The mcnews outlet, USA Today, ran on its front page for “grab passerbyers attention and coinage” purpose, the college sports’ question “Should Players be paid?”, with a photograph of an Arizona basketball star hitting a shot and “This shot was worth” whatever million dollars.
I look at College Sports — football moreso than basketball — quizzically. The answer on how to fix the sleaze with permeates these two arenas is to smash it completely. Ralph Nader suggests as much:
Nader said that colleges should either integrate athletics into the educational mission by eliminating college scholarships, or, “openly acknowledge the professionalism in big-time college sports, remove the tax-exempt status currently given to athletic departments, and make universities operate them as unrelated businesses.”
I believe Joe Fan heard the name “Ralph Nader”, and tuned out completely.
It’s the nature of the beast. Things were worse at the turn of the last century, as things developed. An underground or shadow economy develops to get around the regulatory appartus put in place to guard against the business enterprise this thing is — they’re, when I pull away from the games and the skeeziness — somewhat contrived, in place to continue an illusion. I wish these games had developed along the lines of baseball — a professional minor league system.
Games that you watched… never actually happened. Remember when the USC football team won a national championship a few years ago? That never actually happened. The “Reggie Busch” situation lead the title to be vacated. This is the peculiar logic of college athletics (and by that I mean basketball and football). This year, I vaguely wanted Auburn to beat the Oregon Ducks for this reason: the promise that in a few years, the NCAA would decide to look behind a few rocks — they passed by and winked and nodded at the “Cam Newton Situation” — and we could start up a dynasty of “Vacated Championships”.
Ohio State, after Yahoo News did that investigative journalism that the NCAA tries not to do:
At a news conference, Tressel said something about not knowing whom to tell when he got Cicero’s e-mails. Athletic Director Gene Smith, who should have been red-in-the-face furious, said of Tressel, “We trust him implicitly.” School President Gordon Gee, asked whether Tressel might get fired, giggled and said, “I hope he doesn’t fire me.”
The joke that is not a joke. In a few years, all those games Ohio State played — they will have never happened either.
“We are in the business where big strong athletes are known to attend these types of establishments. It was important for us to visit, and we certainly conducted business,” he said.
So, March Madness. Who should you cheer on in the Final Four? It turns out that we kind of have two brackets — the “Underdog” bracket and the “Major Powerhouse Bracket”. VCU is that team that was basically the last team picked for the tournament — and I’d say the underlying message of Dick Vitalle’s quotation still stands — with the last few teams in and out, it is basically a coin flip. They play Butler, last year’s surprise team — who almost won. The other side has Kentucky and UCONN — two traditional powerhouse teams wanting to add another banner.
For the cause of cheering on a Vacated Championship, the coaches for Kentucky and UCONN do provide some reason for optimism — though, naturally the NCAA avoids putting in any punishments for when it counts — so who knows?
It’s a tough call on “who to root for”. What do I value most — the “team everyone counted out” or amused cynicism?