Sunday, September 17, 2006

Observation about SIU basketball players around town

What is the story with these guys? They sure don't act like basketball players I remember from my college days. Saw Tony Young and a taller and thin young man outside of Walmart (I'll blog on my feelings about that sometime) on Saturday raising money for some charity or another. They represented themselves really well. Looked you in the eye, said thank you and were well spoken.

Ran into another couple of players in line in the store about a week before. Bigger and taller, must be forwards or centers. On of my kids was darting around and went around a corner and ran into the big guys. They where well spoken as well and friendly. Didn't really know they were SIU players, but there are a limited amount of 6'8" college students.

My question for you readers out there is does SIU have a special program to train their athletes? Of course there are getting tutors and mentoring help on class work and academics. But, are they getting toast masters, speech classes and the like. Is SIU running a finishing school, or are the coaches not recruiting dummies? I have talked to the SIU student population and I know it isn't that the kids all talk like this, because they don't or can't.

I don't see how it is possible that they aren't pumping money into a finishing school program to smooth out the edges on the athletes. I wonder if they should do it on every student on campus?

1 comment:

Fraydog said...

Having met Chris Lowery before, I wouldn't be surprised if it's his influence on them coming through. His teams play smart and work hard, and they maximize their talent level.

I think this was burned into him by former SIU coach Bruce Weber, who is now at UIUC. Weber deserves a large part of the credit for the turnaround in athletics, because if not for the extra revenue that basketball turns in there would be no money to hire Kill, and then have football beat Big Ten teams like Indiana.

As far as the academics vs. athletics thing goes... I might write a whole blog post about it, but I will just say briefly that I think Saluki Athletics impresses on their student-athletes that they're students first. With a graduation rate higher than the SIU student body in general by 20 points, I think that maybe we need to look at athletics to increase graduation rates at SIU.