Amateurism for thee, not for me

Charlie Pierce relates a little story that nicely illustrates the NCAA’s have its cake and eat it, too attitude:

… The NCAA and its member schools (pardon me, its “educational institutions”) create the game itself and, therefore, are entitled to all the revenues thereby derived, out of which they give the athletes tuition, fees, room and board, and miscellaneous expenses while providing those athletes with invaluable life skills and social mobility. But the NCAA and the educational institutions get all the money. Forever. This, as Emmert argued, and as was argued by the NCAA in one of its pretrial briefs, was for the good of the athletes because the NCAA does not want to see them “exploited” by corporate interests, or at least by those corporate interests with which the NCAA has not yet signed a lucrative partnership deal.

It is here where we pause to discuss the Curious Case Of Zach Bohannon. He was a 6-foot-6 swingman for the Wisconsin Badgers this past season, when he and Wisconsin made it to the NCAA Final Four. He also was working toward his MBA. He arrived at one of the Wisconsin practices with a bottle of water from Nestlé Pure Life. The NCAA’s official bottled water is Dasani, a division of NCAA “corporate partner” Coca-Cola. Arena security stopped Bohannon — a player in last year’s Final Four — and made him take off the Nestlé label before they would allow him to practice with his team. Bohannon told a reporter, “The NCAA likes to hide behind its student-athlete model. Well, they can’t hide anymore.”

Tell me something, O Defenders of the Sacred Flame – is not paying the participants all it takes to declare a sporting enterprise amateur?  Because everybody else sure seems to be feeding at the trough.

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16 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

16 responses to “Amateurism for thee, not for me

  1. CreswellKing

    Is this really a inherent problem with the NCAA or just a dick rent-a-cop? Maybe both?

  2. Ant123

    To me there is a vast difference in marketing the game of college football versus individual players being able to market themselves. Everyone benefits from the former only that individual player benefits from the latter..

  3. Gaskilldawg

    “Everyone benefits from the former…..” The players do not benefit from such things as the exclusivity of Dansani as the water provider. The Division II programs are not marketed for huge sums. Yet, the value of a scholarship to a D II college is exactly the same as the value of a scholarship to UGA. It covers tuition, books, room and the majority of a student’s meals. Had the NCAA not bid out the exclusivity of the source of water to the Big Dance the players would receive exactly the same thing, to the penny.

    At the UGA level the benefit to the scholarship players is the same as it was in 1960 when the cash into the UGA AA was low as that value to the players is now. The players have not received any increase beyond tuition, room, books and most meals after the cash spigots opened.

    • Ant123

      “The players do not benefit from such things as the exclusivity of Dansani as the water provider” Sure they do. Everyone involved the schools, the coaches, the fans, and the student athletes benefit from the sport being financially strong and popular. Things these type arrangements bring to fruition.

      • Gaskilldawg

        Then how come the benefit to the player was tuition room and board before the big money started following and it remains tuition room and board after the schools became awash in money.
        How come the D-II benefit of tuition room and board is exactly what the benefit flowing to the University of Texas player?

        I have been an UGA season ticket holder for over 40 years. This fan has not seen a benefit from the explosion of money ninth my alma mater’s AA. Where is my benefit? I got a ticket to watch my team play way back then and I have a ticket now. I do not enjoy the games any more now than I did then.

        You are right about coaches, though. They LOVE the extra money.

        • Ant123

          While the free education is still a great benefit I would say the players benefit nicely from all of the extra exposure today’s players receive. Exposure that helps not only those that wish to begin a career in athletics but also those that desire careers outside of athletics. Also they benefit from having the best training facilities money can buy that are kept in immaculate condition.

          As for fans, forty years ago if you did not attend a game then you were not able to see it. Today most games you can see even if you are not able to be there in person. That is a huge benefit. Also when I went to games forty years ago when there were really close, game impacting plays, we could only see it once. Now we can see it several times on a multimillion dollar display board.

          • .Dash

            I’m not sure what exposure does for the 99% of players who don’t go to the NFL. Besides, that’s too non-tangible. The players deserve actual compensation while they are in school.

  4. 69Dawg

    The NCAA and it’s member institutions remind me of the ole south. Now I’m not talking about the slavery or plantation comparison. I’m talking about the willingness to destroy your homes and the things you hold dear for a “Lost Cause”. We Native Southerners learned from an early age to revere the “Lost Cause”. Forget Hell, and all the other stuff but when you just look at the absolute toll it took on the things that the South held so dear it was just shear folly. The NCAA’s egotistical leadership would rather see the whole thing burn down than to agree to settle the thing. These people are suppose to be our brightest people but in the end they are no better than the politicians that start wars knowing that for the loser it will be hell on earth.

    • DawgPhan

      this should get the natives properly riled up for a monday.

      nice work.

      • Ant123

        I don’t see how they can. I don’t know how they can straddle the fence. Either they win and college athletics is preserved or they lose and it is mostly destroyed.

        • .Dash

          There is no “winning” for the NCAA here. You honestly think there’s any possibility of this issue just going away? No, the chorus is only going to get louder over time.

          • Ant

            I did not say it was just going away although if the NCAA wins it will die down for a while. But the greed of those people who want what belongs to someone else (even if the NCAA freely gave them everything they say want) will eventually start the process again. Just like it is a never ending cycle in professional sports. Why anyone would want to do that to college athletics is beyond me. But it certainly will not surprise me if they do because their only concern is their own selves.