NCAA Superstar Treatment: Does it Exist?

Jim CowanCorrespondent IMarch 2, 2009

A recent post by a faithful Duke fan has prompted me to give my unsolicited two cents on the subject of preferential treatment to a handful of NCAA teams, the “basketball” schools if you will.

I always find it funny when people refuse to recognize the real truth, usually only when your team is one of discussion.

In my previous article, I point out the NCAA's fault in allowing a so-called "hurt" player, who happens to be a superstar player, who happens to be a 60 percent free throw shooter, get subbed out for an 80 percent shooter at the time of a critical foul in the last minute of a two-point game.

Preferential treatment? I don’t know, maybe just a loophole in the system.

But would they have allowed Kyle McAlarney to shoot for Tory Jackson in the same situation against UConn? Yes, since there’s no rule against it.

But the difference is, it would have been pasted all over the front pages, ESPN, and other outlets would have publicized the outrage on how the lowly Irish scammed the system to sure up a win against the poor No. 2 Huskies. In this case, I think my crappy blog is the only written word of the incident.

I digress.

If you think preferential treatment does not exist, whether consciously or not, you are living in a dream world, folks. There are a handful special teams at the college level, one of which is Duke, that get these calls.

I don't go so far to say all the calls—that's ridiculous. I do, however, believe that when it comes down to a call being made in the split second to make it, the call will always go to those teams.

"Tyler Hansbrough under the rim could never put up a poop shot, he must have been fouled there." Whistle. (These are the thoughts going through the mind of a ref in a fraction of a second.)

It's not a conscious decision, it's a reaction to the outcome of a moment on the court, not actually processing whether a foul or no foul has taken place. For the sake of explanation, I call this a tie—to use the baseball analogy—and the tie always goes to the special teams.

Just to name a few: Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Connecticut, Georgetown, Syracuse, Louisville, and not to mention any team playing Notre Dame (sic).

On top of those teams is the "superstar" treatment some receive. Names such as Hansbrough, Griffin, Thabeet, Meeks, Texas players in Big 12 play, etc., (even my boy Harangody sometimes...not really).

Those guys and like players will always get the benefit of the doubt. It's just natural—but very unfortunate.

But to say it doesn't exist is just a little naive.