Saturday Tribune.
The school announced in March that it was dropping its varsity program. The news upset the players. "Basketball is a big part of what I wanted to do in college," said one of them. The woman's coach said, "You are messing with young ladies' lives."
The Tribune decided these morose jocks needed a lecture. "Could someone please call timeout," said the editorial page. "We're talking about IIT here. Its academic programs -- including engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, industrial technology, information technology, design and law -- draw scholars from around the world... It doesn't send a lot of players to the NBA. Anyone who comes to IIT to play basketball is missing the point."
Off and running, the editorial continued with the most astonishing boilerplate -- familiar to any kid who ever laced up sneakers in an inner-city high school -- about how few players ever make it to the pros. "Even good players at first-tier programs -- including Michigan State, North Carolina, Connecticut and Villanova -- flame out before reaching the NBA," the Tribune asserted. "Too many kids head off to college with hoop dreams crowding out their classroom effort."
And this stern talking-to has any relevance to the student athletes at IIT exactly how? I mean, the ones who enrolled to study engineering and architecture and law, etc, and thought they'd get to play some hoops at the same time. Which is to say, every single one of them.