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Politics of Corruption: Taking a closer look a college sports
With the recent scandal involving Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel still fresh in our minds and the current scandal involving UNC’s Rashard McCants, we, at BlackAthlete.com, felt it was necessary to re-publish this excellent article, especially during March Madness, where recently, President Obama said, “What does frustrate me is where I see coaches getting paid millions of dollars, athletic directors getting paid millions of dollars, the NCAA making huge amounts of money, and then some kid gets a tattoo or gets a free use of a car and suddenly they’re banished,” he said. “That’s not fair.”
The government of the United States should investigate the BCS and the NCAA like it was the MOB. It should infiltrate it as if it was a Mega Church full of prosperity pimps or a drug cartel.
Why? Because according to certain reports, a university like THE OHIO STATE can make millions of dollars a year while an athlete, like Terrelle Pryor “shamefully” makes $40,000 from signing his autograph on a few sports items, is criminalized and vilified.
While pondering that scenario, one must conclude that the NCAA is a bunch of white collar criminals.
They are, in fact, no different from these corporate CEOs, who make millions of dollars off of cheap labor in “so-called” third world countries. But for some odd reason, the media focuses its attention on punishing those, who commit blue collar “crimes.”
The Blame Game
Therefore, they accuse Reggie Bush rather than USC for the problem.
They blame Cam Newton instead of Mississippi State for the problem.
They punish Terrelle Pryor instead of Ohio State for the problem.
As a result, in the end, they bailout the universities instead of the players like President Obama bailed out the bankers on Wall Street. This is similar to the War on Drugs in the USA, where they lock up petty street hustlers or the small time drug users instead of arresting the big-time drug kingpins.
Former Ohio State (RB) Maurice Clarett confirmed this recently on the Dan Patrick Show when he said, “It’s not a Terrelle Pryor problem. It’s not a Jim Tressel problem, it’s a culture….” ‘
Clarett was correct.
The problem begins and ends with a culture that has been corrupt from the top down, and not from the bottom up.
A System of Pimps and Hoes
To prove this point, recently South Carolina Gamecocks football head coach Steve Spurrier offered a payment proposal, where the coaches would pay the players $300 a game out of their own pockets.
But many sports analysts felt that Spurrier’s proposal to pay players was simply a clever recruiting tool for South Carolina and the SEC. “A bunch of us coaches felt so strongly about it that we would be willing to pay it–70 guys 300 bucks a game.”
“This is only $21,000 a game. I doubt it will get passed, but as coaches in the SEC, we make all the money, as do universities, and television. And we need to get more to our players….” said Spurrier, who makes $2.5 million a year not including other bonuses.
If this ain’t a pimp-move, I don’t know what is. The Fear of Socialism in Sports Spurrier’s proposal to pay players, in effect, had a few shrewd capitalists feeling as if he was practicing some weird form of Socialism.
But did Spurrier really want to “share the wealth” like President Obama suggested during his 2008 campaign? According to NCAA President Mark Emmert, Spurrier’s payment proposal would destroy the “sacredness” of college athletics.
“I think paying players by game doesn’t make any sense to me at all.” Emmert said.
“Are you going to pay them for every game they go to, are you going to pay them for women’s volleyball, and why $300, why not $600, why not $1000. If you are just paying them for a game why not $3,000?” he scolded. “Where do you set that number and why do you set that number? That’s converting student-athletes into employees and I’m adamantly opposed to that and I think that would be the death of intercollegiate athletics.”
Despite Emmert’s disapproval of paying college athletes, he can’t deny the fact that college sports is a big business.
College athletics is a Big Business.
How big a business is it?
According to the dailybeast.com, during the 20 day basketball extravaganza known as March Madness, the NCAA makes $185 million on corporate sponsorships plus $300 million off of NCAA merchadise sales, while $770 million is spend on TV license fees, $613.8 million on television advertisement, and $7.5 million on beer sells.
Seeing those numbers, there is no question, college athletics is a big business.
And to understand the game, just like politics, one must follow the money.
Why? Because there is a Politics of Corruption running college sports.
What do I mean by a politics of corruption? When you look at the word politics, the first part of the word “poli” which means many.
And the last part of the word is tics, which means a bloodsucker.
Therefore, by definition the term politics means “many bloodsuckers.”
And without a doubt, we all have to agree that the NCAA is sucking the life force of these young college athletes by collecting billions of dollars annually off of their blood, sweat, and tears.
Even though we know that this form of economic exploitation is wrong, the philosophy of college sports of see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil protects this evil empire.
Why? Because there is a code of silence that governs the game.
For instance, you know the old saying, “What happens in Vegas; Stays in Vegas.”
Well, that phrase is a little different in college sports.
The motto for many universities: is football rules or basketball rules.
Therefore, there are no rules.
Why? Because, football is the cash cow.
And you are not going to kill the holy cow, if it is worshipped and viewed as being sacred by the people in order to feed a few hungry athletes hamburgers for dinner. But this golden calf must be destroyed just like Moses, the Lawgiver, did in the Bible….
In other words, there must be some new laws or commandments to govern this growing entity.
According to Jesse Jackson, of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Capitalism only works if they are checks and balances.
Well, if it is true for Capitalism, it is true for the NCAA.
But this will be a difficult task, because greed drives both of these institutions.
And in a world, where we worship the rich and despise the poor, the rich will always get richer.
Not surprisingly, the NCAA is a microcosm of the macrocosm.
In other words, it is a capitalistic system based off of exploitation, where profit over the people is the law of the land.
Or should I say, profit over the players is the law of the field or the court.
But now this capitalistic system is slowly collapsing, as more universities are being investigated.
And with each investigation, more scandals are surfacing.
Why? Because the NCAA is not a democracy.
It is not governed of, for, and by the people or the players.
It is a plutocracy.
A plutocracy means ruled for the rich by the rich.
And a plutocracy’s only purpose is to protect the wealth of the rich.
Therefore, the biggest threat to a plutocracy is for the peasants or the players to revolt against the system.
The sense of rebellion can be seen with the new “one and done” phenomenon occurring in college basketball. But let’s remember the famous words of Frederick Douglas, who said “Power concedes nothing without demand Therefore, maybe all college athletes should unite, organize and boycott the NCAA and create and articulate a list of demands.
This type of athletic alliance could spark a revolution in college sports like none other and potentially change the way the game is played.
If this happens, then, and only then, will the ball truly be in the hands of the players.
If this doesn’t happen, college athletes will continue to be exploited while the rich get richer and richer.
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 Managing Editor at BASN, where his articles appear daily, along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.”Graham can be reached at email@example.com