When does duty to an NCAA program become negligence?

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas — There are numerous reports that Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is once again digging around the transfer gate to see if he can pick up a final player who could drag the Razorbacks down. in this coveted #1 recruiting class slot.

There is nothing in Musselman’s story, or in the current transfer portal environment, that would lead anyone to believe that is not the case. However, to do that, Musselman will still have to flip his roster from the former Elite 8 side.

What this leads Arkansas to is a matter of duty versus ethics. Coaches are required by their universities to do everything they can to field a potential national championship team.

This is the business side of college athletics.

But to what extent does this correspond to the heart of a true coach?

To bring in this recruiting class, several difficult conversations had to be held to encourage players to look elsewhere, as athletes believed to be of higher caliber were coming to take their place.

This is literally how the NCAA system is set up. It is intentionally designed to make it as easy as possible to hunt players.

The scholarships are only valid for one year. As long as a coach lets a player know that a scholarship will no longer be available for that player the following year by July 1 and the athlete chooses not to appeal, then the young man or woman who is committed to college and that coach may be thrown by the wayside.

They must then venture into the transfer portal where there are far more players on the roster than opportunities. It’s giving up in a hard way.

It is difficult to reconcile the fact of telling a child that he is no longer wanted and that the friends he has made and the relationships he has forged with his teachers, his teammates and his coaches affect their end. Coaches are supposed to train young men and women, but the current system says otherwise.

For many who have struggled through difficult circumstances to try their luck in an education, this will mean the end of a dream. They will be stuck in limbo between not being able to afford to complete their college journey with their now depleted scholarship, while having a taste of what life could be far from what they fought so hard for.

The mental aspect of what happens to these young men and women when they get caught up in the big business that is NCAA basketball is devastating. At some point, the rejection and extreme emotion that comes with being kicked out of a coach or college will bring a price that should never be paid.

How many national championships and top recruiting classes is that worth?

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They are not jersey numbers on a list. They are young men and women whose lives are being turned upside down by a system that seems more concerned with chewing them up and spitting them out than at any point in college basketball history.

If Musselman lands another 5-star transfer and Jaylin Williams comes back through the door, Arkansas fans will cheer and start counting the days until the new season begins.

But remember, the price to pay was most likely that another young man was told that his scholarship would not be renewed and that he had to abandon the friends he had made and the aspirations he had had as a Razorback. It is now just a disposable part in the system.

There’s something wrong with that. But a coach has a duty to ignore what should be in his heart.


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Ryan H. Bowman