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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Minister has seen the good in college sports

by Wally Hall | June 15, 2022 at 3:07 a.m.

Kenny Mossman is a Baptist minister in Carnegie, Okla.

He's a good man, husband, father, uncle, cousin, etc., etc. ...

Kenny is anything but controversial, so it was a little surprising Monday night after the Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics to take a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals that he posted on Facebook:

"I know I'm in the minority, but I have no idea how people watch the NBA."

He received lots of thumbs up and 40 comments.

Kenny was just being honest, but he's obviously not alone in that boat.

There are people who prefer college athletics to the pros.

Of course, NIL (name, image and likeness) is stealing the last of what was left of amateurism in college athletics, and what happens in college always trickles down to high schools.

Surely, the Supreme Court would say that if college players can be paid then high school players should, too.

It might just be a coincidence that Kenny announced his retirement when the landscape of college athletics was being overhauled.

The situation is confusing and seems lawless and out of control.

Colleges now need boosters to ante up, so the better players can sign better NIL deals, and at the same time the NCAA has said that is still against its rules.

Kenny was always about student-athletes and he looked out for his like a mother hen.

In 2003 when he was accompanying defensive lineman Tommy Harris on the All-American awards circuit, he would stand next to Harris to try and fend off autograph seekers who were really collectors.

He didn't want people making money off his athletes by selling their autographed pictures.

Maybe it was a coincidence he retired when he did, or maybe he just always preferred amateur athletics to pros.

Having skipped the first three quarters Monday night to watch "The Green Mile" for the umpteenth time and tuning in for the critical fourth quarter puts me in the same boat as Kenny.

The NBA has the absolute best basketball players in the world, but having covered Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson, your trusty scribe has a love for defense and how it can dominate a game.

The guess here is Golden State has a more dynamic offense and will end up winning the championship. The NBA is about offense, which entertains fans more than defense.

People like blocked shots, but they love three-pointers and dunks, which is what basketball has become offensively on most levels.

The mid-range game is almost gone.

If the Warriors, a record-setting three-point making team, win there will be some -- Golden State fans mostly -- who want to declare them the best NBA team ever.

These days, people don't want to look back in history when they make such declarations.

The Warriors are good, but the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were great. That's just one opinion, and back then I did watch more NBA games.

Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and a few other teams would debate that all night long.

Kenny dedicated his career to college athletics, starting out as a sports writer then a sports information director for 38 years before retiring to pursue his calling to preach.

He spent the past 20 years at Oklahoma, ending up as senior associate athletic director for external operations.

He came to OU with Bob Stoops, and after he announced his retirement, went to dinner with Stoops that night.

During his career, he saw more than his share of great athletes in all sports, and his favorite ways to describe them were as "blessed."

That's Kenny.

Print Headline: Minister has seen the good in college sports


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