By now, many of you have either seen or heard about HBO’s Real Sports report on Auburn’s ‘alleged’ pay for play scandal. While it is ultimately a he-said/she-said type of scenario, it is continuing to shed light on the dirty BIG secret in big-time college sports.
Money makes the college sports-world go round. It has become a big business. Obviously we’re not talking the fencing team here. We’re talking the two juggernauts, football & basketball. It’s more like the one HUGE sport (football) and it’s semi-big little brother (men’s basketball. These two sports, with the multi-million dollar tv packages and merchandising fees, make the NCAA one very profitable enterprise.
Where does that leave the players? They see their images or their jerseys being sold on tv, internet, local and national stores and there is no percentage of the sales given to them. They are the ‘property’, if you will, of the school. The college scholarship is the contract and they do whatever the college tells them to. Or, at least that’s what it appears to be right?
From what I’ve read and heard, the former Auburn players received money and ‘other’ benefits either during recruiting trips or while attending their school of choice. According to NCAA guidelines, these are violations of the rules of conduct for athletes in their respective institutions. Somehow, I don’t think it says in the rules that it’s okay to go to a school if they offer women to you for sex. Prostitution anyone? ((Side note: what those women were thinking is beyond me. But, that’s a story for a different day.))
There are some in the media who are just frankly tired of scandal and negativity in sports. Nothing surprises them anymore. And, quite frankly, they are tired of ‘fans’ who are surprised. Their opinion is that by now, fans should just be used to it. Fans should get over it and realize that things will never be ‘polly-anna-ish’ like when we were kids. ((Side note #2: this particular subject really riles me up so I’m going to quit now. But I will blog about this another day.))
Given how much money is involved in collegiate sports, what is the solution? To be honest, I’m not sure. There are good arguments on both sides of the aisle when it comes to athletes and pay. I do believe more needs to be done. Collegiate sports has changed so much in the last 20-30 years that the arguments against paying athletes, I believe, are no longer valid. This ain’t your daddy’s college sports anymore. College sports is ALL BUSINESS; warts and all. And we still send our kids there. Strange isn’t it.
** So much to think about & say but I’ll end it here for now. More to come later. **
TWITTER FOLLOWER UPDATES
Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1812 followers
Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin 3999 followers
Slight increase in both since last night. Not sure why the Missouri State one increases unless they are “confused” Tennessee fans??
Shaka Smart @coachsmartvcu : 5715 followers
Brad Stevens @BUCoachStevens : 10367 followers
A jump of almost 400 for Coach Smart since last night. Only a jump of 130 for Coach Stevens but he still leads in the overall number of followers.
Can’t wait to check the count tomorrow.