Man, I love this smack.
… Lupoi then linked up with Saban at Alabama and started out as what Saban called a “recruiting intern.” It wasn’t long before he started paying off, bringing in the top recruiting class of 2016. Sarkisian was the top storyline of Alabama’s postseason meeting with Washington, yet it was Lupoi who was responsible for segments of the rosters of both College Football Playoff semifinalists last year. He also oversaw the recruitment of 2017’s No. 1 overall prospect Najee Harris and had a hand in bringing many of that top-ranked class’s best players. Cal reportedly almost hired him back as defensive coordinator this offseason, but he ultimately turned them down. They probably couldn’t have paid him $950,000.
Lupoi is certainly one of the best in the nation at his job, but his hefty raise also crystallizes a lot of what makes the NCAA scam so gross. Legislators arguing that paying athletes will cost them money, rich university presidents defending the sanctity of the “student athlete” model, and athletic directors flailing desperately to cling to their cushy gigs in the multi-billion dollar NCAA pyramid scheme are all perfectly illustrative examples of the sham of amateurism, but nothing feels as direct as a linebackers coach raking in nearly $1 million to convince high school athletes to come work for free at Alabama.
Now, before you get all riled up and say “amateurism sux”, you might want to hear Bob Bowlsby’s latest spin on college athletics’ employment structure. It’s a real beaut.
One of major-college sports’ leading voices on Monday provided a different answer to the hotly debated question of the connection between college athletes and amateurism.
Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics: “I don’t think they’re amateurs. They’re college athletes.”
Bowlsby declined to get into a detailed discussion of how he defines pros and amateurs.
“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “You could write a book on that. But the professionals are being paid and amateurs are doing it for the love of the game. And both of those are different than the college athletic environment. …
“We typically categorize athletes as professionals or amateurs, right? And I don’t think (college athletes) are either. I think it’s a complete(ly) different genre of its own. Doesn’t exist anyplace else in the world where higher education and sports participation are linked, are co-curricular — and that makes it different.”
The NCAA’s next promotional campaign writes itself, doesn’t it? “College athletics, brought to you by the NCAA — it’s just different.”
Even these guys know there’s too much money swirling around now to justify the romanticism of amateurism anymore.