Skewed sense of priorities

Even though I disagree strongly with his premise (citing Dr. King is just another way of making the “plantation” argument) and find his assertion of Cam Newton’s vulnerability to his father questionable at best, this post by Bomani Jones is worth a read, if only for this well made point:

… On my radio show last week, I asked Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports columnist and co-author of “Death to the BCS,” why he and his co-authors chose to write that book rather than “Death to the NCAA.” Wetzel, who agrees that the current system is problematic and that athletes should be paid in currency, was frank:  He said they wrote the book that would sell. Presumably, in the eyes of the public, the lack of a “true champion” is the only injustice in college sports worth a movement.

There is something screwy going on when we can work up more outrage over the lack of a college football playoff than we can over the NCAA’s apparent hypocrisy in letting schools benefit from the use of a student athlete’s name while piously intoning about the sin in letting the player himself do so.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

21 responses to “Skewed sense of priorities

  1. Keese

    No entertainment value confirming what everyone already knows about the NCAA. Much different than not caring. To me the BCS playoff debate has so many conflicting issues that it makes for good conversation. Hate the NCAA open and shut case.

  2. Stoopnagle

    There’s a huge body of literature on these more important issues. You can start with:

    “The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values” by Schulman & Bowen

    “Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education” by Sperber

    And then, as a bit of an antidote, UGA’s own J. Douglas Toma wrote “Football U.: Spectator Sports in the Life of the American University.”

  3. Ant123

    There is no hypocrisy here. the rules are pretty much the same as they have been for the 35+ years I have been watching NCAA football. Everyone knows or should know Amatuer atheletes don’t get paid. Its not like these people get to school and its a surprise.
    These people are getting a free education, room and board for four years, and plenty of free souvenirs. They are not taken advantage of any more then some medical student that helps find some great medical discovery that the school get credit for. Their education is their reward. The guy that wrote this article is upset because the particular people he wrote about are black. You didn’t see him write about Tim Tewbow or Mathew Stafford or Ryan Mallet or a host of others. But because the ones he wrote about are black they are obviously being treated unfairly. Give me a break.
    If some of the atheletes are being treated unfairly its by a system that will entice them to leave school before graduating yet never a enough sucess to make it in athletics and never be able to get back to school to get their diploma.

    • Reptillicide

      Your argument is a dinosaur. These principles applied to collegiate athletics 50 years ago, but not anymore. It’s the colleges themselves that decided to turn it into a system based entirely on $$$, not the players or the NFL agents. College football is no longer a noble pursuit of school pride, it’s a money-making enterprise, so to make the “amateur-status” argument just doesn’t carry the same message it used to.

      This system WILL break, and it’s going to do so in spite of you people clinging to the “amateur status” argument. The house of cards that is the NCAA and the system they’ve built up will fold, and it’s only a matter of time. The only question is – will college football survive? All the NFL has to do is create minor league football, and you can kiss big time college football goodbye.

      • All the NFL has to do is create minor league football, and you can kiss big time college football goodbye.

        Why would the NFL want to do that? It’s got the best of all possible worlds now.

        • crapsandwich

          The colleges wouldn’t want that….it is all about money.

          • gastr1

            The day this changes is when the players no longer have to put up with taking a benefit most of them don’t actually want by winning a class action lawsuit against the NFL. Which is pretty much never.

            As for the case about being more outraged over the lack of playoffs versus the slippage in the system…wow. It’s a surprise that people care only about things happening on the field and willfully look past the up-to-ears-and-eyes level of merde behind the scenes that is (and has long been) college football?

          • It really doesn’t matter what the colleges want. There’s nothing they could do about it if it happened.

            Not that the NFL is interested…

            • gastr1

              Right. The BCS/colleges/conferences/presidents can control the way a champion is determined, but regarding the way the players system is set up, the colleges themselves have the least power in the dynamic. The only thing they and the NCAA can really do about the players is quit having football as a college sport (uh…yeah). Obviously the money and free advertising far outweigh a little lack of integrity and inconvenience now and again.

              The NFL, on the other hand, is just as unlikely to change its free farm system.

              That leaves the players. If one day the players decide that the deal is bad enough they will do something about it. But even if they did decide that, how do they get enough cats in the herd to matter?

        • Reptillicide

          I’m just trying to point out the volatility of it all

      • Macallanlover

        I could make the argument an NFL farm league would improve CFB. I miss the days when the athletes were students, cared about the traditions of the program, and felt it important to represent the schools well. Take out the prima donnas and TO wannabes, and it will still be a competitive game you can enjoy.

        The same programs will be the best teams year in, and year out….and you will truly enjoy life without the off-field drama and early departures. You are only talking about a few hundred players that would have that pro potential, the rest understand they need to get to class and earn a degree. Georgia would still need 100K seats on Saturdays.

      • Ant123

        The fans and television brought the money into it not the schools.
        The atheletes get a better deal than 90% of the college students. they have no room to complain. Can the system be improved? Sure, but it isn’t broken because the atheletes don’t get paid.
        The only way the system folds is from some type of government interference. They can mess up most anything.

    • “These people are getting a free education, room and board for four years, and plenty of free souvenirs. ”

      That’s worth what, $100k? And the schools are making MILLIONS off them? Yeah, nice try.

      “They are not taken advantage of any more then some medical student that helps find some great medical discovery that the school get credit for.”

      Hahahaha. Yeah, that happens how often? Seriously dude, that’s a joke.

      Many of these kids wouldn’t even come to college in the first place if the NFL (or other sports organization) didn’t have rules in place to preserve their free minor league system.

      • Scott W.

        I fail to see how a student athlete not believing education is their first priority when at an institution is the fault of the system. Again these players are seen as someone without a choice when that simply is not true. The only decision that is out of their hands is when they may choose to try and go pro. While they may be at a disadvantage compared to the average student in the fact that they can’t hold a part time job they are compensated by access to resources and privileges that the average student couldn’t even dream of. If anything being taken advantage of while at school will prepare them for their career whether in the NFL or the regular workforce.

  4. DawgByte

    Because of the Cam Newton and AJ Green business I’m hearing more fans warm to the idea of football players getting paid. This notion of pay for play, being justified because schools are making millions of their sweat is a slippery slope with no end. The fact is student athletes are already getting paid through their scholarship and if that doesn’t seem like enough, can you imagine the difficulty of watching over programs following new pay rules? Pandora’s box would be blown wide open and the level playing field that exists today would be destroyed. The richest athletic programs would have bidding wars over High School players and it would get unseemly very quickly.

    There is already a separation between the general student body and athletes. If athletes started showing up to school driving around in Ferrari’s and Porches it would get ugly on campus. Not to mention how difficult it would be for coaches to monitor how their players spend that money, the potential debt and liability issues would be huge.

    Money is already having a profound negative impact on college sports, introducing more money into the mix would bring about the death knell to all the principles defining the student athlete.

  5. Ant123, I agree, You are right on.

    • crapsandwich

      Ant123, don’t think you have to worry about Government getting too involved….they are on the payroll too…..Bankgate in Alabama anyone?

  6. Ant123

    Thats a good one crapsandwich

  7. Scott W.

    It is kind of hard to take advantage of someone who has volunteered to participate. I am also kind of tired seeing what MLK stands for being manipulated by anyone who chooses to try and legitimize their social concern.