Rational decision — making is what drives us through our day. Weighing benefits and costs of every day choices keeps us from making those choices we will regret down the road. Such a concept is not foreign to the realm of college sports, nor is it new in any way, shape or form to the challenging lives the athletes endure.
As all eyes have been locked on the Big 12 this basketball season, we are nearing the end of another season of college basketball. It marks the beginning of the road for a few players, who will be forced to make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives.
When the season ends, after the national champions are crowned and the arenas empty once again, the student athletes reflect and prepare for another season in the making. But in select cases, when a player or team has performed particularly well, he must choose whether to stay or go.
For contrasting measure, look at two cases that hit close to home. Two years ago, freshman star Michael Beasley led the Wildcats to a second- round NCAA tournament game, which the Wildcats lost to Wisconsin, and Beasley soon said his goodbyes to Manhattan, Kansas.
Last year, the decision by All-American Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich to stick around for this season en route to a national championship has left the duo both sad and empty-handed in the nation’s heartland.
On one hand, there is the opportunity to move into a career and make money, altogether avoiding a situation filled with uncertainty. The other option offers another chance at that championship ring and the hope of a great year of basketball in a place you know and love.
Trying to quantify the value of certainty is no simple chore. There are as many what ifs as there are fans in the stands. Then the only logical conclusion is that the actual worth of staying for another year versus going to the draft is up to the individual’s personal feelings and situation.
A laundry list of complaints has come from fans all over who think the situation should have been reversed, believing that they can judge what a player should do. It is so easy to pass judgment on those whose lives are so different from our own.
While it might never be clear how to survey the true worth of a player’s decision to stay for another year at college or bypassing the opportunity to get hurt and heading to the NBA, it is clear that we should learn to respect that decision more often.
While we watch the tournament play out this weekend and we look to our own faithful Wildcat team, we must wonder who will ponder the glorious life above and beyond Manhattan. There is a wonderful amount of tutelage still left in the capable hands of Frank Martin, as we have been able to experience firsthand this season.