John Thompson sees trouble in basketball recruiting

LAS VEGAS — For many, the frenzy of four high-profile basketball tournaments operating simultaneously here this week is a highlight of the summer.
Former Georgetown coach John Thompson has another view. He says the scene is more evidence that the game is troubled.
“So much is built on promises that aren’t being kept, people are bribing others — it’s not regulated, and it’s not regulate-able,” Thompson, 67, said Monday as he watched the USA Olympic basketball team practice at Valley High.

Thompson, who coached the 1988 Olympic team and Georgetown to the 1984 NCAA championship, said the NBA’s so-called “one-and-done” rule that allows players to leave college at age 19 or one year removed from high school graduation is warping the sport by allowing advisors and agents to convince young players their value is artificially high.
He worries that a sensational individual performance at any of the tournaments starting here today, with Nike, Adidas and Reebok sponsoring the action, might only further inflate someone’s stock or ego.
“The selling of fool’s gold is such an issue,” Thompson said. “It’s created a monster.”

latimes.com
7/22/08