Joe Ovies

Does the road end here for current collegiate model?

Posted April 5, 2014

The NCAA makes $1 billion off of its basketball tournament thanks to "corporate champions" and a fat television contract.

The coaches receive millions in compensation and are awarded bonuses for advancing deeper into the postseason. The cash seems to flow everywhere, except into the pockets of the student-athletes this entire enterprise is built upon.

None of this is new, yet so many think-pieces about the state of college sports treat this reality like a sudden revelation.

USA Today has published coaching salaries for years, but they never added context to those numbers or used them to push a larger narrative until now. Coaches like John Calipari having incentives in their contract for Final Four appearances is standard operating procedure, except now it's a headline-worthy reminder of how the players didn't get a dime for the same accomplishment.

Look, I get it. The combination of the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit, an antitrust lawsuit from attorney Jeffery Kessler and Northwestern players attempting to unionize have helped turned the NCAA into a pinata. It's also made plenty of us, fans and media, cynical about the spectacle taking place Saturday and Monday inside Jerry Jones' sports palace.

We're at a point where calling the NCAA a "scam" has lost its punch. If it isn't obvious to everyone by now that college sports needs to be rebooted, it's probably best to stop belaboring the idea and move on.

It's why I'm over being cynical and find myself more intrigued by what's going to happen next for the NCAA. With change inevitable, the only questions remaining are how much of the current collegiate model will be washed away and how long it will take for the effects of outside disruption to kick in.

I'm also curious as to why we're in the middle of this sea change. To paraphrase the Joker from "The Dark Knight," change, as you know, is a lot like gravity, all it takes is a little push. So what was the push?

The influx of money and a countless number of bad headlines for the NCAA are certainly factors, but I believe Johnny Manziel was the ultimate harbinger of this shift in thinking.

Yes, Johnny Football.

Players have run afoul of NCAA rules before, and too many of them were chastised for taking advantage of their status as "privileged athlete." However, Manziel's situation at Texas A&M was too absurd for the typical intellectual dishonesty that accompanies these scandals.

How was it an affront to the purity of college sports for its highest profile athlete to make money off his name while his school made millions in donations and sold T-shirts with a winking nod?

Everyone saw the hustle for what it was, and nothing has been the same since.

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  • StunGunn Apr 9, 9:04 a.m.

    Hate to be cynical but joe oblivious is a cynical kind of guy.

    — Posted by JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE

    Joe likes to make fun of those who get all worked up, but he's the one throwing the little darts... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    unfortunately that is correct, most sport talk show host try to turn their show into a springer... View More

    — Posted by JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE

    You forgot to mention the beautiful women and super models, which get mentioned almost as many times as being a lawyer, and how his show is heard ALL over North Carolina and how he has brought the breaking ACC news on his show.

  • JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE Apr 8, 9:17 a.m.

    Hate to be cynical but joe oblivious is a cynical kind of guy.

    — Posted by JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE

    Joe likes to make fun of those who get all worked up, but he's the one throwing the little darts... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    unfortunately that is correct, most sport talk show host try to turn their show into a springer type show.
    They do not have the ability to intelligently talk about sports so they deflect.
    It would really be nice to have a sports talk theme like the old Gary Dorenburg sports line on wptf years ago. Now you got the clowns in the afternoon and The dud in the afternoon that spends half his show explaining why is smarter than you,knows more than you and mention a few 100 times about being a lawyer.

  • Hammerhead Apr 7, 10:00 a.m.

    Hate to be cynical but joe oblivious is a cynical kind of guy.

    — Posted by JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE

    Joe likes to make fun of those who get all worked up, but he's the one throwing the little darts just to get the reaction.

  • Hammerhead Apr 6, 8:55 p.m.

    College athletes are compensated by receiving an opportunity to get a degree and a platform to... View More

    — Posted by JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE

    I'm still working for "The Man". My work makes others very rich and I am rewarded with a nice salary and benefits. That's the way things work most often.

  • JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE Apr 6, 2:50 p.m.

    Basketball needs to adopt the baseball model. That is you can either go pro right out of high... View More

    — Posted by natsfan1965

    ditto-- go pro or just say no im going to school

  • natsfan1965 Apr 5, 10:46 p.m.

    Basketball needs to adopt the baseball model. That is you can either go pro right out of high school or if you go to college, you must stay for 3 years. I feel players already are paid in that they have the chance to go to college for FREE and have a platform to show and improve their skills for the next level

  • JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE Apr 5, 9:03 p.m.

    Hate to be cynical but joe oblivious is a cynical kind of guy.

  • JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE Apr 5, 8:53 p.m.

    Look at the salary differential between pro athletes and doctors where is the outrage

  • JACKSON SAWYER REVENGE Apr 5, 8:44 p.m.

    College athletes are compensated by receiving an opportunity to get a degree and a platform to showcase their talent. They are also giving first class coaching. If they dont like it they aren't forced to go to college.

  • Objective Scientist Apr 5, 4:44 p.m.

    I do hope this is the end of the road for the current collegiate model; clearly it isn't... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    Amen.

    — Posted by uBnice

    If we are near the end of the "current collegiate model"... I do NOT want to see the financial ogre/monster as part of any university! Does anyone think that the ridiculous coaches salaries will decrease? What about the even more ridiculous "incentives" that multi-million dollar coaches get for doing the job for which they make those multi-millions? What about the Athletic Directors and all their Associate/Assistant ADs? Salaries for those folks will only increase, not decrease... and then the athletes are also to be paid? And all of that money-making enterprise is part of our educational institutions? It does not "fit", it does not "compute" that a "sports business" of that nature be part of higher education!!! Athletes who are lacking in academic prowess and motivation/desire to be a student should not be admitted - PERIOD! If - IF - athletes are paid, then the athletes should pay their own tuition and pay for the coaches salaries!

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