What An Opportunity

Winner winner chicken dinner.

In Sports on April 18, 2012 at 7:06 am

Don’t lie to me.

Ok, NCAA.

Don’t lie to me.

Because I’m not stupid (contrary to popular belief).

You exploit Division 1 athletes, mainly males in football and just a little less in college basketball, for profit.

I know. You know. We all know. Just don’t lie to me.

Lie #1: They are student-athletes and are amateurs.

Seriously? They’re students? That’s your argument? That they are students? You understand that athletes that play these sports have a graduation rate that is less than 50%? That the dream of playing professionally in the United States has about a 1% chance of occurring?    So you can’t pay them because that would jeopardize their schooling. They would be paid in return for their services (an unimaginable notion). Coaches, and various other administrators, make millions a year and the schools receive endowments from boosters and the like. But you can’t possibly pay the athletes. Because they are students.

The mythos of the college athlete, who is an amateur, should have went out the window the day the first million dollars was made. This idea that a young man goes to class, then practices at specific times with the team, and builds character, responsibility, and all other manner of positive ideals is significantly out-of-date. To say this doesn’t happen is a gross hyperbole. But to imagine that the sport does not overshadow academics is ludicrous. These young men are not amateurs. At their level of play, they had to significantly well-known. They were recruited and sold every pitch known to man. You bring them in, have them make you money, and then argue that they are too young and immature to handle said money. They take the brunt of public opinion and Sportscenter highlights while you sit back and enjoy advertising deals.

Don’t lie to me.

Lie #2: We give the money back.

Um…no you don’t. And if you do, show me where. I want to know. Seriously, publish a report about your earnings last season and show me how you spent that money. Because that would just a little too much transparency, wouldn’t it? Sigh…

Lie #3: We can’t have a playoff.

SERIOUSLY?!?! AHHHHHHH!!!! YOU CAN’T HAVE A PLAYOFF? BECAUSE IT WOULD MAKE THE “KIDS” TRAVEL TOO FAR FOR MUCH OF THE YEAR? INTERFERE WITH EXAMS? YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE BIG EAST, BASED ON THE EAST COAST, NOW BOASTS OF SCHOOLS LIKE  MEMPHIS, SMU, AND BOISE STATE? TENNESSEE? TEXAS? IDAHO?!?!?!?!?!

But in all seriousness, this just a bunch of mike mularkey (that’s a bad pun. please just ignore it and keep reading. bills fans will remember his quality coaching.) You can’t have a playoff because of academics? That you couldn’t possible book all the stadiums? How about you don’t feel like splitting the revenue with all the potential playoff teams? How about having two teams in the national championship game means you split the money with the teams, the conferences, and you? Five ways at most. If you make a playoff, everyone’s gonna want some of the take.

Now, a couple things. The NCAA is not an evil empire seeking to exploit athletes for greed. I get a bit carried away sometimes. I mean, this idea of amateurism was seemingly alright until the games were broadcast. With broadcasts came viewers. Businesses saw consumers. Broadcast companies saw contracts for said broadcasts. Advertisements were needed. Contracts were doled out. Billions of dollars later, here we are. Like anything else in life, it started innocuously and has grown out of control.

And, I will readily admit that I have absolutely no idea what to do about the current situation (except we need a playoff. like seriously…that lie just gets under my skin. i mean, how does every other level of football have playoffs and D-1A doesn’t? arghhhh…).

Also, I don’t know how to rectify the situation. There has been mention of a $2000 a year stipend to help athletes but less affluent schools argue that the bigger schools will give more to lure prospects.

And I still watch my favorite college sports teams and buy their apparel. But this all really gets to me. Because this is a blatant problem that the NCAA seems to continuously try to push under the rug. And the amount of “violations” that seem to come out every month speaks to a culture of turning a blind eye as long as the money keeps coming in and no one asked you any questions.

So I guess I’ll do my best “hakuna matata” phrase-that-gets-you-through-when-you-are-frustrated-enough-to-actually-consider-just-how-soulcrushing-each-buffalo-bills-monday-night-football-game-since-2007-has-been and remember Sportscenter LA’s Neil Everett:

Winner winner chicken dinner.

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  1. Intersting stat on the less than 50% graduation rate, Thanks

  2. Jaguars fans are going to learn the meaning of Mike Mularkey as well!

  3. I honestly believe, especially in the South, Southwest and Midwest where college sports rule all, that the “traditions” behind these lies run too deep and are too entrenched within the governing bodies of the NCAA itself for them to significantly change without enormous – and I mean *enormous* – public, legal and (maybe) government pressure. I believe wholeheartedly that there are ways to factor in the major bowls into a playoff system. And instead of just having the “BCS Title game” onto itself, rotate one of the four biggies (Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta) as that year’s title game. In fact, if you want, hit me back if you wanna discuss this further – I think it’d be a fun thing to play around with.

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