Now this is some spectacularly constipated reasoning:
… It’s a fine, overdue and appropriately polite start. It’s also unlikely to be enough, which is why the next step – for college football players in particular – is to consider a far bolder, impossible to ignore and historic move.
Get together and boycott a minor bowl game.
Nothing will rock college athletics like players refusing to play. And nothing will get the attention of people more powerful than university presidents than a canceled nationally televised game. It will be a bomb blast to the system – grabbing the attention of non-sports media, local and national politicians, and reformers of all kinds. A bowl boycott will get everyone talking, immediately.
Suddenly, university presidents who’ve spent decades dragging their feet on reform might be forced to act. It’s been an embarrassing series of scandals that’s helped shame college leaders into proposing a small $2,000 per year stipend ($38.46 a week) to cover some living expenses.
Pressure works with these people.
A lower-grade bowl game is essentially useless anyway.
It’s too much to ask a player to sit out a Final Four or a BCS title game – as has been plotted before. Even regular season games are difficult. Players want to play. They work too hard for the chance to compete. Having guys give up a shot at a championship isn’t realistic. No one wants to let down coaches and teammates.
Calling off some minor bowl – where the bowl executive is still pocketing $400,000-plus – isn’t such a sacrifice. It is, however, high profile enough to rock the system.
No one will remember who won the game anyway. The team that sits out for more equitable treatment will be hailed both immediately and forever – books will be written, documentaries will be filmed, history will lionize.
In other words, go ahead and boycott a game nobody cares about, because then they’ll care about it. Except they really won’t. Or something like that.
Wetzel’s already on record as wanting a 16-team playoff with representation from every skanky conference in America. Now he thinks the next best thing for the sport would be a player strike. They have a term for your ideal world, Dan. It’s called “the NFL”. Games are played on Sundays; check it out some time.
(By the way, it’s unrelated, but if in the comments you want to turn your snark guns on a Georgia Tech player who feels underpaid – “The things we go through, the hours we put in, what our bodies go through, we deserve some sort of (results),” Georgia Tech defensive end Denzel McCoy told the Associated Press. “College football is a billion-dollar industry.” – I’m not gonna stop you.)