At times, the Royals appear to have life.

The overall team is not that bad, but the bullpen has light years to go to be competitive this year. Since it’s only May, there is still hope that the entire summer will not be a total wash out.

The NBA playoffs are the best they have been in the last five years, but it will still be a stretch to see if anyone but the Warriors can win it all.

The NHL playoffs are always highly competitive but what is going on with players licking other players in the face during the games? I realize hockey is a contact sport but come on man!

The NCAA committee in charge of investigating college basketball came out with their findings several days ago. It seemed like a mixed bag of information that did not really address the issues at hand. The idea of doing away with the one-and-done rule is a step into the right direction, but that is dictated by the NBA, not the NCAA.

Even though most high school players have no business going directly to the NBA out of high school, they should have that right. There are not many LeBron James calibur high school athletes, but if they have the ability of a pro then they should have the right to take that step. It does not answer the question about the players who decide to go on to college and play.

The dark side of college basketball is still out there with agents, AAU teams and shoe companies that feed on young, naive athletes like sharks. A point of contingence with the committee is that they would somehow feel that it is a good idea for sports agents to contact athletes before they leave high school. High school kids already have too much on their plate without needing to choose a sports agent.

Last session, the Missouri state legislature introduced a bill that attempted to define the role of a sports agent in relation to prospective players. If state legislatures are unable to understand the role of an agent how in the world, can young athletes and their parents possibly understand?

High school is tough already for student athletes, parents and coaches. They should not have to worry about an agent. The FBI investigation has shaken trees and people have seen the ugliness that has fallen out. The progression of dark money in college basketball has escalated over the past 25 years and leadership has buried their heads in the sand to avoid interrupting the resulting flow of revenue.

The NCAA committee in charge of the investigation has realized that it’s impossible to keep everyone happy – an interruption of the flow of money and the goal for athletes to obtain a degree. It is obvious that men’s basketball players at Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina do not attend college for any other reason but to play basketball and to pursue a pro basketball career.

Originally the goal of amateur athletics and NCAA college sports was to provide a college education for the student athlete. Only 1 percent of college athletes in all sports will go on to play at the professional level. This is a fact. People do not accept this reality. The NCAA should not be an extension of the NBA or NFL. If an athlete believes he is the real deal, let him move on to the pro level. Case closed.

However, if a high school athlete chooses to play sports in college and the school is willing to offer a scholarship, there must be responsibility on both sides. Currently the NCAA is using the talent of these athletes to create revenue and many believe the athletes should receive compensation with the hope that dark money would not be such a temptation. It is a complicated situation but the FBI investigation has revealed that the under the table AAU and shoe company money exists. It does not benefit the athletes as much as it benefits the NCAA and their member schools.

If a kid decides to get an agent out of high school, they should be allowed to waive or release the agent in the event they realize they made a mistake and may not be the pro prospect their AAU coach led them to believe.

The college basketball world has big problems. For the sake of 99 percent of college athletes, the need for the college to make money from their talents should be reduced with more of an eye toward what will benefit the athletes. The hypocrisy of the situation should be eliminated.

• It was great to see former Fort Osage high school baseball player, Albert Pujols reach 3,000 hits and 600 home runs in Major League Bsaeabll. In high school he was a machine. He is one of the few athletes who was ready to play at the pro level right out of high school. He was one in a million. He will probably go down in baseball history as one of the five greatest right-hand hitters in the game. If you are mentioned in the same breath as Willie Mays and Hank Aaron you are the MAN!

• My quote of the week comes from Hall Famer Hank Aaron, “Consistency is what counts; you have to be able to do things over and over again.” It is a great quote that applies to the consistency of athletes, parents or leaders of any organization.