Just as maddening as it's Stalinistic justice process is the hundreds of millions of dollars the NCAA generates for everyone except, unbelievably, the actual athletes who generate the countless dollars the NCAA swims in - athletes who don't even receive worker's comp protection for their inevitable injuries.
This has been a revealing year for the NCAA, with several of it's top coaches fired for corruption, and the horrifying exposure of criminal sexual assaults on children by coaches. A new book has been written by Pulitizer Prize winning author Taylor Branch, called "The Cartel": Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA". The book is a damning indictment of the NCAA, calling the "amateurism" of college sports "cynical hoaxes, legalistic confections propagated by the universities so they can exploit the skills and fame of young athletes".
Rick Telander writes about the NCAA and the new book.
The BCS championship game will be held Monday night between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama, and it will generate tens of millions of dollars, probably hundreds of millions, for ESPN, the NCAA, advertisers, Las Vegas gamblers, New Orleans vendors, coaches, assistant coaches, athletic directors, assistant athletic directors, apparel companies, sports magazines, newspapers and on and on.
But none for the workers themselves, the stars, the talent we want to see: the players.
Has the college sports exploitation thing been going on a long time?
How about since 1864, when Yale hired a pro coach for its “amateur’’ crew team, setting the tone for winning at all costs? How about 1905, when, as historian Ronald Smith wrote, ‘‘Harvard paid football coach Bill Reid the princely sum of $7,000,’’ which was nearly double the salary of the average professor and almost as much as the school’s president of 36 years, Charles Eliot?
Now, of course, coaches — even some assistants — make more than school presidents.
Oregon’s Chip Kelly, for instance, at $3.8 million, counting bonuses, makes over four times more than the university president and the Oregon school-system president combined.
And that’s nothing compared to LSU’s Les Miles and Alabama’s Nick Saban, who each make $4 million or more and stand to earn bonuses of up to $600,000 for winning the BCS title game.
Again, and always, the players get nothing.
Read more: A Revolting Development Rick Telander
Read more: The Cartel Taylor Branch