We’re well into our second week of debate generated by ESPN’s “The Fab Five” documentary, but it’s hardly too late for Edge Of Sports’ Dave Zirin to weigh in on the matter. Along with delivering an absolute piledriver to the anti-JalenRose column penned by Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock (“a lecture on family values by someone who calls himself ‘big sexy’ and is prone to regaling audiences with his adventures in strip-clubs”), Zirin argues much of the noise surrounding the dichotomy between C-Webb & co. and their rivals from Durham, NC ignores “the primary tension…it’s not race, it’s class.” From The Nation :
When Rose (above) said that “schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me,” he was talking about African American kids who were also poor. This is partially, as Rose asserts, about the recruitment strategy of Head Coach Mike Kryzyewski. It’s also very much about the culture of Duke—a walled university of wealth, privilege, and arrogance ensconced in North Carolina’s poorest city, Durham. The University of Michigan is hardly a trade school, but Duke—in pedigree and in attitude—is really in a “class” all its own.
When Duke star Elton Brand became the first Blue Devil player to leave school early for the NBA draft, he received a note from a Duke alum that read, “I graduated from Duke last May and just wanted to express my disgust for your decision to leave the Duke program after only two years… We are first and foremost an academic school, and you clearly did not belong at Duke in the first place if this was the extent of your commitment to Duke and a college education in general.”
Brand’s response focused on this question of class writing, “Thank you for reminding me of the reason why I left Duke… I’m sure daddy worked very hard to send your rich self to college. While real people struggle. I would also like to extend an invitation for you not to waste your or my time ever again. Never being considered a part of your posh group of yuppies really hurts me to the heart. Yeah, right… I don’t care about you or your alumni.”