Thursday, March 05, 2015

It's a Snowy Day and the NCAA is a Horrid Cartel

I hate you. I say that not out of anger, but as a fact. It's 67 degrees outside, and I hate you.

The massive East Coast snow storm has got me quite literally trapped at home today, so in addition to shoveling and baking, I figured it would be time to dust off an old nugget I've been meaning to get to for awhile: the fact that the NCAA is one of the worst organizations in the world (I'd put it above NAMBLA, but probably neck-and-neck with the Klan).

When I say how horrible the NCAA is, it's not because something particularly terrible has happened recently (well, the NCAA is always doing something pretty damn terrible, but nothing gallingly out of the ordinary lately), it's because it's just an empirical fact that it's a horrid organization. Much like in the clip above.

So I figure a snow day in which I'm going slightly crazy from cabin fever (the biggest downside to living on the side of a mountain is that I've had a number of days this year in which I've not been able to get my car out of the driveway), I figured it was time for a rant about the evils of the NCAA. If nothing else, it will help salve my conscience as I watch hundreds of hours of college basketball games over the next few weeks, hating myself the entire time.

Why is the NCAA so damn evil? Other than the fact that they constantly make up rules that make no sense and then punish college kids for not intimately knowing their code, which approaches the US legal code in length and obtuseness?

Well, for one, they insist that we simply cannot pay college athletes. Sure, NCAA football and basketball are both literally billion dollar industries. But how could anyone ever pay the people actually responsible for generating that money? For a full breakdown of how stupid that argument is with all sorts of math and details and whatnot, read this. But for a much simpler way of understanding it, just note that during his last contract restructuring, Nick Saban (currently head football coach at Alabama) was reportedly offered $100 million to take over the program at Texas. This would have made him the highest paid sports coach in the entire world. Not the highest paid college coach, not the highest paid American coach, but the highest paid coach in any sport in the whole fucking world.

I don't think it takes a super math genius to note that if one college team is able to shell out 9 figures for one person, they can probably figure out how to slide a few dollars the way of the people who risk permanent injury and life-long debilitating degenerative brain problems.

But no! You can't pay them! In fact, if the NCAA finds out you so much as gave a player a bagel with some schmear, they'll come straight after you. Even in the most ridiculous cases that only a stone-hearted asshole could even think were plausible. Like the case of a homeless Baylor football player who got booted by the NCAA because one of his relatives helped him afford an apartment. You know, so he didn't have to sleep outside and be homeless. For the record, Baylor's head coach will earn over $4 million this year alone. But he sure as shit better not give any of that to any homeless football players! Well, as long as they're not current football players, like the UNC football alum who is now homeless and scraping by, despite helping bring a good chunk of revenue into his university.

But of course, if the school wants to pay money to anyone but the player to make sure they can play, that's totally ok by the NCAA. Like Texas A&M, who paid a $60,000 insurance policy for a star player so he'd return for another year. Which is fine, you see, because the player didn't get any money, just an insurance agency.

And don't you feel more comfortable with that? I sure as shit don't want kids working 40+ a week smashing their brains to nothing getting money for it. That might lead to some sort of unsavory outcome...

1 comment:

Doug Shaw said...

I was teaching a writing/oral comm course, and had to sit through 30 "persuasive speech"es. One of our athletes gave a speech on "why college athletes should be paid." I expected the speech to be somewhere on the continuum from sorta-bad to good. What I didn't expect was that his persuasive speech should... persuade me.

But it did. First year student. Gets up there, makes his case, and I changed my mind completely from "don't pay college athletes!" to "I will tell everyone I know when it comes up that they should be paid."

In retrospect, I should have given him an automatic a on the speech. Rubrics aside... fuck rubrics... if in a persuasive speech you persuade someone who had his mind made up the other way... that should be an automatic a.