If you’ve been disappointed by the NCAA’s consistent unwillingness to recognize the reality behind the recent NLRB ruling and the many antitrust complaints it’s in the process of defending, this isn’t likely to improve your spirits.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said it’s the association’s responsibility to “provide accurate and timely information on matters impacting college sports. Our members requested facts and data on pay-for-play because there was so much misinformation in the media, based in part on public statements from those who are advancing the union movement and those who have brought suit against the NCAA.”
So what kind of spin… oops, “facts and data” does Stacey have for us?
Well, there’s repetition of the irrelevant:
“We know we have work to do. But do we really want to signal to society and high school students that making money is the reason to come play a sport in college, as opposed to getting an education, which will benefit you for a lifetime? That’s not the message I want to send.”
“Do we really want to signal to society and high school students that making money is the reason to come play a sport in college, as opposed to getting an education, which will benefit you for a lifetime? That’s not the message I want to send.”
I thought one of the main reasons you went to college was to enhance your earnings ability. I wasn’t aware there was supposed to be a restriction on when you were allowed to start reaping the rewards of that enhancing – at least there isn’t for anyone in college who isn’t subject to the NCAA.
There’s love or money and nothing in between.
“The overwhelming majority of student-athletes play college sports as part of their educational experience and because they love their sport, not to be paid a salary.”
If only Stacey’s bosses, conference commissioners and coaches felt the same way.
A little mea culpa -
“Student-athletes should not have to worry about their scholarships being pulled if they are injured or ill.”
I’m sure you’ll get right on that.
And of course, a supporting cast providing a steady dose of denial of reality. Dabo Swinney says, “We’ve got enough entitlement in this country as it is”, but proceeds to advocate giving kids a stipend. (And since when is doing more to prevent concussion problems an entitlement?) Mike Slive doesn’t appreciate anyone threatening to screw with the revenue stream he’s spent so much effort on generating. Baylor’s athletic director – his school is private, by the way – commands the tide to roll back: “In my view, student-athletes are not employees. They attend a university to earn a degree and participate in the sport they love.” Larry Scott and Jim Delany believe in ongoing dialogue with student-athletes, not unionization, because meaningful dialogue with parties who have less power has always been a hallmark of Jim Delany’s management style.
I could go on, but, jeez, this is depressing. There’s a historical precedent to what college athletics is facing in what MLB went through when Marvin Miller engineered the rise of the players’ union, and, along with a little help from Andy Messersmith’s agent, the end of the reserve clause, and it seems like the NCAA and the commissioners couldn’t care less about learning any lessons from that. I can’t help but continue to feel that Emmert, Slive, Delany and all their cohorts think they’re a lot shrewder business people than they are. And certainly the presidents and chancellors they work for aren’t nearly as shrewd as the lawyers who are fighting over the right to pick their bones.
This isn’t going to end well for some folks. But, talking points! Hey, that worked well for Baghdad Bob, right?