Tuesday, July 24, 2012
"It's All About the Money, Money, Money": Musings on the NCAA and Penn State
I agree with a lot of what Zirin said. I find it interesting that many of the penalties the NCAA are imposing on Penn State will be carried on the back of former student athletes and current and future student-athletes. This, of course, is how the NCAA generally operates. I am an Indiana alum and I still recall how Indiana student-athletes were punished for the sins of one Kelvin Sampson who simply moved on to another job, he is now an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, with only his reputation sullied. It has taken four years for Indiana to get out of the hole that Sampson not Indiana student-athletes or students dug.
In many ways it seems like the NCAA operates as kind of an Tanakh or Old Testament god which issues injunctions from on high which punish previous and future generations of student-athletes for the sins of the coaches and the administration. Don't get me wrong. I am not always opposed to Tanakh justice. I am all for the death penalty at least in one instance. I think it should imposed on the NCAA. We certainly don't need an organisation, that imposes penalties on those who had nothing to do with a crime, the NCAA version of collateral damage, I guess, that pays themselves millions of dollars in salaries, that exploits the images of student athletes without pay for NCAA "profit", that exploits students by allowing colleges to avoid paying those who play football or basketball at NCAA schools while negotiating multimillion dollar media deals which enriches their organisation and themselves, that has some truly looney rules and regulations, which probably violates anti-monopoly laws, and which plays an important role in undermining the real mission of colleges and universities, a liberal arts education. A pox on their house.
Dave Zirin, The NCAA is Seeking Brand Rehabilitation Not Justice in the Penn State Scandal, http://www.thenation.com/blog/169032/dave-zirin-ncaa-seeking-brand-rehabilitation-not-justice-penn-state-scandal
Taylor Branch, "The Shame of College Sports", the Atlantic, October 2011, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/the-shame-of-college-sports/8643/