“I’m sorry, Mr. Kustra, but Commissioner Slive can’t take your call right now.”

In response to Bob Kustra’s anger about what’s coming down the turnpike…

Boise State president Bob Kustra made noise last week with a scathing criticism of NCAA reforms. He said the NCAA has “ranged far afield” from the traditional amateur model because the five major conferences have hijacked the system to create “phony arguments about student welfare when the real goal of some of these so-called reformers is create a plutocracy that serves no useful purpose in American higher education.”

Mike Slive is dismissive.

“I consider this period of time one of the historic moments that all of us are witnesses to — an evolutionary change where we put the student-athletes first and we build our philosophies on the student-athlete rather than the so-called level playing field,” Slive said. “I don’t know how this comes out, but I’m optimistic the evolution will continue.”

The “so-called level playing field”?  I think that’s a polite way of saying “kiss my ass, Kustra”.

More significant is the acknowledgement that putting student-athletes first is a change of priorities.  Slive can try to make his motives sound as noble as he’d like, but it sounds hollow to insist that all the changes being advocated now aren’t in response to the outside threats that the lawsuits and the unionization effort represent.  Nevertheless, origins are increasingly less important going forward if the big conferences deliver on these promises.

The crucial matter is going to be accountability.  Mike Slive is writing an awfully big check with his mouth.  What’s being discussed now is just a start.  What happens when he’s asked to cash that check to buy some new things student-athletes want?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to ““I’m sorry, Mr. Kustra, but Commissioner Slive can’t take your call right now.”

  1. Deutschland Domiciliary Dog

    There are no “level playing fields.” In academics, in sports, in life, anywhere.

    If there were an absolute level playing field, everyone would attend Harvard and no one would have to go to Boise State.

  2. I Wanna Red Cup

    Methinks Slive may have to force a 9 game conference schedule to get more cash from the WWL for SEC TV to maintain profit levels while doing more for the “student athlete”

  3. south fl dawg

    There’s enough give in the economics of this to give the athletes some things PLUS he gets to stick it to Kustra. Win win.

  4. Macallanlover

    In fairness, last July’s conference meetings was a well-orchestrated beginning to some changes in paying players a stipend. I won’t say it was well-thought out (cost of living discussions versus simple spending money), or that there was any follow through afterwards but several coaches, and some commissioners, were outspoken on adopting this change. Listening to all of them, it was obvious it had been set up in advance because it was the big topic (beginning with Spurrier’s comments at the SEC meeting). I suppose you could say some of that was in reaction to the building storm clouds but I think the endorsers were truly in favor of that proposal before the gun was actually touching the head….and cocked.

  5. Tom

    How is frugal McGarity going to let loose of the funds to support this? How much will the hot dogs cost? Changes are a comin.