Honestly, in my lifetime, I can’t recall an US President as interested in the framework of college athletics as the current occupant of the White House. Yeah, I remember Nixon being heavily into football, but not about, say, whether college football should have a playoff. Or what the future may hold for a sport having a serious problem with concussions. Or chest bumping with Trooper Taylor…
But I digress.
The latest foray into college athletics by the Kenyan Marxist Usurper is in the area of – gasp! – amateurism.
Weighing in on the growing debate over amateurism in college sports, President Barack Obama said on Friday that universities bear “more responsibilities than right now they’re showing” toward their athletes and that the NCAA should require schools to guarantee athletic scholarships with no strings attached.
“[T]he students need to be taken better care of because they are generating a lot of revenue here,” Obama told The Huffington Post in a sit-down interview. “An immediate step that the NCAA could take — that some conferences have already taken — is if you offer a scholarship to a kid coming into school, that scholarship sticks, no matter what.”
“It doesn’t matter whether they get cut, it doesn’t matter whether they get hurt,” the president went on. “You are now entering into a bargain and responsible for them.”
Ordinarily, I would expect this to provoke immediate catcalls on the right (it wouldn’t be the first time), except Obama had to go and complicate things by saying this:
He stopped short of saying that it was time to pay collegiate athletes or that they should have the right to unionize — a possibility now under consideration by his appointees to the National Labor Relations Board.
“In terms of compensation, I think the challenge would just then start being, do we really want to just create a situation where there are bidding wars?” Obama asked. “How much does a Anthony Davis get paid as opposed to somebody else? And that I do think would ruin the sense of college sports.”
Mark Emmert just pumped his fist.
Needless to say, I disagree. Further, I have no idea where the President is going with this thought.
“What does frustrate me is where I see coaches getting paid millions of dollars, athletic directors getting paid millions of dollars, the NCAA making huge amounts of money, and then some kid gets a tattoo or gets a free use of a car and suddenly they’re banished,” Obama said. “That’s not fair.”
Emmert just put his hand back in his pocket. I’m using mine to scratch my head.
Why does everyone have such a hard time with this? Is a free market for all that hard a concept to grasp?