Monday, July 16, 2012

NCAA: From Hypocrisy To Revulsion To Outrage

In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a number of things that should take any college sports fan from hypocrisy to revulsion to outrage.

We learned from USA Today that Mark Emmert is making 40% more than his predecessor, Miles Brand.  Good for Mark. We all love America, apple pie, the flag, and of course, our beloved college sports teams.  We also learned that the NCAA national championship game will be auctioned off to the highest bidding city, which, of course, will generate an estimated additional $155 million in revenue. Finally, we have seen the new EA Sports commercials that allow you to place former Heisman trophy winners on any team in the new game.  Even more money for the NCAA.  You think EA is paying those Heisman trophy winners?  You think they would pay current players or set the money in trust for those players if the NCAA would let them?  You bet they would!

It is a given that the NCAA is synonymous with the term hypocrisy.  It is repulsive that Emmert gets to play king and live large on the backs of college athletes that can't get royalties from the use of their images sold off to the highest bidders by Emmert and his buddies behind the farce called "student athlete", a term of art manufactured by the NCAA.  I wonder if Mr. Bigshot Emmert would have the same opinion if he traded places with Tyrone Prothro for a day, but that is a discussion that has taken place for years.

No, today it is about OUTRAGE, NCAA style.

Ok, here is how it goes.  There is a guy at Penn State.  Got two last names--Graham Spanier.  He likes being a big shot.  He likes to play the Penn State card.  You know the one---we are different.  We do things the right way.  We are not like the SEC.  Same stuff we have been hearing for 150 years.

He is the ultimate NCAA  hall monitor.  He chaired the Board of Directors of the NCAA, chaired the BCS oversight committee and was on the high-level NCAA management council.  He is that nameless, faceless  bureaucrat that we despise and who writes the rules while flying on a private jet somewhere unaware of what is happening on the ground below. As Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports describes him, he is the model of self-interest, distorted ethics and misplaced authority.

He railed against reforms that were designed to assist athletes.  His most recent push was for stricter admissions standards that coaching and advocacy groups say will hurt kids from poor performing high schools.

He hammered Curtis Ennis, running back for Penn State.  He declared him ineligible, banned him from Penn State and was publicly shamed by Mr. Two Last Names.  For what?  A new suit he got from an agent.   "He fooled around with the integrity of the university" and "I won't stand for that" Spanier was quoted at the time.  Want us to apply that same standard to you after what has come to light, Mr. Two Last Names?

Don't get me wrong, I am not condoning what Ennis did, but lets compare it to Mr. Two Last Names, who was running a Ted Haggard illusion!

In December of 1997, Spanier learned that Sandusky had been accused of molesting a young boy while showering with him in the Penn State locker room.  Spanier didn't report it because that would not be the "humane" thing to do!  He covered it up.  He wanted to protect his name, the Penn State name, and his Marie Antoinette lifestyle.  We know how it ended for her.  I bet there are some mothers in Happy Valley who think it would end that way for you, Mr. Two Last Names!

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