One of the side issues in this whole debate about student-athletes’ rights/concerns/compensation/unionization that strikes me as remarkably two-faced is this assumption that amateurism implies kids should be held to a higher standard than the adults around them. That’s the reasoning (using the term in its loosest sense) behind this absurd Matt Hayes column in which he argues that as a result of unionization and compensation, college athletics should impose a zero tolerance policy on its student-athletes for rules violations. That’s a level of accountability nobody, including Hayes, has seen fit to apply to other moneymakers in the arena, like coaches (hi, Bruce Pearl!) or schools.
Or take the reprimand the Big 12 solemnly handed out to Texas’ Steve Redmond for saying Baylor was “trash”.
“Mr. Edmond violated the Conference rule that prohibit coaches, student-athletes, athletic department staff and university personnel from making negative public comments about other member institutions,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Consistent with our standard for such violations he is being issued a public reprimand.”
Very noble. Except that same standard didn’t compel Bowlsby to speak out when nationally renowned asshole Jeff Orr admittedly called OSU basketball player
Keith Marcus Smart a “piece of crap” (or worse, if you believe Smart and others) and generated an ugly incident. At least not about Orr.
“Mr. Smart’s actions were a clear violation of the Big 12 Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy,” Bowlsby said in a statement. “Such behavior has no place in athletics, and will not be tolerated.”
Or this – and I know citing Colin Cowherd is like shooting fish in a barrel:
“…I don’t think paying all college athletes is great, not every college is loaded and most 19-year-olds [are] gonna spend it–and let’s be honest, they’re gonna spend it on weed and kicks! And spare me the ‘they’re being extorted’ thing. Listen, 90% of these college guys are gonna spend it on tats, weed, kicks, x-boxes, beer and swag. They are, get over it!”
True ‘dat, Colin, because we all know that adults in the real world are totally practical in how they spend their money.
Double standard much, fellas?