04/11/14 — Holland speaks at BSA event

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Holland speaks at BSA event

By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on April 11, 2014 1:46 PM

Terry Holland, the director of athletics emeritus for East Carolina University, visited Goldsboro last month as the featured speaker at the Tuscarora Council Boy Scouts of America Friends of Scouting fundraising banquet.

Holland spoke on the beginnings of his basketball career at Davidson College, how he successfully led the University of Virginia to become ACC tournament championship in 1976 and his time at ECU as director of athletics.

But his words turned more serious when he addressed the current proceedings in men's basketball and its successful yet unfortunate relationship with television and money.

"I'm worried about our game today. I'm worried about money calling the shots. I'm worried that you see this in so many ways now," Holland said.

Holland explained that because of college basketball's relationship with television, institutions in the ACC receive $20 million per year per school in order for media companies to set game times for live television.

This leads to weekday games that can extend far past midnight, which in turn, can convince fans to stay at home. Keeping fans at home hurts a school's ticket sales and can hurt an athletics role as a recruiting tool, he said.

Money has also created conferences that have "changed their geography."

"When you're doing stuff like that, then it tells you that you're doing something wrong ... but we can't seem to find our way out of it because we're depending on the money," Holland said.

The mixing of conferences has also hurt traditional rivalries. In the past, Wake Forest might end up playing UNC on four separate occasions. Today, they two schools will be lucky to have one game during the ACC tournament.

Finally, Holland said that academic issues in college athletics have also stemmed from an institution's greed.

The minimum eligibility standard -- an academic standard set by the NCAA -- was a good idea in theory, but in practice, it has created major problems, he said.

Before the standard, freshmen weren't allowed to compete in collegiate sports. That extra year of schooling showed who was willing to put in the academic work. Now, students come in qualified through the NCAA's minimum eligibility standard, created from "grade factories," and motivated student athletes with lower GPAs that recruiters could look at before have disappeared from the game.

"We've created a monster. As the NCAA continues to ratchet that number up on the SAT and GPA scores, they're eliminating some of the students we had been recruiting before that may had not been as well prepared as others, but were highly motivated," Holland said.