Giving the NCAA a hard time is an activity I generally approve of, but the anger/frustration expressed in this USA Today piece doesn’t really do much for me.
First off, I suspect that most people who rail against the NCAA about its, um, recent inconsistencies over its amateurism standards, like Dan Wetzel, see no disconnect in urging that the same organization take a more prominent role in remaking college football’s postseason. I mean, what could go wrong with that?
And then there’s this:
Critics rail that keeping players amateur — i.e., unpaid — in an otherwise highly commercial enterprise is an injustice. Sales of replica jerseys are an oft-used example. Schools and marketers can profit; the performers who give them their cachet can’t. Multiply that by millions when it comes to game revenue.
“The NCAA amateurism rules are a fictional, oppressive harness designed to protect a plantation-like economic model,” sports attorney David Cornwell wrote recently in SportsBusiness Journal.
Football players of the world, unite! Throw off that harness!
How come nobody ever gets pissed off at the NFL for its far greater role in perpetuating that “plantation-like economic model”? Those are the folks who refuse to sign student athletes until they’re more than three years out of high school. For that matter, what’s stopping any group of fat cats from starting a professional football league that signs kids out of high school?