Arizona State, Colorado Still Set For China Game Despite NBA Situation
The Pac-12 is "sticking with its plan to take the Arizona State and Colorado men's basketball programs to China next month for the fifth edition of the Pac-12 China game," according to John Canzano of the Portland OREGONIAN. Senior administrators from both schools will "go on the trip with the teams." Operational and select senior administrators from the conference will go as well, including Commissioner Larry Scott and Deputy Commissioner & COO Jamie Zaninovich. If the Pac-12 "navigates this landscape carefully, it could seize huge market share." But there is "a lot of runway between now and then, and that will require deft tip-toeing and careful Tweeting." Even if the Pac-12 China trip "goes off smoothly, is this a business relationship that university presidents and chancellors feel falls in line with the Pac-12's core values?" Is it "wise to place 'student-athletes' in the middle of the transaction?" The Pac-12 has "done a better job of showing a more unified front to the public," but this "China thing comes dripping with ... ick." Canzano: "As the NBA found out, the free lunch is never really free" (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/17).
UNWANTED EXPOSURE: In Phoenix, Greg Moore wrote the debate around the NBA-China situation "could be coming to college basketball in two weeks" when ASU and Colorado play. The leaders of each school and of the Pac-12 "need to get in front of this." If they "don't, they could expose their players and coaches to the same embarrassment and scrutiny that's been tripping up" the NBA. Moore writes he would "like to hear" Scott, ASU President Michael Crow, ASU AD Ray Anderson, Colorado President Mark Kennedy and AD Rick George "help explain why it's OK to continue with a goodwill tour in this climate." It could be that they "see cultural exchanges as vital or promoting peace and unity," or it could be that they "believe China could benefit from exposure to U.S. attitudes and ideals." Moore: "But without that, they're going to expose player to all of the scrutiny and criticism that's hitting the NBA" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/16).