Amateurism On The Way Out

On April 4, 2014, in Sporting News, by Buddy TB

NCAALike the old Dylan song said, ‘The Times, They are a Changing’. The NCAA as we have known it is on the way out. Goodbye. Thanks a lot.  But, please go.

There has been simply too much bungling.  Too much misplaced quilt and far, far too much punishing student athletes for the sins of faculty or boosters. The very agency that was set up to protect student athletes recently came out publicly with a statement that they were not responsible for the well being of those very same student athletes.

Perhaps this is a good thing or will turn out to be. Maybe all of the bungling and over reactions by Mark Emmert’s NCAA Commissioner’s office will serve to bring in a new group of people who will oversee colligate athletics with more than just a dollar sign in mind when the do the planning. Especially the part where they discuss the athletes themselves and set out to do what’s right for them.

The guys and girls down on the playing field have been used like pawns in a chess game by the powers that be at the NCAA, the Universities and the television networks. Everybody gets rich except for the ones who are doing the sweating and getting hit. How long did they hope to continue this one sided charade in front of the entire nation? 

When there is so much money on the line, the ideal of amateurism is already seriously compromised from the very beginning. There is tons of revenue being generated all around the stadium, but the players on the field are classified as amateurs which means that they don’t have any money don’t get any money.

How hard is it to envision a scenario where some shady character offers some poor, often desperate,  player a big bag of money to miss that last clutch shot that would have won the game, thus winning a big bet for whoever set up the bribe in the first place.

Unsavory you say and you’re right, but we all know good and well that it has happened before and will happen again so long as the current stratification of wealth continues in NCAA athletics. The athletes are not asking for all that much, but nothing at all is not enough.

Recent movements at the University of Northwestern and elsewhere are only the tip of the iceberg. The NLRB has already ruled for the students right to unionize and the doors have been opened to change the face of colligate athletics as we know them today.

 

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