Quick Slant: Commodores draw attention

Jan. 27, 2012

Quick Slant is an array of brief insights and occasionally opinionated overviews of collegiate athletics in general and the Vanderbilt Commodores in particular.

The NBA knows the way to Memorial Gymnasium. Southeastern Conference teams typically have professional scouts attending games but the Commodores have drawn special attention this winter. The recent Mississippi State game brought 17 NBA scouts to watch the talented teams, a high water mark over the past few years. A year ago we hosted 18 scouts for the Georgia game. There were actually going to be 19 scouts representing 16 teams until two were unable to make it at the eleventh hour. Additionally, we’re told by our colleagues at other schools that the scouts have been hammering them when we pop up on the schedule. There were 20 scouts at our game with Alabama, Marquette had to bring in extra seating to accommodate the evaluators, and Louisville told us our game attracted the most scouts they can remember for an early contest. There were even quite a few at Davidson.

We wonder how many high school and college teams will watch the new movie “Red Tails,” George Lucas’ film about the Tuskegee black pilots in World War II. Coaches love taking their teams to see inspiring movies about teamwork, passion and victory. There’s no telling over the years how many times Rocky has been watched on the eve of a big game. One team at the first showing in Nashville was our nationally prominent bowling squad. And an interesting side note, David Williams’ father was a member of the famed group.

Commodore Club members perhaps have heard about the NCC’s new seat exchange program, which is about two basketball games old now. The general idea is that club members can call the NCC office and give back tickets they will not use and the NCC will match up those new tickets with other members needing tickets. Here’s a release with the details. There will always be a few growing pains as people get used to the Exchange opportunity; one of the first seems to be that a lot more members want tickets than are being given back and that some of the give-back offers have come so late that they can’t be utilized as they may have been with a few days’ notice. Among the many pros of this program will be that the number of empty no-show seats, particularly during baseball’s long season, should diminish.

Ever wonder if Vanderbilt student-athletes support each other? Well, they do. That “Rod Squad” sign supporting Rod Odom coming from the front row of the student section in Memorial Gym is the handiwork of the men’s golf team, for example. If you recognized the student-athletes out of uniform, you would realize there is a lot of internal support at many athletic events.



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