Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Hear Me Out...College athletics and money

Plus NFL Week 2 thoughts

 

September 19, 2019



Last week the California Senate passed a bill that’s going to allow student-athletes to seek out endorsements and make money off their likenesses. It’s a groundbreaking bill that I’m sure has NCAA president Mark Emmett and pals panicked.

If California Governor Gavin Newsome signs the bill it will put the NCAA in a tough position. Do they crack down and basically force out every California school? If they do that you can imagine the lawsuits are going to be flying all over the place. Say what you will about the state of college athletics in California, there are deep-pocketed boosters all over that are passionate about their schools and will fight tooth and nail against the NCAA.

So say all of that happens, the California schools are kicked out of the NCAA and those schools in turn sue the NCAA. The very existence of the NCAA hangs in the balance with those lawsuits, if they win it’s all good and business as usual. But if they lose, it might be a wrap for the NCAA. Because you’d see every state in the nation put forth similar laws on their respective legislative dockets if they hadn’t already. I bet some states would even call emergency sessions to push such a law through. Because by God, there ain’t no way no Californie school gonna get the better of a ‘Bama school in football. Roll Tide!

The NCAA is in a tight spot either way you look at it. Their best course of action is to fight it in the courts and hope they win, but there is that chance they could lose. But say they don’t do anything to “punish” the California schools in the eyes of the schools in the other 49 states, the same scenario as if they lost in the courtroom would unfold.

As a believer in our capitalistic society, I’m all for the players getting paid but I don’t want to see the NCAA destroyed. I see the NCAA as generally a good thing, it’s just broken and run by a group of dishonest dopes. A few fixes here and there, along with cleaning house at the leadership levels, and we’re as good as new.

And I’m not saying that the athletes aren’t well taken care of, of course they’re taken care of, they are the breadwinners for many of these colleges and universities. College football and basketball are billion-dollar industries and cutting the talent out of the profits, feels a lot like thievin’.

As expected, the NCAA has been sending out their surrogates to push back against this California bill. The Danny Kannell’s and Doug Gottlieb’s have been repeating the same tired talking points wherever they can. But my favorite of all those surrogates was ESPN’s Tim Tebow passionate argument on First Take.

Tebow’s argument was full of vigor and zeal, and it’s obvious that college football is near and dear to his heart. Now, was there much logic to his point? No, not particularly, but coming from a guy who had an NFL career completion percentage of 47.9 percent, it’s not surprising he was that far off the mark.

If you haven’t seen the clip, Tebow is against allowing student-athletes to make money off their likeness and capitalizing on their talent because he was fine with being exploited and ipso facto everyone else should be cool with that. And also, his whole point had a real “Animal Farm” feel to it and I expected him to randomly start saying “four legs good, two legs bad!”

The funniest part of his spiel was when he said allowing student-athletes to make money while in college would turn college football into who has the most money. Hilarious, and the fact that he was so serious makes it all the better.

Come on Tebow, ever since college football became the money-making machine that it is today, it’s always been about who has the most money. It’s why parity is non-existent in the sport. It doesn’t mean that money guarantees wins or a national championship but it does help.

Exploitation is exploitation. It’s wrong and it shouldn’t matter if it’s happening to the rich or poor, different races or religions, it should be stopped. This is why I also disagreed with the Atlantic’s Jemele Hill’s idea that the top black athletes in the nation should choose HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) over predominantly white universities. Leaving one school to be exploited by another school doesn’t help anything.

For the record, Hill’s column was being demonized by the alt-right nerds and hardline conservatives but if you do read it. You’ll see how tactful she is in her reasoning and how it’s not an “anti-white” move, that people like Fox’s Lauren Ingram made it out to be. Although it was funny when Ingram got NFL TE Benjamin Watson, an African-America conservative, on her show to help her dump on Hill’s column, only to see him agree with Hill. Just great TV.

I really hope that Newsome signs that bill because it should be an entertaining ride. The NCAA will do everything in their power to hold onto that pie.

NFL WEEK 2 THOUGHTS

THE SAINTS ARE COOKED 

The Saints are done and it’s not because of the Drew Brees injury. They’re done because anytime there’s a bad call, they lose their minds and fall apart. If it wasn’t for the Texans inexplicably playing a soft zone in Week 1, the Saints would have complained about the bad call at the end of the first half in that game too.

If the Saints are going to complain about every call that doesn’t go their way, the season is over. Pack it, up, trade your valuable players for picks and start planning for next season. Bad calls happen, it sucks but you have to get over it.

It’s important to remind the Saints and their fans that

 
 

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