Posted on 13-10-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

In the aftermath of the Reggie Bush scandal that cost him the Heisman trophy and placed USC on probation, Alabama head coach Nick Saban bloviated about the “evil” agents victimizing his players and even called them pimps (wonder what a football coach who makes millions of dollars while steering his unpaid players to basket weaving degrees should be called).  The head coach of a school in Austin started politicking (unsuccessfully) for Bush’s revoked Heisman to be returned to his own former quarterback, Vince Young, who was the runner up to Bush.  This lends credit to a laughable assertion by college sports coaches today, that their own players are clean.  Bush’s primary sin was the brazenness with which he got paid. Yet a simple perusal of the cars that star players drive around campus should end that delusion.  Former agent Josh Luchs ripped back the veil on this issue this week by asserting that he repeatedly paid players (and so did other agents) during his career.

College football and basketball are major cash cows for the TV networks, colleges and coaches.  The NFL, NBA (and even the WNBA) get a free minor league system.  Yet the indentured servants who make it all happen do not get paid and cannot even profit from their own likenesses, as Georgia wide receiver A. J. Green discovered this year.  Coaches often steer them into majors that do not have any career value.  They cannot transfer without sitting out for a year (no such restriction on coaches).  Coaches can strip their scholarships for any reason and at any time (this most frequently happens when coaches oversign prospects or desperate assholes like Steve Spurrier try to make room on their roster, while Alabama’s shady Nick Saban puts healthy players on medical scholarships – most of these examples are from the Southeastern Conference for a reason).

The system stinks.  A more honest system would pay these players or tell the NFL or the NBA to create true minor leagues and stop discriminating against 18 year olds – who can drive, go to war, vote and work in almost every other profession but cannot be drafted by these leagues (the NFL rule requires players to have passed 3 years since high school, so unless you are Doogie Howser an 18 year old cannot be drafted).  Somehow I doubt that the well being of players will trump all the vested interests in their way.  The fraud of amateur sports will be around for a long time.

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