The Big Business of College Sports

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network

The slave market is open, the flesh peddlers and buyers are congregating in the village square, endless video highlights and scouting reports have been documented and viewed, parents as well as high school football players have been seduced by scouts and coaches that could give Penelope Cruz and her sister lessons. The bidding has begun, concluded and signatures are on paper with one eye focused two years down the line on a future in the NFL or NBA,

The entire matter of letters of intent and signings, if you will, for high school athletes to attend schools is a seeming sham predicated upon defining scholarships and who will get them. A high school athlete has to commit to a college where he would like to play football or pour points through the hoops?!?!?!? Does he get a signing bonus if his SAT results are higher than anticipated? Can he actually utter one complete sentence without "Duh!" or a myriad of "You know's"??? All? Nope and certainly not those planning to go to Stanford or one of the Military Academies. But, others? Insane.

Yes, the NCAA has a rather rigid sliding scale regarding the SAT when it comes to eligibility for Division l schools. However, the real concern is with selected courses once in and professors that are inclined to bend the rules before they head out to the stadium themselves... to watch, not participate.

But sports is not big business for colleges???? Right!!!!

It's time we paid the athletes that bring millions, tens of millions, to the school.
Alumni contributions these days, lest the NCAA clamp down mightily on one of our institutions of higher learning with all sorts of penalties, seems to be limited to GPS units so that the athletes can find their way to class. Decisions are made, in choosing the school of one?s choice by something as simple as a coin toss or, more than likely, by how many times they are going to be playing on national television and can these student-athletes, an oxymoron if ever there was one, hang in there until the end of their sophomore year when they start considering moving on to the institutions of higher cash rewards.

The entire process is a vast charade foisted upon the fans, public, media, universities that condone it and the NCAA that seems to be busy doing other things when all of this takes place. High schools are notorious for elevating grades, undeservedly, to match stat sheets and video highlights.

A censure of the entire process? Absolutely. There is no denying that and it is not intended. Admonishment of the manner in which colleges are filling their coffers and maintaining them for as long as possible to the detriment of the once highly held values to further one?s education? Without a doubt. Denial of all this by anyone, from the coaches to the administrators? Not unless they have everything possible crossed behind their backs when doing so and are quick to get out of the way of any lightning strikes from above. Oh well, there is always the confessional that abrogates what is done but it is in the basement of the school, not the main floor of the local church.

High schools have done a disservice to the educational system, and sports (with which many will disagree) since they, too, have turned a blind eye towards the athletes that cannot put two complete sentences together. Preparation for other than scoring touchdowns, tackling and running up statistics on the field rather than in the classroom is unheard of. Most would give the folks we see on Jay Leno when he does "Jaywalking" a run for the money... maybe a walk.

This brush is not painting the athletes all, nor those of the secondary sports where graduation rates mirror or exceed that of the rest of the student population.

The amazing part is that, once the games begin, no one really cares. This is how it is. This is the point of diminishment for it cannot possibly go much lower. Or, can it? Mine is not a soap box at the park with naught but a few joggers stopping for a stretch or breath to listen. Mine is just the observation of reality. A sad commentary on collegiate sports like football and basketball coupled with lack of intelligence and learning. Focused only on athletic prowess and what it takes, in minimal fashion, to achieve the best one can on the gridiron and hardwood of most schools today.

Turn on the game and watch/listen to the interviews pre and post game, then wonder how your son, daughter, niece, nephew, friend?s kids, were not accepted. They could not go to their left or out-jump everyone in the end zone, could not make a 50+ yard field goal or dunk with either hand.

Collegiate sports are a business. It is time we acknowledged that, recognized it for what it is and paid the athletes that bring millions, tens of millions to the school from start of the season to bowl games and March Madness.

The system, by most standards, is broken. Will anyone make an attempt to fix it? You gotta be kidding!!!

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