Teamwork 👟

LDTB, all day every day 💗

I miss college, and I miss my teammates, and I miss the adrenaline of leaving it all on the cross country course. I don’t miss spandex that rose up CONSTANTLY, but hey, it’s all part of the cross country runner aesthetic. 


Should have posted this earlier this week. Yes, I do pay attention to the NCAA Tournament, obviously. But don’t think I’m unaware of the complete bullshite that bubbles to the surface like unto a geyser each March. John Oliver lays it down, hard, and good for him. This is one of the best segments I’ve ever seen of his programme (admittedly I have to catch these on YouTube … no HBO).
So I wonder what will come of this
A proposed bill to bring "actual accountability" to the National Collegiate Athletics Association could give the federal government a role in reshaping the way the NCAA treats college athletes.

The bill’s authors are Reps. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), John Katko (R-NY), and Bobby Rush (D-IL). Among other provisions, it …

… calls for the creation of a presidential commission on intercollegiate athletics that would analyse the diminishing role of athletes’ academics in major college sports, the lack of health and safety precautions for athletes, and the ever-growing finances of the NCAA. The commission could then make reform recommendations to Congress and the White House.

I tend to think the “ever growing finances of the NCAA” is the most important thing to look at. The “revenue sports” – that is to say, football and, often, men’s basketball – are the most popular and generate the most revenue for the NCAA and for its institutions. And with that huge amount of money comes huge problems, as we’ve seen for years (SMU in the 1980s comes to mind. On Netflix, watch the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Pony Exce$$ for a good going-over of the SMU scandal).

Whether some individuals like it or not, college sports aren’t going away, but I can remember when it wasn’t the bloated monolith it was today. And remember when you ruminate upon how much money it makes, the NCAA is a tax-exempt organisation. Even the professional National Football League (another bloated monolith) is voluntarily giving up its tax-exempt status.

I think that ruling of College athletes being seen as employees will destroy collegiate sports altogether. Colleges will eventually get rid of their sports since students want to unionize.

What should be done though is having the ban of receiving outside funds lifted. As well as giving college players some type of incentive not based on their individual performance, but mainly the revenue being brought into that school from that particular sport.

You got College coaches with $5+ million dollar contracts and Nike deals, but yet the average college athletes barely have enough money to grab something from McDonald’s.

College Football Playoff

The new College Football Playoff system has gotten plenty of media coverage over the past few years leading up to it.  In the past, the top 2 teams would play for the BCS National Championship whereas this year there will be 4 teams playing in a semi-final format to decide the champion. After watching the first half of the season, we (fans) can already see the advantages. Perennial powerhouses Alabama, Auburn, Oregon, Oklahoma, Georgia have all lost one game this season.

In the past, this almost guaranteed an absence from the title game.  Despite the loss, the school, fans and players still have the most important thing for sports – hope.  Games become more exciting, people continue to flock to the stadium knowing that there team has a shot to get in the playoff.  Hope sells tickets, hope gets the best possible product on the field even with a loss.  Not saying that when a team lost a game in the past, they would completely shut down for the season but there is a natural deflation of a fan base when title aspiration vanish within a few weeks.

The playoff is great for the sport, the players and the fans.  You can honestly make a case that 15-20 teams are still in the hunt to play in the 4-team playoff and that’s something we would have said last season.  It would have already been narrowed down to 5 or so.  The second half of the NCAA Football season will provide more clarity on who will play for the title in January, but for now, let’s just enjoy the ride.

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Content Advisory: Sports -- Money Ends College Sport's Oldest Rivalries (NPR)

Thanks conference realignment and big money that has in many ways spoiled college sports. You bastards.

It hadn’t occurred to me that yesterday’s basketball game between Kansas and Missouri was its last as Big 12 rivals. Mizzou is moving into the Southeastern Conference next season, while Kansas is staying in the Big 12.

Now I wish I had seen the game.

Although: I don’t see why this historical (on many levels) rivalry cannot continue with out of conference meetings, which are the majority of early-season college basketball games (and early-season football games too, but basketball season is longer).

NCAA College Sports Oligopoly

NCAA College Sports Oligopoly

The obsession over sports, long analyzed as half-crazed, defies logical explanation. Even so, it is undeniable that organized athletics is big business. This standard certainly applies to professional leagues, but often it is overlooked just how much money is involved in “so called” amateur games at the college level.A Brief History of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Role in…

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Oh man, it's really happening [Content Advisory: Sports]

Baltimore Sun: Maryland’s application for admission to the Big 10 Conference approved.

Another post, from Rob Dauster at NBC Sports, making the rounds today has it that this could be another step towards four superconferences and posits this comment:

You know, I really, really hate writing about this stuff. It sickens me. So much tradition simply evaporates as these schools chase every penny possible. I’ll leave you with this block quote, because it sums it up about as well as I ever could:

Is there anything more sickening than watching almost EVERYONE associated with college sports, from the media to the athletic directors to the school presidents, try and convince the world this industry — and that’s what it is — is about college kids and a good education when, at every turn, they literally chase every single penny they can?

Of course, collegiate sports isn’t the only aspect in which colleges and universities are trying to “chase every penny.” As long as state funding of public higher education remains stagnant in places, more and more universities rely on corporations and/or wealthy donors, and the infusion of certain values into higher education that run counter to the very idea of what a “liberal arts” education is designed to be: To make citisens.

Whether anyone likes it or not, the recognition of an institution among most people is through its athletic identity. The overemphasis of one aspect (athletics) over the other (academics) help lead to things like what happened at Penn State, where I think people forgot that PSU is a fine academic institution where the power of athletics was utterly and on many levels abused in a distasteful way.

Every time a school plays a football or basketball game on television, it’s a way of publicity for the school. Every time a school gets national TV for a big game on ABC/ESPN or Fox, they run an advert for the institution during the game (usually after halftime on broadcasts), usually extolling that school’s academics and student life. It seems like the NCAA’s cop-out way of trying to prove that they’re still all about amateur sports and the purity thereof (ha ha), but it’s still necessary to me because there’s still more to a big college or university than its athletics identity.

And even here, the balance is still woefully shifted towards the big schools. We rarely if ever see NCAA Division II or Division III schools on national television (maybe on ESPNU, which isn’t widely available and is a disappointing channel anyway), we almost NEVER see NAIA schools (the NAIA is the other major oversight body for intercollegiate athletics, mostly populated by small schools. In Oklahoma, Langston, OCU and USAO compete in the NAIA).

Conference realignment – mostly the destruction of traditional rivalries (in Maryland’s case, against Virginia, UNC, and Duke) – makes fans hurl, but unfortunately it’s become just ONE aspect of how what some view as a distraction has become paramount when money is involved (and lots of it).