“NCAA–Where I Was-What I Experienced”
The Pac 12-Conference is hoping to play a football season, the Virus-Crisis be damned.
But they have another problem brewing, a player insurrection.
Players from each school have signed a declaration, they will opt out of the college football season, unless the Conference office gives them upgrades in benefits to play in 2020.
Part of this has to do with the pathetic NCAA virus testing program, left up to the Universities and the State’s Governors to be the watchdog over the testing protocols.
NCAA President Mark Emmert, who makes 3.5M a year as its leaders, is failing virtually all those college athletes at the 130-Division I football schools, by not creating a mandated nationwide safe-testing program.
But the demands, 17-in all, encompass alot more. It involves grievances over the nation’s racial inequality. Safety on college campuses. Funding of Olympic sports and secondary programs.
It is a big-picture proposal, but not something easily carried out, not in this day of shutdowns and unemployment.
I was a student athlete, a broken down long distance runner and cross country athlete, who got the chance to get a college scholarship, got hurt, never got healthy, and decided to be a student rather than a student athlete.
My son became a small college All American in wrestling, an investment in time, body, mental capacity and physical talents, all the while flying helicopters and graduating with honors in three years time.
But I understand the hours and the commitment it takes to work towards a degree and work towards excelling on the field of play.
I might be in the minority reading the 17-item request the Pac 12-players coalition put in front of the league’s ADs and the Conference Commissioner Larry Scott.
Today’s modern day athlete has so much more to work with in terms of resources.
They get a fully paid college scholarship to whatever school they want to major in. That carries a dollar value of 35-to-50,000 a year based on where you play.
Fully paid room and board, athletic dorms, apartments, and meals available 24-7.
Sports medicine treatment all hours of the day, in-season and out. No longer take an aspirin and call me in the morning.
It is state-of-the-art medical treatment. It stretches from therapy, to surgeries, to intensive rehab. If involves doctors, dentists, GPs, eye specialists, surgeons. The all star player has access to all star medical treatment.
The training facilities are part of college athletics arms race of building spectacular facilities to help the athletes reach success.
Athletes now get a financial cost-of-living stipend , up to 10,000 per year, just installed a year ago, so athletes have money to spend on campus.
There is both in-and-out of season academic tutoring, to guide, direct and help students grow in the classroom, and succeed to stay eligible.
Available too are counseling sessions with specialists to help with ADD, depression, anger management, family issues, drugs, alcohol and relationships with women. No one puts a dollar value on what is a phone call away, but it is huge.
The travel for big time programs is top notch. So are hotel accommodations. Ditto too is the athletes wardrobes, thanks to the sponsorship equipment deals with Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour.
The portfolio of requests also involved a bigger financial cut of revenue to be given to the players and their programs.
The beef that a Clemson or Ohio State coach and AD, make way too much money, may be legitimate.
The same for Larry Scott, the Conference Commissioner, and his 5M a year package.
The quarterback, the point guard, the pole vaulter, the striker in soccer, though, do not deserve a financial cut of the TV monies each school gets.
That money goes to fund the 35-sports Ohio State puts on across the campus. It funds everything mandated via Title IX’s federal guidelines to funding women’s sports too. It funds facility renovation, upkeep, and the myriad support staffs needed to put on Division 1-athletic programs.
In this era of cultural revolt, what happened in the Pac 12 this week seems to be over the line in terms of ‘give me my share-I deserve my share’.
The athletes are taken care of, alot better than in my day. Can more be done, yes probably in socially and culturally directed programs on campus. Not more financial support just to play the game.
In a day and age where Universities are staggered by the loss of research money, plunging enrollments, and cuts to faculties nationwide in the economic collapse, for any athlete to demand more is morally wrong.
Go to class, get lined up for a degree, go play the game, and use the university experience as a launching point for the rest of your life.
To insinuate you are not getting your fair-share right now, seems insulting.