It's me again Margaret. Fanning the flames of hypocrisy and indentured servitude, corruption and shame. And it is all part of the collegiate athletics system. As of this morning, there are no less than 6-7 articles floating out there concerning, corruption, pay-for-play, scholarship values, Mark Emmert claiming that it's time to sit down and really talk about all of this, and the BCS graft gone mad. What A Country!
Apologies to Glenn aside, these issues are going to dog the NCAA until they either step up and do one of two things, get it all out in the open, or change the way they do business. Mark Emmert claims that it is time to start seriously discussing this and he is right. It most certainly is. I am not going to list all of the links out there right now, because they are far too numerous to even get into. USA Today has no less than 3, Yahoo has 3 more, CBS Sports and ESPN are also in on the game, although they may very well be big time contributors in this deal themselves.
Some of us feel that the collegiate student-athlete is being taken advantage of. Some of us do not. OK fine, let's leave that discussion on the sidelines for a bit. Let's talk about the two things that this is really all about for just a moment. Money and Ego. The BILLIONS of dollars that are pumped into collegiate athletics by the NCAA, the BCS, TV Contracts, Video Games and Sports Merchandising have gotten out of control. A naive statement you say? Maybe. But in a year that Rick Pitino is getting 7 Million plus for a first round exit from the NCAA Tournament so he can go on TV and get paid even more to be insulted by Charles Barkley it sure is an interesting one. And considering his last 18 months or so of publicity, is it just flat out astounding.
There has to be an accounting of all of this somewhere just to get even an inkling of just how much money these kids are generating. Anyone care to disagree? Don't kid yourself. USA Today claims that a UK basketball scholarship is worth 140K plus a year, when you throw in the value of Coaching at 70K and impact of future earnings @ 6500 a year. Also UK athletes get 10K of Equipment and Supplies. 10K???? (Those same athletes at VCU, by the way, get 2500)
The BCS now has it's own problem which is fast becoming the NCAA's image problem. The Fiesta Bowl has in the past paid 95,000 to Jack Nicklaus for a round of golf (I cannot imagine what it costs to play with Tiger), 27K a year for the use of a car for it's President (who flies everywhere he goes, btw) not to mention CC Memberships in 4 different states......anyone seeing a pattern here? The NCAA cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the BCS because it "operates autonomously" from them. NCAA athletes play in those games. They can be suspended from playing in those games by the NCAA (or not if they play for Ohio State), which means that the NCAA has de facto control over the BCS, even if they do not want to admit it. And don't tell me that allowing or not allowing someone to play is not control, because that is a lost cause. Four Auburn players admit to getting paid to play at Auburn? Big Deal. $500 handshakes? So What. What you need to do is become the President of the NCAA or the President of the Fiesta Bowl if you really want to get paid.
This issue, and a host of others related to it are not going away. They are becoming more and more public by the day, and they get uglier as they go. The NBA and The NFL may be looking at work stoppages over just this very thing and I am not so sure that NCAA Athletes could not accomplish just that if someone smart enough took the lead.
I know I will be villified to a certain extent for not being willing to let this all go away quietly into the bliss of Final Four week, and so be it. But it's real and it's really apparent that it is going to become a issue for years to come.