Division I Basketball: Suffering Because Of Football?

Stacey MicklesCorrespondent IIFebruary 11, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Quarterback Garrett Gilbert #3 of the Texas Longhorns fumbles the ball as he is hit by linebacker Eryk Anders #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Why is it that a lot of Division I schools who use to play a pretty good quality of basketball, are suffering these days? All conferences have off years, but this is ridiculous.


The Pac-10 is looking at ONE school making the NCAA tournament. The SEC might have four or five teams in it if they are lucky, the Big 12 will probably have three or four and even the ACC is having a tough go of it.



I have to ask why these teams seem to be struggling?


Why is it a team like Florida who just won back to back titles a few years ago, is not making the field regularly? What about a team like Texas that was in the national title game this year in football and the No. 1 team in the country not being able to do a whole lot in basketball either? 



Could it be that it’s because the focus is more on football then basketball at these universities?


Look at how much money these schools spend on football. Football for most Division I schools, is a cash cow. Millions of fans flock to stadiums every year that are being expanded. 


What about what we are paying the coaches?



Texas alone is paying Mack Brown $5 million dollars per year and assistant Will Muschamp is getting paid almost a million a year. Could some of that money not be used by Rick Barnes to get better assistants and more money to get better recruits into their basketball program? 



USC is another school about to pay out a chunk of money to a coach who basically is an unproven winner, throwing their basketball program under the bus while doing so. All to save NCAA sanctions.



The SEC has no room to talk though. Although Alabama brought in Anthony Grant and is paying him a million plus a year, assistant football coach Kirby Smart will make almost equal to what Grant’s salary is.



I know Grant wishes some of that money that was given to Smart, could be thrown at his basketball program so he could attract better recruits and have a better facility for his team to play in.



Basketball at most Division I schools is like the red-headed step child. Unless you are at a basketball school like Kansas, Michigan State, or a North Carolina, most people don’t pay attention to it until tournament season starts.



As an Alabama fan, I want my basketball team to do good just like the football team mainly because it’s exciting and gives us fans something to look forward to after football season is over.



I bet if Nick Saban said we need to have a better basketball program because it helps our football program, most Bama fans would be screaming at the AD to make the facilities better and to throw more money at the basketball program not to mention, more fans would show up.



As much as I love football, especially college football, it would be nice to see some of the bigger programs like Alabama, USC, or Georgia, be able to find success and balance in their basketball programs as well.