This blog originally aired as a Jeff's Take on
WABI TV 5 News
College sports have changed just a bit since the mid 1800’s when Harvard and Yale squared off in rowing. That is believed to be the first collegiate competition. That was boys being boys battling for school bragging rights.
Today there are almost a half million student athletes in this country.
The NCAA is a complex multi layered organization with a boat load of challenges and problems. Most of which don’t have easy solutions. If any.
So what the heck, let me create one more.
I think state universities and colleges should be required have a minimum number of players on their teams rosters from that state. Today schools and teams recruit players across the country and around the world to come play sports for them.
For example 13 of the 15 players on the UMaine mens basketball team are from away.
Only two players are from Maine. There are also only two Mainers on the Womens basketball team.
This is not unique to Orono. Other schools in America East, U Maines conference, average between two and three in state kids per roster. Same as UMaine.
But The university of Vermont women’s basketball team has zero players from Vermont.
Zero! Doesn’t that just seem wrong?
Its the same at all levels. U Conn Womens basketball has been the premier program for years. Zero players from CT this season. The Virginia mens team won it all last year with only 2 in state players.
Look. I get it. Maine and other schools from small states cant win with just players from their own state. And it is all about winning. Fans don’t give a hoot where players come from as long as the programs win.
This is not new. But I think it is an issue.
But telling a program that say 25% of the roster needs to be in state kids would put schools like Maine at a huge disadvantage. Scholarships are good as gold. They need to be protected.
But the NCAA brought in more than 1 billion dollars in revenue last year. Maybe they could throw a little back to schools to help pay for letting a couple of local kids get the chance to play for their hometown team?
That would be pretty cool. More in state kids playing for state teams is something for fans to cheer about.