Ridiculing the NCAA

My old friend Gary Pillar at Case-Western Reserve University forwarded me a hilarious “news story” regarding the NCAA’s investigation of the Butler basketball program.

Yes, the NCAA alleges that Butler offered its basketball players illegal benefits. They actually offered them a good education. In fact, several Butler basketball players were seen with books in their hands, which is against NCAA rules.

That’s the state of the NCAA and the absurd expression, “Student Athlete,” which everyone knows is a sham. The NCAA has become a target because of the small percentage of athletes who spend a year or two in college and then scram for the pros. But these are the headliners, the stars, the poster boys. College sports are identified by them. Actually, most athletes stay in school for as long as they can because only a tiny fraction are good enough to draw a paycheck as professional athletes. Ironically, it’s the best players who give the NCAA a bad name.

I’ve heard the allegation that the pro leagues are responsible for luring players out of college after a year or two.

That’s pointing fingers in the wrong direction.

The colleges should adopt a policy that only juniors and seniors are eligible for varsity sports. Freshmen and sophomores could actually play the role of student athletes on JV teams. That takes care of the “one and done” guys who jump to the pros after a year. They would actually have to attend classes for two years. Of course, we’re assuming that the colleges would enforce some rules about attending classes. Some honesty would be involved. I may be making this too hard.

This isn’t a radical thought. Freshmen were not always eligible for varsity sports. Freshman eligibility wasn’t adopted until long after I got out of school.

As Bobby Knight once said, college isn’t for everyone.

Maybe I’m out of my mind to even bring this up.

That’s all. Signing off.

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