Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

NCAA Tournament

Selected opinions from a seeking mind

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Collegiate Basketball Tournament

The NCAA, the governing body of collegiate athletics should have a basketball tournament. The present tournament beginning in March is for television and gambling enterprises with so called elite conferences as the main participants and various professional basketball entities as more than interested observers. This proposed tournament would have 64 entrants ---- no play-ins, selection committees, or coin flips. There would be lessons in life, the real world to be learned as well. Lesson number one, there are no entitlements or free passes. This would be first demonstrated by the selection process for teams:

1.       No conference would have more than four teams (this would be determined by dividing the number of teams in a conference by four with no rounding). If a school is not among the best in a conference, what right is there to compete for being the best in the nation? Conferences should consider tournaments (as most do presently) or regular season excellence to determine their representatives. As for independent teams or teams without a conference; an independents only tournament would be held with a maximum of four teams with winning records selected. Therefore, effort not polls or committees would be the deciding factor. If 64 teams are not initially selected, the committee could complete the selection process by alternately choosing elite and non-elite conference teams with winning seasonal records.

2.       The smaller conferences would be recognized and have more representation. After all, they are the ones that truly exemplify the mission statements of colleges ---- education. This is not to say that the many fine institutions in the major conferences fail as institutions of learning. But far too many have short term mercenaries with education low on the list of priorities. There are development leagues and foreign, off shore professional enterprises available. These countries could be used for training our athletes instead of just taking our jobs.

3.       The professional leagues would be required to pay the full four year scholarship costs for athletes drafted.  

4.       A reentry program should be developed for those who fail in becoming professional athletes after opting to forego college. An erstwhile student would have until age twenty to resume or pursue a college education with full scholarship benefits. These second chance students would have to pay for any college preparation courses and undertake a “normal” accredited course of study when accepted by a college and awarded an athletic scholarship. Life lesson number two, when you previously did not take advantage of an opportunity, the next time the opportunity is presented could be more difficult.

5.       There is of course the military, but the military should not be a dumping ground for failures and those choosing this alternative plan for reentry into the real world should be carefully scrutinized.


Sports when taken from the context of entertainment has an undue influence upon our lives. Sports luminaries direct our choices in goods, apparel, lifestyles, and elections. Somehow being able to run, dribble, throw, catch, or punch supposedly is criteria for rendering infinite wisdom in all things. The lights dim when the bitch slap of reality is felt and the roar of adoration fades into disassociating silence. There are no longer sycophants, counselors and advisors available to cater to the erstwhile stars needs. Many face insolvencies, personal tragedies and empty lives after being ill prepared to handle finances and relationships

Placing sports as a phase or in perspective could be the best skill an athlete acquires.




Q-A. ---- Marriage adds seven years to a man’s life and two years to a woman’s

A-A. Yes, but the years don’t “kick in” until you are divorced. (KABOOM!) That’s why women have to get married again and again and once is enough for a man. (Just kidding, but that’s why you sent the eMail)


Q-B. ---- When I went shopping, I picked up some high energy tarts, they really work. Have you ever tried them? I usually take two.

A-B. WHERE DO YOU SHOP, Cheetahs (a gentlemen’s club)? I could probably take two, but I would need a nap between tarts. (It would also help if the tarts started without me.) Energy bars are great after a workout, during a long trip, or trolley ride. [Although, food and drink are not allowed on public transportation; snacks, (chips, pretzels, candy and energy bars) usually get a pass as do covered drinks and bottled water on hot days.]


Q-C. ---- Do you believe in love at first sight?

A-C. Sure, until the first sight of someone more appealing. (RIM SHOT!) First impressions are the basis of many encounters, but most relationships are based upon an accumulation of circumstances/interests. Which ones last the longest is a matter of debate.


 Q-D. ---- Why would you write a novel about Glenn Miller when you are always saying that Black Jazz musicians are not recognized enough? Why not Count Basie or Duke Ellington?

A-D. “Play Glenn Miller” does have a fictionalized account of the disappearance of Glenn Miller during World War II in the storyline, but international intrigue is the focal point of the novel about modern mercenaries.  The mainly Chicago to Brazil setting with contemporary themes has characters across racial lines with a multi-racial protagonist. (Note: Miller did not consider himself as a Jazz musician.)


Q-E. Tiger Woods – the same media that drove him away will welcome him back …. Placing boiling water back into a kettle---- story is over

A-E. It wasn’t the media pulling down the panties of hookers and barmaids. Tiger’s troubles are something that only he, his wife, and possible advisors/counselors can resolve. Advisors do not include philandering Sir Charles Barkley and his defenestrating tactics.


Q-F. ---- The so-called Compton Cookout at UCSD was an embarrassment to ALL people not just White people. I reluctantly have to admit and that you are on point when you so eloquently state that “Racism still is a major issue” in America.

A-F. I hate to say I told you so, but many of the stereotypical opinions of Blacks are exacerbated by Black entertainers. The buffoonery exhibited when “George Jefferson slammed the door” should not be confused with the brilliant satirical comedy of Dave Chappelle. (The article “A Funny Thing Happened When George Slammed the Door” has been reposted on my website under Reflections)


Q-G. ---- OK, I got it! When you keep saying that Black History Month should be eliminated a distinguished PBS Guest agreed

A-G.  All inclusive is the answer, Black History is considered implicit and European/USA biased accounts are unjustifiably considered explicit


Q-H. ---- My bi-sexual neighbor doctor and jogging partner is very attractive yet has a problem dating. She says men are intimidated by her beauty and success and women are insecure. She has seen your website (I directed her to it) and thinks you are very interesting. I think you should contact her (I have permission to share her email address), my husband says “stop being a match maker”.

A-H. Listen your husband. An attractive bi-sexual woman should not have a problem finding a date. If she has seen my website, she would know how to contact me. Some are more interested in the pursuit and pursuers instead of the “capture”.


Q-I. ---- You are a great conversationalist with a great voice and sharp wit. The gang and I argued over your views on the NCAA Tournament and Time Zone changes for hours after you stopped in for a drink. Have you ever considered being a Talk Show host?

A-I. I know I say “never say never or always”, but in this case it applies; definitely not interested.  I have turned down opportunities to be a “call in guest” on various talk shows. I do not want to be three minutes of cannon fodder and extracted sound bytes. As for hosting a show, I do not wish to undertake the commitment and preparation necessary.



 Letters to the Media:

---- KPBS

The These Days feature re: Bach and sacred music was entertaining. As a Jazz aficionado, I recall the late Jazz great Cannonball Adderley reference to Bach when introducing the Jazz staple,  "This Here" ----- "This ain't no Bach Chorale".


That notwithstanding, in deference to Black History Month, why has there been no mention of Black classical giants i.e. Beethoven or Haydn in your programming?


I know this topic makes some people uncomfortable when mentioned in social conversation.


This underscores how far we as a nation have come with respect to passive Racism and how far we still have to go.


---- YAHOO


I enjoyed the feature on King Tut his life, death, and lineage.

In deference to Black History Month, why has there not been any article re: Black Pharaohs. The Feb 2008 National Geographic cover feature depicts an enlightening (no reverse pun intended) perspective on this topic. This article also reveals Tut’s grandmother was Black (African).



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