The true meaning of amateurism

A couple of years ago, I touched on a hideous lawsuit filed against the NCAA in the wake of a Division III player’s death because… well, because some of his coaches were assholes, the school had no coherent policy regarding head injuries and the NCAA, for all its blathering about concern for the student-athlete, admitted it took no steps to monitor its member schools about that.

David Klossner, former NCAA director of health and safety, admitted as much in a deposition this year in an unrelated federal lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s concussion policy:

Q: Are member institutions required to submit their concussion management plans to the NCAA?

A: No.

Q: Have any member schools been disciplined regarding concussion management plans?

A: Not to my knowledge.

Q: Has the NCAA considered disciplining any member institutions regarding concussion management plans?

A: No, not to my knowledge.

In an interview with The Washington Times weeks before the deposition, Mr. Klossner and an NCAA representative said no university, to their knowledge, had been investigated or penalized for violating the rule.

A slew of internal NCAA emails made public in July from the unrelated case revealed an organization where staffers worried about liability and some mocked concerns about the issue.

If you look up the word “callous” in the dictionary, it’s accompanied by a picture of Mark Emmert.

I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t catch a more recent development in the case.  No, it hasn’t settled.  It hasn’t even gone to court yet.

That’s because the NCAA has done its best over the past couple of years to stonewall it.  And there’s where things have moved from callous to putrid. (h/t)

Last month, the NCAA asked a Montgomery County Circuit court judge to seal 14 documents in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the family of late Frostburg State University football player Derek Sheely.

The internal emails, memos and meeting minutes in question deal with the NCAA’s response to concussions, including research and proposed rule changes.

In court documents, the NCAA said that allowing the documents to be public “would have a chilling effect on the candid and frank debate necessary to ensure a thoughtful process” and “may be harmful to the NCAA’s legitimate business interests.”

Are you getting that?  Student-athletes, those noble amateurs, aren’t allowed to have business interests, but the NCAA’s half-assed approach to dealing with their well-being – that has to be weighed against its legitimate business interests.  What might those be, you ask?  Welp,

Disclosing the documents could damage “student health and safety” if “picked up by the media,” the NCAA said in the documents.

Legitimate?  I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Burn the whole joint down.  The sooner, the better.



Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

9 responses to “The true meaning of amateurism

  1. Jared S.

    I wish more judges had the balls to say, “You’re an ass. Get out of my courtroom.” I mean that’s exactly what a judge in this case should do when presented with a request from the NCAA to seal documents with the ostensible goal to protect “student health and safety.”


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘tone deaf.’


  3. Dog in Fla

    The NCAA sees dead people but can only hear them if they’re talking

    (h/t The NCAA Ministry of Astronomy, Cosmology and Astrobiology Distance Learning Center)


  4. John Denver is full of shit...

    the sheeple doth protest too little, me thinks


  5. Ricky McDurden

    Don’t get me wrong, I have loved wall-to-wall coverage of college football on my autumn Saturdays. But it’s starting to feel grimier and grimier every time I show up at Sanford or turn on the TV. Beginning to run out of ways to sufficiently justify my fandom beyond the sentimental attachment I have to the University and the tradition of it all (and I don’t need the NCAA, a Playoff committee, or a cable network to indulge in either of those two things).

    Is the Kessler torpedo sill inbound?


    • Beginning to run out of ways to sufficiently justify my fandom beyond the sentimental attachment I have to the University and the tradition of it all….

      That sentimental attachment is how they’ve justified keeping business as usual for as long as they have. Kessler (or somebody like him) is going to burn the mother down and there will still be people (cough Dabo Swinney cough) blaming entitled, greedy-ass kids for the downfall while ignoring that the presidents and AD’s are the ones that drove it into the ground over the last 30 years making short-sighted cash grab after short-sighted cash grab. There will be no real winners when this thing finally does get burned down, but it’s beyond impossible to defend these assholes anymore.


  6. If Student athletes should start holding out over issues, this is definitely one i’m surprised they haven’t gotten on already.

    All it takes is one player with the talent and leadership ability to stand up to really shake things up. Problem is a lot of college players these days have the leadership and maturity of freshman in highschool.