3-point shot: Foreign trips are beneficial

August, 19, 2013
8/19/13
8:51
AM ET
1. As the NCAA continues to get hammered for its archaic legislation, remember the NCAA is a membership. And over the years, the membership, as in the conferences and its commissioners, athletic directors and faculty reps, have continued to push for legislation that is selfish and self-serving. Four years ago, the then-Pac-10 had a piece of legislation to forbid foreign trips. The rationale was because it gave some schools an advantage going into the season. That's true, and it should be rewarded. The good news then and now is that the person who was leading the charge -- Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen -- retired. His replacement, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, is pushing for more foreign travel and looking for yearly trips to Asia for his teams. UCLA went to China in 2012, while Arizona State made that journey this summer. These trips occur every four years, and if a school can fund the excursion, it will go from Syracuse to Towson and every school in between. The foreign trip is a huge benefit to new coaches and players seeking more time on the court. It gives them a great chance to bond. There is absolutely nothing bad about going on a foreign trip, practicing for 10 days prior and actually enjoying the experience of being together.

2. Injuries can and do occur on these trips. USC's season was altered two years ago when Jio Fontan suffered a season-ending ACL injury on a trip to Brazil. Roosevelt Jones tore his wrist ligaments on Butler's trip to Australia last week. Butler at least has plenty of time to adjust to the absence of Jones. The Bulldogs are going through a transition period with its move to the new Big East and a new regime led by Brandon Miller. It's not a one-year deal like the A-10. This is its new home, and Butler has time to become a player in the league. Expect the new Big East to have teams take their turn atop the conference -- maybe more so -- than any other league. No one should be shocked if each season a different team is tabbed as a favorite. The balance should be strong from 1-8 to start and eventually to 10 if DePaul and Seton Hall can carry its own.

3. The NCAA still hasn't reviewed the case for whether or not Oregon's Joseph Young, a transfer from Houston, should be granted immediate eligibility. This is yet another example of how overloaded the home office is when it comes to waivers. There should be divisions that just deal with certain sports. But winter sports get backed up behind the fall sports. So, a team that is expecting a huge addition from a new player may not know for a while, while a volleyball or soccer player is getting his or her eligibility reviewed. Oregon has options with Damyean Dotson playing the wing instead of Young. But if Young is eligible, the Ducks can play both together and have one of the top producing backcourts in the West.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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