Help the NCAA, Obi-Wan Congress; you’re its only hope.

So how dire are things with collegiate athletics?  So dire somebody actually said this with a straight face:

The NCAA has reached the point on unfavorable legal rulings that retiring University System of Maryland chancellor William Kirwan, co-chair of the reform-minded Knight Commission, said he now views Congress as “our last, best hope for getting anything right with intercollegiate athletics.”

Oy, vey.

Tom McMillan, former member of Congress and now a board member at the University of Maryland, isn’t willing to see his former mates go that far, but does think a joint Congressional-Presidential Commission wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  Eh.  In any event, he’s spot on with this observation:

McMillen said the O’Bannon ruling shows public sentiment will continue to move against the NCAA regarding the rights of players.

“You can only put so many fingers in the dikes,” McMillen said. “I think it’s clear that the old model is unraveling, it’s just a matter of time. It reminds me of the Soviet Union trying to keep the old USSR together, and all of a sudden it just broke apart one day. The model is built out of a very flimsy facade that’s falling down.

“The whole idea that players have no rights and they’re student-athletes and they’re not supposed to get anything is just so antiquated. When you go down the commercial road so far, you better be prepared for the commercial consequences. We have swung so far down the commercial road that it may be difficult to turn it back.”

So, is Mark Emmert more like Brezhnev or Gorbachev?



Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

23 responses to “Help the NCAA, Obi-Wan Congress; you’re its only hope.

  1. Bulldog Joe

    Tom McMillen. Now there’s a name some of us old Atlanta folks remember…


  2. Bulldawg165

    I’ll be interested to see what happens once everything is all said and done and schools can start paying players. Maybe the gap between the haves and have nots will grow so wide that we won’t be forced to watch games of Big Time U vs Small Community College U multiple times per year.


  3. Lrgk9

    Emmett is more like Captain Edward Smith, especially the denial and deck chair rearrangement.

    And the band played on…


  4. David K

    They’ve gone to the right people for help. Congress knows a lot about helping to keep people rich at the expense of others.


  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    “When you go down the commercial road so far, you better be prepared for the commercial consequences. ”

    Commie, leftist, social engineering tripe. Prepare? never, let them pry the money from my cold dead hands.

    Just wait till we get you guys in the corridors or real power, just the thought of the track record of righting wrongs in Congress should make you bums tremble in your Nikes.


  6. JCDAWG83

    I think he has a point about the “going down the commercial road”. Once the players start getting paid and become “employees”, it will be very hard to stop college sports from becoming professional developmental leagues. I wonder if schools will continue to allow the use of their names and campuses for private, for profit sports programs (the University of Georgia does not run the football program, the University of Georgia Athletic Assoc does)? I really don’t think the school presidents are going to go along with a business venture operating on campus and using campus buildings and resources to make a profit for the players, coaches, athletic assoc administrators, etc while expecting the school to waive or lower admission standards so better athletes can compete for the sports programs.

    I think once the “dike breaks” and the flood starts, you will see colleges embrace more of a high school sports model and abandon the current sports model. The NFL will be forced to create a farm system once the colleges stop making admission exceptions to athletes.


    • Bulldawg165

      Didn’t Judge Wilkin’s ruling only open the door for college athletes to get paid roughly the cost of attendance plus maybe a few extra thousand per year? It just seems like the chicken little routine is a little premature.


      • JCDAWG83

        First steps on a slippery slope. Once the players are getting paid anything above the scholarship, how long before the AU’s and Ohio State’s of the college football world start upping the “few extra thousand” a year? The players are either amateur or professional, no real middle ground, sort of like being pregnant.

        No chicken little and it won’t happen overnight. However, you can count on the money getting out of hand quickly once the players start getting paid. A good first step would be to require that players be admitted to the university based on grades and test scores BEFORE they could receive the scholarship or the extra expense money.


        • DawgPhan

          meh. I dont really buy slippery slope arguments. Secondly The problem now is that the money is out of hand,the players’ hands.

          So I dont really see how it can get more out of hand.


    • Methinks his point about “going down the commercial road” was the fact that the schools / conferences are already operating like professional leagues and that now they’re having to deal with the ramifications of it. You truly believe the UGA Athletic Association isn’t operating as a for-profit entity in everything but name and labor expense?


      • JCDAWG83

        The UGAAA is absolutely a for profit entity, that was central to my point. Under the current system, the university can justify it’s allowing the athletic assoc to profit because the players are “amateur student athletes”. Once the players become true employees of the athletic assoc, the university can’t hide behind the amateur facade any more.


  7. Timphd

    Here is my take: Tom McMillen is much smarter than Mark Emmert. But then again, who isn’t?


  8. Mayor

    Mark Emmert = Nikita Khrushchev


  9. AusDawg85

    A Joint Commission…Just wait until President Obama gets a whiff of this.