BASKETBALL: Too many players, so little scholarships

Something’s got to give.

With junior college guard Kahlil McDonald announcing a verbal commitment to play at Western on Wednesday, he adds on to a verbal from junior college guard Ken Brown and a trio of players that have already signed Letters of Intent to play for Head Coach Ken McDonald next season.

The problem is, the NCAA allows only 13 scholarship players for one team. Should all 10 eligible players return from the Toppers’ 2009-2010 squad, conventional math suggests that 15 could end up on Western’s 2010-2011 roster.

And that’s if Chris Denson, a high school guard recently offered by McDonald, doesn’t try to throw his name in the hat before the regular signing period begins on April 14.

Western’s Director of Media Relations Brad Fields told the Herald Wednesday that as of now, he’s not aware that any of the returning players have requested a release from their scholarship.

As Kentucky coach John Calipari taught the nation before last season, scholarships are issued on a year-to-year basis. So if McDonald decides not to grant a scholarship to returning players, that’s fair, and they could walk-on and continue playing at Western. It’s hard to think Brown will come all the way from California and McDonald from Texas knowing a scholarship wouldn’t be available, too.

So something probably will give. Because it has to.

Jonathan Lintner


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