The team will actually have to recruit now
Process, noun: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
Seems simple enough. A “process” in sports is easy enough to understand. A struggling team will lose enough to the point where they receive high draft picks to collect enough players to return to relevance.
The Philadelphia 76ers are title contenders now after some of the worst years in NBA history. The Sixers were so bad, that they were able to draft Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in two of three drafts and are threats to make the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference.
The Cleveland Browns — yes, the freaking Cleveland Browns — are a popular pick to win the AFC North for the first time in 18 years after drafting Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett No. 1 overall in the past two NFL drafts. Now, these processes only apply to professional sports.
There are no drafts when it comes to college. If a team is bad, they are in danger of living in sports purgatory for years.
It was news to the NDSU women’s basketball team when they were told they would not be receiving a high draft pick after a disappointing season.
“Frankly, I think it’s complete garbage that our program is supposed to actually recruit,” NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said. “It was my understanding that we could pick any high-schooler we wanted. Do you understand how hard it is to recruit to a team that hasn’t won 10 games in five years?”
Junior forward Rylee Nudell had similar feelings: “It’s disappointing to say the least. We go through all this trouble to lose games, and it’s only now we learn that there was no point. We feel cheated. I thought Zion Williamson would have looked great in the Green and Gold.”
Larsen stated later, “It really is unfair when you think about it. A team loses; there should be an easy way to turn it around. Right? RIGHT?”
When sophomore Emily Dietz was informed that the team would not be receiving a high draft pick after their lackluster year, she actually laughed. She still did not believe it when multiple teammates and members of the media told her it was not a joke.
Soon after, Dietz was seen sitting in the corner of the locker room on her phone. Her face went from joy to utter despair as she learned that it was in fact the truth. In a flurry, Dietz began chucking things from her locker. A water bottle, a roll of tape and even a chair was tossed out of frustration. Tears followed.
The few minutes in chaos ended with about 20 minutes of silence by the whole team. The only thing that could be heard was some sobbing amongst the team and the playing of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” over a speaker. It was a truly sad sight.
However, the possibility remains open that those student-athletes caught in the college admission scandal could turn their allegiances to NDSU to make up for the lack of draft capital.