Boy, oh boy this is all just the beginning. Somebody call up the 1970's Canadian rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive, because friend, you ain't seen nothing yet.
The FBI wiretaps of Arizona Head Basketball coach (for now) Sean Miller discussing a $100,000 payment to freshmen C DeAndre Ayton is the official shit hitting the fan moment for college basketball. I think it's also just the tip of the iceberg as many more schools have been named in the yahoo report. Apparently the FBI has like 3,000 hours (still 7,000 hours away from being a master) of NCAA related wire taps. Thank God they're worrying about the real problems like student-athletes getting free taco bell while another school gets turned into a shooting range. We need Marty Huggins to get his broom because it's a mess.
The idea of colleges paying recruits to chose their program is not exactly a groundbreaking revelation. I'm looking at you Cam Newton.
Suuuuuuuuure, Arizona and Sean Miller seem to have some pie on their face, but they're not the only ones guilty. More chips are going to fall or in this case, pie on faces. Schools like Duke, UNC, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, USC have also been named in the yahoo sports report that was the precursor to the Miller news. sports.yahoo.com/exclusive-federal-documents-detail-sweeping-potential-ncaa-violations-involving-high-profile-players-schools-103338484.html.
If the rumors are true (which they likely are) then I think USC should have to lose their basketball program. Look at all those other programs. It's like the class of college basketball, then like...oh and USC too. At least those other schools that are "cheating" are in the National Title hunt year after year. USC is in fucking southern California, one of the most beautiful places on earth paying players to go their and can't sniff the Final Four. Shit they've made the Sweet 16 TWICE 2000 and four times in the program's history. Meanwhile Xavier in fucking Cincinnati, Oh who was in the God Damn A-10 until five years ago has reached it seven times in the same time span. Although since Sean Miller coached their for five years maybe that isn't the best example... My point is that USC basketball is a joke, they can't even buy a trip to the Sweet 16. Them being in the same breath as a UNC or Kentucky is like saying your favorite foods are lobster and skittles.
Of course I think it goes on at smaller, less powerful programs as well. Guys are getting paid everywhere, every school has boosters hooking up kids on the football and basketball teams.
To me this all comes down to the NCAA and their indentured servant like system with student-athletes. The NCAA is a multi-billion dollar business that doesn't pay it's "employees" and gives them little to no rights. Coaches who are paid can leave schools for greener pastures whenever they want, but players have to sit of a full season when they transfer. Idk how that's fair.
While I don't think college athletes should be getting straight up salaries in addition to the benefits they already receive, the lack of common sense in what they're allowed to do is idiotic. Don't eat too much pasta! Don't use the wifi! Buying someone who's a college athlete a meal or giving them a ride is considered an improper benefit.
Jay Bilas said this in an 2015 interview with Complex and I think it's spot on about the hypocrisy in the NCAA. It's a great interview btw: www.complex.com/sports/2015/12/jay-bilas-interview/
"In any facet of college life, only one class of people have any financial restriction on them at all and that’s athletes. So the idea that it's based on education is a lie. No other student is told what they can and cannot make, and if it affects their education, or scholarship, or anything.
"If you’re a music student, who's on a full music scholarship, you can apply your trade in any professional sense you want. You’re not kicked out of the band. Not kept from performing on campus. Doesn’t affect your academic status in any way. You’re celebrated for that.
"If you’re an athlete that happens to make the schools in the NCAA machine billions of dollars, then the athletes are told, 'You get only your expenses.' And one of the biggest components of the expenses you get, we pay to ourselves, and claim it cost us money."
I think there's a simple solution to all of this: Let athlete's profit off their likeness.
Boom. Problem solved.
This way schools aren't technically paying athletes, but they still have the ability to make money.
If you can make money off of who you are, or people want to give you things because you're basically a celebrity that should be okay. The NCAA is a billion dollar business, they play the Final Four in 100,000 seat football stadium, but the athlete who allows them to make all that money can't see a cent of it. How is that right? You should be allowed use your skills to make money, that's what being an American is all about. People make it seem like all stars in college go pro and will get paid eventually when that's simply not the case. In college football and basketball less than 2% of all athletes will end up going pro, but a shit ton more than 2% are superstars while they're in college. There's so many guys who are good enough to be basically celebrities for four years, but not make the NFL or NBA. But here's you human development degree! Those guys should be allowed to profit off of their abilities because we all know the colleges sure are. If some booster wants to take care of a football player's poor family he should be allowed to.
By allowing this to happen now colleges don't have to pay athletes, but the athletes who deserve to be paid, aka the football and basketball players have the platform to profit from their status. But it would apply to all. If someone wants to use a women's soccer star in a commercial they should be able to. To piggy back off of Bilas' point, if someone at Berkeley makes a record and is making money off of that they don't lose their scholarship. If someone at RISD sells a painting they don't get kicked out of school. It should all be allowed from little shit like restaurants and bars around campus giving athletes free food/drinks, to local car dealerships using the star linebacker to sell Jeeps, it should all be okay.
Deep down, I don't think college athletes should get paid. Whether they want to use their chance at a free education is their motive. For every one and done kid there dozens of people using their free ride to college to better themselves from a position they wouldn't have been given if it wasn't for sports. I just know as someone paying almost $300 a month on student loans I sure would've loved the chance to get that taken care of. I hate the whole title IX defense that "if you pay the men's basketball players then you also have to pay the women's tennis team" because that's stupid AF. Let's be adults here and admit that not all college athletes are created equal. Sorry but it's the fucking truth. No office in America has women's crew tournament pools, but if someone says "March Madness" you know exactly what I'm talking about. In less than 3 weeks everybody is going to be filling out NCAA brackets. I don't even need to say what sport it is because you already know.
Newsflash to the NCAA but with most of the programs in college athletics nobody outside of the parents of the athletes give a fuck about them. Tell me who won the men's soccer national championship in 2014? Probably 3% of American's know. Nobody gives a shit about women's tennis (or really any women's sport outside of basketball) or any men's sport other than like football, basketball, hockey, baseball and lacrosse. Most programs don't make any money for their universities so I understand why you can't pay everybody. Small schools wouldn't be able to survive.
But, athletes who have an opportunity to use their experience as a NCAA athlete for their benefit financially should be able to do so. Enfranchise the collegiate athlete. I think my solution is a lot easier to handle and less radical that changing the entire system by giving athletes salaries.