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Anchor Drop, April 26, 2018: More tennis and golf

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Vanderbilt men’s golf leads the SEC Championship after one round.

U.S. Amateur Championship - Semi-Final Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Good morning.

Vanderbilt men’s golf shot a 4-under par 276 on the first day of the SEC Championship at St. Simon’s, Georgia, on Wednesday. That score put the Commodores in the lead, four strokes ahead of Tennessee.

Men’s tennis opens the SEC Championship today at 10 AM CT against 11-seed LSU; this event is being played at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. There is a live stream if you are interested.

Women’s golf was selected for the NCAA Tournament, and will start regional play from May 7-9 at Don Veller Seminole Golf Club in Tallahassee, Florida.

Basically everybody from Vanderbilt was selected to the All-SEC team in women’s tennis: Fernanda Contreras, Astra Sharma, and Christina Rosca were selected First Team All-SEC; Summer Dvorak and Amanda Meyer were named to the Second Team, and Meyer was also named to the All-Freshman team.

The NFL Draft starts today at 7 PM CT from Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Arlington, Texas. I do not normally recommend watching the NFL Draft (or the NFL in general, really), and only the first round will be televised tonight — so if you’re just interested in where Vanderbilt players get drafted, you can probably skip tonight.

Illinois graduate transfer Michael Finke chose to play at Grand Canyon; Vanderbilt had some interest in him. The open scholarship... remains open.

Off the West End

The Houston Rockets moved on in the NBA playoffs last night. Cleveland and Toronto took 3-2 leads, while Oklahoma City staved off elimination with an insane comeback.

The reactions to the Rice Commission Report were predictable. There is a very weird insistence that the NCAA must not choose the amateurism hill to die on.

Here’s the deal. NCAA rules work just fine when we’re talking about everything other than football and men’s basketball — because those just happen to be the two sports which (a) have restrictions on who can play professionally (moreso in football than basketball), and (b) which don’t have robust minor leagues to soak up young players who aren’t ready for the highest level of competition but also don’t want to go to college and/or want to get paid. The NBA is starting to fix some of that with the G-League (which is increasing salaries), and basketball players can go overseas, though there are reasons that’s difficult. But this happened mostly because of a historical accident; namely, those sports developed as college sports before the professional leagues came along. (Where it was reversed, like baseball, MLB long ago figured out a way to develop talent on its own and never relied on colleges to do it for them.)

In truth, college basketball and college football should be like college baseball — which is still fun! (I personally don’t think so because metal batsand sacrifice bunts, but that’s not the officlal AoG party line.) But the curse of the sports is that they’re associated with universities. And universities are going to have a hard time convincing the public that operating a minor league football team (or basketball team) is somehow holding with their academic mission statement.