Friday, July 23, 2010

NCAA: It's Time to Take a Look at Yourself...

I'm not sure I believe a college athlete should have to provide receipts for a trip he/she took to the NCAA. I don't have to provide that kind of evidence unless I'm writing an expense off on my income tax report. I frankly don't want to keep receipts other than to reconcile my credit card statement. Alabama's Mark Ingram recently (May) took a trip to Washington to attend a party of NFL draftees. Crimson Tide compliance officials contacted the NCAA before Ingram attended the party to see if it would be a violation of any of the outlandish rules. 'Bama was told he would have to provide proof that he paid his own way to the extravaganza. Why? If an agent paid for the trip, it doesn't affect his situation at Alabama. Heck, he's already there. Recruiting isn't involved. If another outside party paid for the trip, so what? I would love for someone to pay my son's expenses to an out-of state party. I would thank them and tell my son to have a great time. Look, colleges will never be able to contain the activities of agents. They would have to have a task force set up for that. Neither can they stop alumni and boosters from providing those "hundred dollar handshakes". Nor can they babysit their student athletes 24/7. Everyone needs to get real about this. College football is big business. If you don't think so, just look at the numbers regarding the top 25 NCAA programs. Take a look at coach's salaries. Take a look at television contracts. Take a look at donations and ticket prices. There is money at every turn for the high profile Division I schools. Remember, that money is generated by the success of their programs, and the success is due to the performance of its athletes. Yet athletes receive no monetary stiffen. I realize a fully paid scholarship is a big deal that is worth more than a lot of money. However, a 'regular' college student has the time and opportunity to pursue a part-time job. No so for a 'jock', because intercollegiate athletics are a year round endeavor. Let 'em take a trip. Let 'em go to a party. They deserve to exercise that freedom without an entity like the NCAA looking over their shoulder all the time. The NCAA has everyone all up in arms over an agent's party in Miami. It's the agent they should be targeting, not the kids. Some of the rules of the governing body are legitimate and warranted. Yet many others are ridiculous, outdated , and unnecessary. It is past time for the NCAA to take a look at itself before it continues to look at everyone else.

No comments: