I know teams like to say it’s an extra practice when they get to play in any post-season basketball tournament. Thus, BYU is playing in the NIT against Washington and Weber is playing Cal Poly in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
How nice for them.
Everyone accepts an NCAA Tournament bid. The NIT still has enough pull and enough semi-decent teams to warrant inclusion. Maybe. But after that, I’d go home, because there’s something bigger than an “extra practice” or two at stake. It’s the fear of injuring a player. But beyond that, there’s the principle of false rewards.
Much has been said about a culture that acknowledges every youth soccer player with a ribbon or trophy, just for being there. There are pros and cons, but critics say the practice rewards mediocrity. That’s certainly the case with the CIT and CBI Tournaments. Does anyone really want to see 11-21 Chicago State against 17-15 Illinois-Chicago? For that matter, 16-17 Texas or 15-17 Purdue can’t be must-watch teams.
Extra practice is OK, the hope of ending on a winning note is understandable. But beyond the NCAA and NIT tournaments, they’re just passing out ribbons. Players aren’t stupid. They know where they finished. And the best motivation for next year is to go home and think about it.
For the seniors, it’s time to go out into the real world, where they don’t give awards for mediocrity.