Duke Basketball: Does NCAA Coddle White Players and Guilty of Racism?

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Duke Basketball: Does NCAA Coddle White Players and Guilty of Racism?
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Jon Scheyer - 2010 NCAA Champion

Earlier today I came across an article posted at csnchicago.com. It had a catchy headline and drew my interest. Initially I was led to believe that former Duke star Jon Scheyer was betrayed by Duke and Coach K.

I know that not every Duke player has been happy with their tenure in a Blue Devils uni (e.g. Shavlik Randolph), but Jon Scheyer’s name attached to betrayal from Coach K floored me. I have vivid memories of Scheyer hugging K after big wins and games. K is one of the best coaches in history. He is on the Mount Rushmore of coaches and always has his players best intentions in mind.

In an everything-must-be-true-on-the-internet moment, I immediately clicked and HAD to read the post. Next thing I know, I am reading a racist rant about the NCAA supposedly coddling white players.

The post cites the three-point line as an example. According to Don Konopacz, who was quoted in the article, the NCAA moved up the three-point line in order "offset the dunks and drives to the basket of the more athletic players," and "help white players have an impact on the game but at the same time it ruined the future of a lot of great white players who could have reached their potential and easily made it to the NBA."

Where does Jon Scheyer come in? In the same article, the idiot states that Coach K betrayed Scheyer by not “teaching him the fundamentals and forcing him to be a jump shooter.” He also states, ”I blame these coaches for betraying players like Scheyer and not coaching them in order to reach their potential.”

This truly infuriates me!  At one point Konopacz even said that the cheating of the NCAA toward black athletes was getting out of hand!

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

First off the NCAA does not favor white, black, purple, green or orange players. They don’t care if you have blond hair, green hair or black hair. They don’t care if you can grow hair, shave your legs, or have tasteful tattoos. Stating that the distance of the three-point line is such to make the white players relevant is simply laughable.  

White and black players alike have the same opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals of shooting and apply that to their game. Laughable and pure comedy, any thought that the NCAA would favor a certain group of players is ridiculous.

Once upon a time Jon Scheyer was considered to be the next Jerry West. Obviously humungous expectations to fulfill, he certainly will not live up to that comparison. It was an extremely unfair comparison then and now! The issue the author had with Scheyer at Duke was that Coach K allegedly never gave Scheyer the ability to develop his game and prepare him for the NBA.

Scheyer shifted between the 1- and 2-guard spots. Everyone knows that he was better at the 2, and while at the 1 he never played like a Bobby Hurley or Jay Williams type of true point guard, it gave him the chance to give the ball up and work the perimeter against smaller opponents for the better matchup. These better looks and shots gave Duke the better opportunity to win ball games.

Jon Scheyer has been called a lot of things. He has been called unathletic, slow, defensively absent and more…but he will always be called an NCAA champion, ACC tourney champion, ACC regular season champion, and All-American (second team); all things earned by hard work and dedication to a team and coach that cared for him.

Scheyer is not in the NBA because he is getting more money playing in Israel. Additionally, Scheyer suffered a horrible eye injury as a member of the Miami Heat's summer league squad in 2010, which really hurt his process and growth. Mark my words: Jon Scheyer will play in the NBA, just give it time.

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