No Stink on This Rose

NBA fans won't care about college test

It's been a bad offseason for Derrick Rose, but today might be his worst day yet.

It's official now: The fraudulent SAT score that landed Memphis in hot water with the NCAA belonged to Derrick Rose. Rose apparently took the test in Detroit -- or whoever took it for him did -- which is a weird detail that we'll surely find the meaning of later. But the context is clear: Rose, whether through his own doing or not, is a cheater. There's no getting around it. Fortunately, Rose won't have to.

There are a variety of reasons why it's not exactly a risk for one-and-done players like Rose to cheat their way through their one year in college. The obvious answer is time: one-year players are essentially mercenaries, and they don't have the long-term bonds with the program that would theoretically prevent other players from taking money. What does it matter to O.J. Mayo if Tim Floyd gets fired in two years? What does it matter to Rose if Memphis vacates its 2007-08 season?

But perhaps an even bigger reason is that people in the NBA just don't care. That's not just owners and GMs and coaches. That's the fans. NBA fans are a different breed. Many look at college basketball's high-falutin claims to amatuer status, the way it trumps its athletes as students first, and laugh. In the NBA, things are straightforward. If you can play, you can play. Whether they believe in the age limit or not, few NBA fans will register any outrage over Rose's test score. Instead, they'll likely assume it's par for the course.

Which means Rose, who, make no mistake, got into college through a fraudulent SAT score, will have very little to worry about. Bulls fans will still love him. Adidas will still pay him his sneaker money. The Bulls themselves will still build their team around him. He'll still be a star.

That fraudulent test may always be in the back of fans' minds. But in the front -- the part that buys jerseys and sneakers and tickets -- there will be nary a mention. Maybe that's the way it should be. Maybe not. But that's the way it is.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, Follow him on Twitter.

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