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Greed is good. Now, it seems, it’s legal.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared on BASN on October 22, 2011. But, we, at Blackathlete.net felt it was worth re-printing, especially after the Johnny Manziel scandal.
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)—Gordon Gekko famously said in the movie Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps that “Greed is good. Now, it seems, it’s legal.”
And in this BRAVE NEW WORLD, the bankers have become the new bank robbers. Universities operate like corporations. And coaches make decisions like CEOs. The need for excess wealth has become a major factor behind college athletics, especially in football.
Now, hundred dollar hand-shakes, million dollar meetings, and billion dollar bowl games dominate the headlines more than touchdowns and homecomings. The integrity of the game is gone.
Plus, the evolutionary concept of survival of the fittest is the new business model. And since recruitment is the foundation of college football, national television exposure and multi-million dollar television contracts have become top priority.
Many people blame the University of Texas and their Longhorn Network for starting this mess, but this has been going on for years. Now everybody is jocking for position and making business moves as college football expands beyond its borders.
Consider the recent trend in college football, where conferences are merging like banks in order to produce super conferences. The arrangement and alignments of these new conferences have nothing to do with geography, academics, scholarships, sportsmanship or school pride. These new conferences are being designed to generate mega-bucks.
“With all the conference realignments, universities are needy to do what’s best for them.” said Texas head football coach Mack Brown, who recently signed a $5.1 million contract, which is the second highest in college football.
“We have to make money. I’ve been an athletic director. Coaches are making money. Facilities are growing at each school. Programs are growing. So there’s no way athletic directors and presidents can look at these situations without considering the financial side of it.”
Yes, it is purely about cash because college football is big business.
Plus, these young muscle-bound athletes fund the operation.
As a result, I return to the wisdom of Gordon Gekko once again, who said, “It’s all about bucks (money) kid, the rest is conversation. It is a zero sum net game. Somebody wins; somebody loses.”
Yes, this is the God honest truth.
To borrow from Charlie Sheen, who played the character Bud Fox in the original Wall Street, universities are “Winning!” while the athletes remain broke and college coaches get cuddled with million dollar contracts and bowl game bonuses.
Yes, money is the driving force behind these so-called amateur games of competition.
Let’s stop living in denial.
With the current corruption that continues to spread like cancer throughout college sports, we, however, can’t play race blind politics.
College sports, in effect, has grown to become one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in America.
Bernie Madoff, in fact, would be extremely proud of the NCAA.
Because every shrewd capitalist knows that “the mother of all evil is speculation.”
By definition, speculation means engaging in a risky business venture on the chance making a huge profit.
And without a doubt, the NCAA has taken its risky business model and made billions of dollars off the blood, backs, and bodies of these young athletes.
But without fear, we now must name the villains and the victims of this system despite the victories.
Why? Because this current system of exploitation by the NCAA is failing and eventually its bubble will violently burst.
This Ponzi scheme operating by the NCAA can be exposed once sports reporters decide to stop dumbing-down athletes and start educating them about the game behind the game.
This, however, will be a difficult task because most athletes are still blinded by the spot light of playing on national television and possibly living out their dreams of playing in the NFL.
Therefore, we must dim the light so they can see the picture much clearer.
Because even though the NCAA continues their unwavering argument of false scarcity, they are really operating from a space of excess abundance.
The crisis in collegiate athletics, in fact, is a crisis of distribution.
In other words, if they learn to share, we could all live in prosperity.
We could call this monumental event the DAY of OUTRAGE, which athletes all over the country would spontaneously take off their shoulder pads and walk-off the field during the college bowl series.
Hopefully, this protest will cause a domino effect.
Next, during the NCAA basketball tournament, another protest will be sparked, which will be brilliantly named a MARCH ON MADNESS.
With that said, we return to the wisdom of Gordon Gekko, who said “Money is not the primary asset in life. Time is. ”
Therefore, we pray that the NCAA’s time of exploiting athletes will come to an abrupt end.
Power to the players, because the time is now.
Eric D.Graham is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies. Currently, he is the Editor and Chief of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org