It sounds like Iowa’s athletic director is having some sleepless nights because of Jeffrey Kessler.
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said Thursday he is concerned that a pending lawsuit against the NCAA may flip the current college sports model on its head.
“I disagree that we should have an open-market, pay-for-play (system in which) student-athletes are employees,” Barta told reporters after the monthly meeting of the Presidential Committee on Athletics.
Last week, a federal judge ordered the NCAA back to court to defend its limits on the compensation college athletes can receive. A trial was set for Dec. 3. The plaintiffs are seeking a system that would apply only to major-college football and Division I men’s and women’s basketball players.
That’s one aspect that worries Barta.
“What does that do for all the other sports? What does it do for other challenges like Title IX?” Barta wondered. “Right now, we have 24 sports and they’re funded primarily through football and men’s basketball. So what happens to all our Olympic sports? I’m just concerned about all the possible dominoes that could occur.”
Must suck that you aren’t good at dominoes — if, by “dominoes”, you mean doing the same thing that every chief executive of a big business in this country does every day.
Here’s Iowa’s financial reality.
You know what really bothers assholes like Barta? Having to do their job. Life is so much easier when you have more money rolling in than you know what to do with it.
Why is Barta an asshole? Because it’s not just about him.
That’s the so-called “Olympic model” of sports. Barta rejected that notion as well.
“This is about a student-athlete experience. Our student-athletes graduate at a very high rate and they come here to do two things — compete at the highest level in the sport that they love and earn a degree from one of the great universities in the country. And they come here with that in mind, not to be an employee,” Barta said.
“I think the Olympic model is unique to the Olympics. … I like the collegiate model. It doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The collegiate model has worked for 100 and some years. It’s a great model that can be made better, but not flip and turn into an employee and employer relationship.”
This is why these guys oppose the Olympic model for college. They’re scared shitless that a court is going to see outside compensation as the camel’s nose inside the tent, and — poof! — that hundred years of exploitation goes up in smoke. Then Gary Barta would have to work for a living. No wonder he’s uneasy.