VIA SBINSIDER | September 8th, 2023
The NCAA blatantly lied to college sports fans for at least 60 years and likely more, about the sham of “amateur athletes” competing in the big money generators of college football and basketball.
Paying top athletes with a wink and a nod has been happening and the NCAA knows it. Occasionally, the most egregious cases get adjudicated-Reggie Bush at USC for example.
The cover for all this money making was that the revenue sports paid for the nice-to-have sports, especially for the ladies-(read Title IV compliance). The other fig leaf, “these athletes were getting free educations!” Yet, when you examine the degree paths of the majority of jocks, the idea that Liberal Studies, or Communications were taken seriously is a joke. So, this is pure virtue signaling by institutions who are supposedly dedicated to “truth.” Better writers than me have for many years exposed this serious ethical blind spot. Yet, as every college president knows, the best way to raise alumni funds is to have a winning team on national TV, nobody cares that you have fostered a Nobel Prize winner. So, the dilemma was resolved, sort of, with lip service to amateurism with full knowledge of the real situation.
To their credit, the professorship at the schools have railed for years about the dominance of men’s revenue sports as taking away from the mission of 99% of the other students.
When the NCAA acceded to the fans and created a haphazard playoff system for football which tried to mold the playoff games into existing Bowl venues they gained a true champion but lost a sense of traditionalism. Over time that memory may be overcome
But with the SCOTUS finally recognizing the unfairness of NCAA schools raking in unshared big bucks, they approved a lawsuit allowing an athlete to control and benefit from their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) which effectively gave the alumni an easy and definable path to pay the best prospective players and reward the performers.
So, from indentured servitude the players entered a more capitalistic and lucrative system. Now, money will be the ultimate motivator for the best athletes as ties to local colleges or any loyalty to anything is gone.
A Possible Football Solution
The marketplace has determined the winners and also-rans in college basketball and football. The Super 40 +\- teams are going to dominate the playoffs. These teams should negotiate 4 divisions which maintain regional rivalries (ASU v U of A) , short travel times and traditional game schedules. For variety, the teams could have one or two out of division games. Then have the conference championships at the traditional bowl games
The also-rans below the Super 40 are going to be forced to reorganize-think San Diego State, Central Florida, Boise State because they cannot generate the TV viewership and its resulting shared revenue, to sustain a top ranked program to compete with the big boys. North Dakota State, Northern Arizona, Boston College will adjust along with the NCAA by expanding Division II parameters and alumni will get used to a back to 50’s Saturday afternoon game experience.