Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If 12 was 10 and 6 was 9.

The news coming out of big colleges lately is that many of them are jumping from one athletic conference to another for ... anyone ... money. That's right. Texas is staying put, however, Of course, it's not love of conference or tradition or anything as sappy as that. The good folks at Fox TV are paying the Longhorns somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million per year while still allowing Texas to form its own, all-Longhorn network, an option it probably wouldn't have in the Pac-10... Sweet deal.
I find it odd that the same NCAA that puts schools on probation because they may have paid a student-athlete's rent or bought him a nice dinner could sanction the school making a financial deal with a TV network. It's OK for the school to make the money but not OK for the students.
Not all of the players are going to sign big NFL contracts. Some are actually attending school for an education, and it might be nice to have a decent meal once in a while that you don't have to pay for.
Maybe they can arrange for some of that $20 million to go for improved cafeteria service?
You know that the interests of the NCAA and the conference isn't pure either. How else to explain the fact that the PAC-10 just invited Texas and Oklahoma to join. For you non-sports fans, the "PAC" stands for Pacific. I think even the non-geography students in the crowd know that Texas and Oklahoma are a little east of the Pacific Ocean.
There are a lot of conferences, and they have names like the Big-10, Big-12, Pac-10 and Atlantic 10. They're big on tens. They're big on Big too. A lot of conference names start with Big, as though bigger is better. Strangely, the Big-12 has ten teams and the Big 10 has twelve. But why quibble? These people are college graduates, aren't they?
They wouldn't like it if Alabama's Mark Ingram had formed The Mark Ingram Network and charged people $4 a month to watch streaming videos of all his games. He isn't allowed to earn any money playing for schools that earn millions from his efforts. I suppose the schools think that the education they're providing makes up for the money? That may be true, but smart kids get scholarships too, and they have jobs after school and parents and friends who send them money. When you're an athlete they're called benefactors. When you're a student they're called 'people I borrow money from.'
It reminds me of a concert I attended recently, where alcohol was prohibited on the grounds and the parking area, but you were able to purchase as much as you wanted once you got into the amphitheater. It was only OK when the people in charge were making money off it.
I'll bet the people running the amphitheater are college graduates too.

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