I was prepared to move on at the blog – really, I’ve vented and there’s not much more to be said – but then Jeff Schultz found it necessary to weigh in with this turd of a column. So it turns out I’ve got more.
Yeah, he starts out with the obligatory “okay, we all know the NCAA sucks”, but his heart’s not in it.
Here’s the reality. Todd Gurley is a supremely talented football player. However, his two primary opportunities for being paid for his services both happen to be cartels that operate in a way to depress labor costs, the NFL legally and the NCAA in violation of federal antitrust laws, to make billions and millions in profit. (Both also receive government subsidies that add handsomely to the bottom line, but that’s a complaint for another post.)
That’s not all. Gurley’s astonishing skills have caught the public’s attention. If he were anywhere other than in college athletics, just like any other American, he’d be able to market his name and likeness for whatever Nike or anyone else was willing to pay him. Solely because of the NCAA’s atavistic refusal to share income with its student-athletes, something that’s going to be prohibited in the near future, Gurley can’t. In the meantime, Gurley, just like every other observer of the college sports scene, has seen the half-assed ways the NCAA has chosen to enforce its amateurism rules in the cases of Manziel and Newton.
That’s not the most absurd part of this farce. Four hundred dollars. That’s the amount suggested that Gurley was paid for whatever he delivered. Four hundred dollars is less than what he would receive if Georgia compensated him for the full cost of attendance, something that’s been promised by the president of the NCAA and the commissioners of all five power conferences. They’ve got their autonomy; they just haven’t delivered. Be patient, though, Todd. I’m sure that’s coming any day now.
In a fair world… no, check that, in a world in which the NCAA and its member institutions merely avoided behaving in ways that violated federal law as have already been determined in court, Todd Gurley wouldn’t have been tempted to risk his eligibility for four hundred dollars. Because he would have cashed a check every year from EA Sports and another check from the school or the conference to compensate him for his likeness being used in broadcasts.
Well, fuck me. That’s ridiculous. And shame on any of you who think Schultz is right.