Please just make big-time football go away.
State police say 63-year-old Roger Lee Harris and 42-year-old Bryan Bandes were playing with three others at the Springdale Golf Course near Uniontown in Fayette County on Aug. 3. That’s when they began arguing about rules involving “casual water” — or puddles — after it rained.
Bob Molinaro comments on recent developments in the politics of big-time college sports. A nugget:
Kansas State’s stadium recently was renovated for $90 million, with $65 million more in upgrades yet to come. But that’s chump change compared with the $370 million that has been approved for stadium improvements at Oklahoma.
As (Big 12 commissioner Bob–ed.) Bowlsby might say – with great pride, no doubt – this is the face of college football most fans recognize.
“Our professors – I have an office I could swim in,” (KSU football coach Bill–ed.) Snyder said. “They’re in a cubbyhole somewhere, yet they go out and teach and promote education every day, and I value that.”Football no longer has any bearing on the quality of the person, the quality of students.”
I am fed up with sports because this can be considered newsworthy by a major newspaper:
Bob Molinaro cuts to the quick:
More blather: More potentially confounding was Bowlsby’s assertion that paying college athletes wouldn’t work because “there’s only so much money out there. I don’t think that coaches and athletic directors are likely to take pay cuts.” It doesn’t take a cynic to interpret his words to mean that one of the primary purposes of NCAA sports is to make and keep coaches and ADs rich. Just so we understand how the game is played.
More quick cuts at the link. (His Saturday columns always delight.)
If you don’t think that “Redskins” is a slur, consider the reaction if Dan Snyder decided to rename his team the “Washington Whiteskins.”
H/T Susan for the thought.
A while ago, I expressed my skepticism about the wisdom of turning to gambling as a way to raise funds. Today’s local rag has a long story that feeds my skepticism. A nugget (emphasis added):
Aragona-Pembroke makes more money from bingo and pull-tab gambling cards than any other Little League in the country, bringing in about $800,000 per year after paying out winnings, according to its most recent tax returns.
But the windfall hasn’t trickled down to the players, a Virginian-Pilot investigation shows.
In 2012, Aragona-Pembroke spent $150,000 on baseball operations, including uniforms, field maintenance and umpire salaries. That is about the same amount shown in the league’s 2009 tax filing, one year before it bought Witchduck Hall (a bingo hall–ed.).
What has changed are the league’s expenses.
More than $500,000 of the bingo hall revenue winds up in private hands, according to tax returns, property records, sales contracts and a deed of trust filed with the city.
The league paid $251,000 in salaries in 2012, including a combined $136,000 to Lou and Cheryl Mazza. Lou Mazza is apparently the only Little League president in the country receiving a salary, according to a review of Internal Revenue Service returns and the national Little League office. The national organization’s rules prohibit league officers from receiving money for their baseball service. Such an arrangement would inspire a “thorough, lengthy internal review,” national Little League spokesman Brian McClintock said in an email.
I have driven past that little bingo parlor many times and wondered what was going on in there.
I rest my case.
Addendum, a Few Days Later:
The longtime president of the Aragona-Pembroke Little League and his wife are out as officers, but the league won’t say whether they resigned voluntarily or whether they will continue running the league’s gambling hall.
They were involved in the organization for two decades. I suspect that, after a while, they begin to think of it as their own, rather than of thinking of themselves as its stewards.
Bob Molinaro, writing in my local rag, sums up the scam:
While NFL teams shared $6 billion in revenue last season, most of it coming through the league’s TV rights, you can be sure that the next time an owner wants a new stadium, he’ll expect taxpayers to pay the freight.
Bob Molinaro sees some weaknesses in the D.
Shredded NCAA president Mark Emmert makes it too easy for his detractors when he does something as preposterous as claim that big-time college athletes are “not hired employees conducting games for entertainment.” That must come as a surprise to the TV networks that pay billions for the rights to entertain America with college football and basketball. And those stadiums and arenas on campus aren’t built with entertainment in mind? What is he thinking?
Add NCAA If college athletics aren’t meant to be entertainment, I want Emmert to explain all the basketball games that TV schedules for 9 p.m. on school nights.
Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire*:
Former president of CBS Sports Neal Pilson said at the O’Bannon v. NCAA trial that giving players money for use of their images on TV could “change the fabric” of college athletics by turning off fans who enjoy watching teams play for the “joy of the game.” There are a lot of people who believe that, but this tends to be a generational issue. Likely, younger fans would easily grow accustomed to some college athletes getting a small cut of the spoils. They would still find plenty of joy in the games, as long as the money spent delivered a winner.
Certainly it would “change the fabric.” The fabric is rotten and corrupt; it allows old men, like CBS Sports presidents, NCAA executives, and college presidents and coaches, to profit from the uncompensated labor of the young by labeling them as “amateurs,” when they are in fact professionals.
(You do know what a “professional” is, do you not? A “professional” is someone who takes money for it. An “athletic scholarship” is money. Q. E. D.)
Our society has become based on theft of labor.
*I’m pretty much fed up with professional sports (this includes college sports, for reasons made clear above), with the possible exception of major league baseball, but I always read Bob Molinaro’s columns because he is one damned fine writer. You should too.
From Bob Molinaro, my favorite sports writer:
Tar Heel basketball player Rashad McCants is giving North Carolina another case of the blues, telling ESPN he benefitted from bogus courses and implicating coach Roy Williams. People may never look at North Carolina the same following revelations the last three years of widespread academic fraud involving athletes. But I’d be careful before assuming that McCants is a credible whistle blower.
He may not be the most credible whistle blower, but he’s only one in a whole damn whistle orchestra in Chapel Hill.
The NCAA is going into the third OT of corruption with no end in sight.
Nothing illustrates the corruption of big-time college sports and the NCAA better than this sentence, from sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro, in a column about the proposed NCAA “Division IV” (emphasis added):
That that sentence makes sense is ipso facto evidence that there is no “amateurism” in big-time college athletics.
If it has a business model, it is a business.
It has employees, not “student athletes.”
It’s for money, not “love of the game.”
I am done with the NCAA.