Watching the NCAA basketball deal has reminded me of what disturbs me about college athletic programs. It's that most of these people should not be allowed to say they are in college, let alone that they are college seniors.

When guys who are 20 years old cannot put together a coherent sentence in the one language they are supposed to know (only one, mind you), it's just sad. And no one seems to notice or care.

So the teams I root for are the ones which graduate the highest percentage of their athletes, and hopefully in some field other than journalism or American Studies. Vanderbilt would be one of the best examples in the South. Duke also does a pretty good job in this area. But look at these guys playing for, say, Florida or Arkansas.

Back in the early 80's, a guy named Dana Kirk was the coach at Memphis State. Memphis State was in the Final Four that year. There was a player named Baskerville Holmes who was sick during the sweet sixteen round. The national media cornered Mr. Holmes and asked him if he'd be able to play in the next round. These were his actual words, which I will never forget:

"I feels mo' better dan whut I done yesserday."

The problem is not with the guy who wants to be in the NBA and make a million bucks. More power to him. The problem is the message it sends back to his neighborhood. All the little kids back there know he can't read and write, and they now think it's stupid to go to school and try to learn anything.

Then, when these multitudes do not become NBA players, they might just be the ones stealing your stereo and perhaps raping your wife just for fun in the process.