A growing trend in college basketball is the reclassification of top high school talent, which allows the player's respective college commitment to fill out a shallow bench or improve on a potential weak spot of the current roster a year earlier than normal.
For fans, the idea is great. You get much talked about players like Andre Dawkins, Daniel Hackett and Khem Birch sooner. Pent up anxiousness is quelled, and you're usually a bit better off than originally planned. But when schools who take this route already have maxed out their scholarship allotments, some reshuffling must ensue.
See: Drummond, Andre.
Arguably the top player in the class of 2012 turned one of the top players in the class of 2011, Drummond will join UConn a season early, filling out an already strong frontcourt and giving the Huskies a legitimate shot at repeating as National Champions.
Peel back a layer or two and - if you're a morally upstanding citizen - you might have a beef with the consequences.
You see, despite an embarrassingly low Academic Progress Rating (APR) and the elimination of three scholarships Jim Calhoun, with the blessing of the school president and a newly minted athletic director, revoked a redshirt freshman's hard-earned scholarship and awarded it to a 6'11" center because he has the "size, mobility, athleticism, instincts and pure ability to be a future lottery pick."
Michael Bradley is that redshirt freshman, and now his parents have to hope the school gift wraps some sort of financial aid package or he will be paying his way right to the end of the Husky bench this season.
That alone may make some people cringe, but it gets worse. If Bradley is compensated to the tune of approximately $38,000 in tuition fees, then that money spent on him may not be able to fund one or more hard-working book worms whose only athletic involvement in Storrs is throwing the Friz outside of his or her dorm.
That being said, I doubt Jim Calhoun would give a dime back.
The justification of stealing from the average and giving to the elite is easy: "this is what's best for the team." It most certainly is, but it's also sort of a pathetic way to circumvent a rule and a penalty. It also probably made Michael Bradley just a little less cool on campus, and maybe forced a family living in a Hartford suburb to consider a more financially responsible college option for their child.
As a fan of the game, I love the addition of Drummond. UConn will probably win the Big East, and they'll challenge for the program's fourth National Championship in 13 years. As a person I hate it, but just have to accept that this is the world and it probably will occur with greater frequency as a means to field the best possible team.