NCAA needs to rethink some things

Updated: November 19, 2004, 12:29 AM ET
By Jay Bilas | ESPN Insider
College basketball does not have a recognized start date. While Major League Baseball has opening day, and the NFL and NBA all start their seasons at the same time, college basketball is all over the map, and you have to be an idiot savant to figure it all out.

Most teams in America have just finished playing two exhibition games -- mostly against Division II or III teams in their local areas or college teams from Canada. Wake Forest played Winston-Salem State, Duke played North Carolina Central and many more played games just like those that were not at all competitive. The reason behind these games lies with the NCAA ruling that bans games against AAU traveling teams, club teams, and the Harlem Globetrotters (unless a prior contract existed).

The new rule is designed to discourage any improper payment of funds to AAU organizations that could ultimately be used to gain a recruiting advantage. It is a good rule, but it doesn't go far enough.

Jay Bilas

College Basketball analyst