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Monday, April 15, 2024

Common Sense > NCAA Rules

Tucker Publishing Group recently was given the opportunity, for a small fee, of course, to be a sponsor of the 2024 Indiana Tourism Association’s annual conference, held March 11-13 at Bally’s Evansville. I find it particularly interesting to hear others’ unvarnished thoughts and opinions on our community — especially those who make their living in the tourism industry. I am proud to say that Evansville passed the 245-plus visitors’ litmus test with flying colors. To begin with, the turnout was the second largest ever in terms of attendance, according to Explore Evansville, which hosted the conference. Thank you, I-69. Many of the tourism professionals I spoke with over my two days manning Tucker Publishing Group’s booth and at a panel discussion remarked on our beautiful riverfront and Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage. Main Street from Riverside Drive to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard also was high on their list. They liked the serpentine streetscape and noted how many Downtown building facades had been updated or were in the process of renovation. Most striking to me was the large number of guests living in Indiana who had never stepped foot in Evansville, our state’s third-largest city. Once again, Explore Evansville and the community shined at hosting a large event, and I was pleased to hear the many nice things said about Evansville.

From national media to local pundits, no one thinks the NCAA’s reclassification rule — which makes athletics programs moving up from Division II to DI ineligible to play in national tournaments for four years — is a good idea. A local case in point is the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team, which earned the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship. Typically, its subsequent OVC Tournament title would have meant an automatic NCAA bid. Instead, the USI women were sent to the WNIT, even though by moving up to DI in 2022, they already were the underdog among DI teams. I know this is the current rule, but somewhere along the line, common sense and logic should force a revision … even if it is the NCAA. Regardless, way to go, Screaming Eagles!

In Evansville Business’ “Work Hard Dream Big” feature beginning on page 24, we profile six professionals who have pursued their passions and chased their dreams. Countless times, I have spoken on entrepreneurship to college classes and always tried to impart on students to chase their dreams instead of money. No one wants to see “60 Minutes” airing on Sunday and feel a sense of dread regarding their job and career on Monday. I know of what I speak, as I followed my passion 25 years ago when I cofounded Tucker Publishing Group with my wife. And I now can enjoy “60 Minutes” every Sunday.

Both of you who regularly read this letter know it has been a bit of a struggle for me to meet our internal deadline for this publisher’s letter. It’s funny … but it’s not. So, my wife (jokingly, I think) suggested I use artificial intelligence to write this letter.

Man, if ever there has been a person who meets the criteria for being artificially intelligent … well, I think you know.

As always, I look forward to hearing from most of you.

Todd A. Tucker, President

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