Last night I was in attendance for Michigan Basketballs senior night. It was a night to honor four basketball players who have devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort towards Michigan athletics. These players included Ben Cronin, Corey Person, Stu Douglass, and Zack Novak. It was a great night for fans to recognize the great careers these players especially Douglass and Novak in particular. These two players haven been fundamental in the recent turnaround of Michigan basketball after a series of sub par years. They will be given a lot of credit from fans for the turnaround of the program because they were there long enough to be easily identified with the team's success. However, while I was witnessing this event I could not help to think how rare it has become for two seniors to be so important to a team. Nowadays players are fleeing for the NBA as soon as they get the chance. Many of these players are called "One-and-Dones" meaning they come in play one year of college basketball and enter the NBA draft. The only reason they attend college from one year is because NBA rules make them do this before entering the draft. The idea of players leaving college as soon as possible is very unfortunate for fans because it makes something incredibly clear to fans, many players are only play for the money. Many of the one year players who are included in the One-and-Done category show they aren't too concerned with the success of the university, the fans of the team, or their teammates. They are only in it for themselves and money. Where is the love for the game? College basketball gives players the opportunity to play in March Madness which is considered by many the most exciting playoff in all of sports. Playoff brackets are filled out by fans all over the country. Most college basketball fans watch as many of the games as they can. The tournament is filled with history of great plays, moments, and teams. Players become legends in the minds of fans by hitting a clutch shot or carrying their teams on an improbable run. It is unfortunate that many players look past this great opportunity in order to join an NBA team where they may make a lot of money. Players have forgotten the great moments they wont be taking part in. The same moments that as kids they dreamed about being a part of.
For these reasons we should applaud all those seniors who stay and get the most out of their college experience especially those who had a realistic opportunity to be a high draft pick. Important senior nights have become more and more rare. Senior athletes who are important to their teams have become hard to come by and an exception much like the other "exceptions" we discussed last week in class.