When it comes to where the future of amateurism is headed, I’m not sure I can think of a more glaring juxtaposition than the one between the news that the NCAA is seeking yet again to delay the commencement of the O’Bannon trial and this stunning comment by Harris Pastides, the South Carolina president and member of the NCAA Governance Steering Committee: “If we allow this reform to fail, the obvious next step would be to give up amateurism.”
Can you imagine anyone in a position like his making an admission like that five years ago? Or how about this one?
The glut of lawsuits facing the NCAA and Big Five: “We get briefed on it all the time. But we were way before this [with reform]. It’s been around for years. I don’t get a sense that this current move toward reform and policy change is not a direct result.”
Hell, there are still plenty of folks denying that linkage right now.
Reality, it seems, is slowly sinking in. At long last.