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Duke basketball has announced it will be issuing its players iPads to use as playbooks, schedule keepers, performance reviewers and such. Is this even a realistic pursuit for another less well-endowed university?
The Duke University men's basketball program has announced that it will become the second program (Michigan made the change last fall) in the NCAA to provide its players with iPads. The primary intended use for these shiny toys is as a much lighter, more versatile, and more interactive playbook, but there are many more options.
The 64 GB version of the “new iPad” will provide players with practice schedules, scouting reports and stats from games and practices. They'll also be updated with video content from practice and games, as well as clips breaking down players' tendencies and what to expect from opponents.
Is this a great idea? Absolutely. Is this even a consideration for even a top-notch mid-major program like Gonzaga, Butler, or VCU? I'm leaning towards doubting it. Let's use Wichita State as an example - they've been quite successful for quite some time, but I doubt they could afford to splurge $12,435 (plus tax) to give each of their 15 players an iPad.
Of course, I could be wrong. I hail from Western Pennsylvania, and little old Seton Hill University (which only recently moved to Division II in athletics) had a setup as recently as three to four years ago where every incoming freshman got an iPad. So who knows what might happen. If schools were willing to give 18- and 19-year-old kids really expensive technology - since as we all know athletes (especially young men) are never clumsy -- and redirect funds as necessary to do so, so be it.
It's a really cool idea, both from a recruiting standpoint, and as a way to get players excited about being part of the team, among other possible benefits. But I think it might be pretty low on the feasibility scale for a lot of teams for quite some time.