Archive for July 26th, 2010
It has not been a smooth and quiet summer for the NCAA football associations. But things have been particularly troublesome for the Atlantic Coast Conference. This preseason, the collegiate athletic league has had to deal with realignment rumors and as if that was not enough the investigation by the NCAA and the North Carolina Police Department in regards to agent involvement with players at what is one of the most prestigious universities in the conference.
There has been an extensive investigation in order to establish if two players might have received improper benefits by agents. This situation is not particular to North Carolina, as rumor has it, many other Universities in the South East might have been pushing the envelope in their attempt to recruit the finest players available. The topic has quickly become the hot topic among sports fans and college news media across the nation.
Yes, it is football. Yes, these are college students who happen to play football, or Basketball, or any other sport for that matter. These are athletes who have managed to work their way into some of the finest universities in the world by representing their Alma Mater in good old sportsmanship. But that is as far from reality as it gets. College football is and has been anything but an academic issue. This is a sport and why not, a multimillion-dollar franchise that exposes to the North American public the future stars of the NFL.
It really doesn’t matter that much if your favorite quarterback is studying arts or any random major or if he is working his way up to a degree on finance or economics in an Ivy League School. All it really matters is how many passes can he complete, how many plays and ultimately touchdowns can these players compete in a game, in a season. At the end, it is more about the players who will go ahead and make it into the professional leagues, not so much about the other players who after college simply move on with their new careers and afford season tickets at the same venue were some of the selected fellow players will make it as pros.
So it is hard to simply pretend there is no monetary or lets call it irregular offerings and prizes for young athletes to bring their talents to this or that school. Let’s not forget that this means advertising and money for the Universities. For instance, the ACC, has just recently signed an TV-broadcasting package with ESPN for the following 12 years. This is a 1.86 billion-dollar deal. Yes, billion.
So sure, now bring into the equation sponsorships and tickets and resell rights and the big picture becomes clear. Its money, money, dirty money behind it all. But don’t get me wrong here. I don’t think there is nothing wrong with this. The players are getting ready for the multimillion-dollar contract waiting at the end of their college career. They now that this is where they can go out and showcase their stamina, their talent and their courage. And that is what makes it such a fascinating and fast game. These guys know very well that they are here to play football. And make some money out of it.