Basketball: Smith on SFU move, Canada Basketball

Toronto Star hoops scribe Doug Smith's blog should be a regular read if you're a basketball guy. His Sunday "viewer mail" post included a response to question about Simon Fraser joining the NCAA and "with a view to full membership by the 2012-2013 academic year":
"I’m pretty much with Coach K on this one, too.

(St. FX coach Steve Konchalski told Sports Illustrated last week it's only worthwhile if a school is going to Division 1. - Ed.)

"I guess the geographical issues are important but I don’t think CIS travel is too arduous. Plus, I've long been a proponent of all but the very, very best players sticking around to deepen the talent pool in Canada because countless Canadians who go south end up buried on benches, don’t improve and never really get the opportunities they expect.

"As for scholarship money, it's my understanding the ability to get grants-in-aid are much improved for Canadian kids who want – and should – stay home."
Good stuff. Smith has written before that his view is that the media has a job to educate as well as inform and entertain. Hopefully he get the point across to his GTA audience that there is more to university sports than winless football seasons.

There was also a good take on Canada Basketball and the NEDA program: "Finding corporate sponsorships is the best way to fund programs but the trouble is, corporations want something for their investment and, quite frankly, the national senior teams haven’t done anything of substance in the last half decade to warrant getting some big-bucks deal.

"... the days of living off Sport Canada grants are dead and gone – but until they’ve got something to take to companies, it’s a hard sell."

What was the line? "Canada Basketball needs more than Nash, they need cash." (I used that on a radio show last spring when some media reactionaries were pillorying Steve Nash for not playing in the FIBA last-chance qualifier.)
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