I am sitting down at my computer to alert you to what I feel is an important Television Sports Event.
It was with great pleasure that I was contacted by Jennifer Dargan, the Director of CNN Public Relations. She not only suggested a program I might like to watch this weekend, (CNN PRESENTS... Sunday April 1st at 8 P.M. and again at 11 P.M. EDT, to be repeated Monday at 2 A.M.), but sent me an advance copy.
As we all know, April 1st is commonly called April Fools Day. I assure you this is no prank.
It has been over 30 years since I first worked with Ted Turner and his embryo CNN during the NFL strike. At that time, I remember it well as we were being followed around by an ENG Unit (large hand-held Television Camera), how I pointed out to Ted that he needed identification on the side of the camera.
He recognized the need, so I quickly rushed out and had a local sign painter do a cardboard sign to fit on the side of the camera identifying it as "CNN". To paraphrase the once popular ad, "you've come a long way... baby!"
So when I heard from Jennifer and found that she had enclosed the advance copy of the CNN PRESENTS Program, I immediately reviewed it.
It felt good to me as I watched the one-hour program in which Drew Griffin investigated the lengths which some colleges go in pursuing their dream of making the NCAA Tournament. Drew particularly singled out the UCONN story.
This story has lots of meat on its skeletal frame. Drew pointed out that only 25% of UCONN's players graduate within six years. Anchor Randi Kaye added to this report by emphasizing that the report did not include players who have left early to go to the NBA. Also, that UCONN is not alone in their misguided direction. There are also very low graduation rates for players at other schools, which were covered.
As I pointed out in previous articles, " THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM", March 21st and "UCONN BANNED: KUDOS TO THE NCAA" which I wrote on February 13th, something has to be done to better the situation.
CNN PRESENTS in a clear, decisive and distinct fashion, calls attention to the seamy side that we, as both fans and alumni, tend to sweep under the carpet. They have pulled no punches in taking on the "Sacred Cow".
They highlight the strikingly low graduation rate of Basketball Players at major athletic schools everywhere. They suggest an answer to the problem. It is well thought out and thorough. However, will it once again fall on deaf ears? I hope not!
It is not brain surgery. It is putting Athletics vis-a- Vis a college education in the proper perspective.
I found the hour well done. As well as informative. I urge you to take the time to not only view the case presented by the CNN team, but to reflect and see how you can help move this mountain that is all pervasive.
TVO this important program if you cannot view at the time it is aired!
Sunday, April 1st ... 8:P.M and 11:P.M.
Monday, April 2nd ... 2: A.M. (Both EDT).
In fact, I say to CNN, the deserves to be repeated more than twice.