Posts Tagged ‘Football’

While attending the NCAA conference panel discussion about the student athlete experience I was fortunate to capture on video Michigan State all-conference QB discussing the hardships faced by major college football players in relation to obtaining a meaningful education while competing at the highest level. Take a listen for yourself from Wednesday January 11, 2012 event


“Damario dont you ever forget that what you do in the dark will someday, someway come to the light” This was a lesson that my grandma would drill into my head time and time again.  Vernice “Mama” Brown made it clear that I understood that God and the University had a way of catching up and balancing things out.  This is the lesson that we all should learn from Yale Universities coach Tom Williams situation. Coach Williams was forced to resign because it came to the “light” that he was not ever a finalist for the one of the most pretigious academic awards–The Rhodes Scholarship–in the world as he claimed on his resume.  It was also discovered  and he had to admit that he had not spent time with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers as a free agent as he had previously stated in media interviews.

This is sad because by all reports Coach Williams was very accomplished person (played and graduated from Standford under the great Bill Walsh), a great leader, teacher, and role model for his team, and good coach that was turning around the Yale program.  Additionally, I doubt very seriously that either misrepresentation actually was a deciding factor for Yale hiring him as their football coach.  I sincerely hope he is able to rebound from this, continue his coaching career, and, most importantly, learn from this experience.  I know have.

The economic reality is that every year Big Time D-1 football and basketball programs continue to earn more and more revenue.   Without a doubt, the more the revenue increases, the more egregious the exploitation of the on-field participants becomes.  Worse as the universities and the NCAA continue to reap  increased revenue (in 2008  the NCAA’s March Madness  alone brought the NCAA $636.2 million in revenue in 2008.).  The so-called student athletes whose labor generates the billions of dollars in revenue continue to get poorer and poorer.

In fact according to the seminal study “The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sports” (Huma and Staurowsky) the average D-1 “full ride scholarship” student-athletes actually owe $3222.00 annually to the university to their university.   In fact, Huma and Staurowsky further explained that 85% on D-1 “full scholarship” student-athletes live below the U.S. poverty line.  For those athletes that actually stay off campus the numbers actually increases to 86%” that have the so-called “full ride scholarships.”  C’mon, how can 8 out 10 student-athletes live below the poverty line, while the average D-1 football and basketball coach easily makes more than 1 million dollars!

How does the NCAA respond to this fact of poverty and average $3220.00 annual scholarship deficit?  The NCAA authorizes universities to provide scholarship athletes up to $2000.00 additional dollars a year to cover the $3222.00  average deficit. This so-called reform is a joke and  absurdly stupid on two fronts: 1) it does not cover the known deficit; and 2) the additional $2000.00 is optional at the Universities discretion.  In other words, the NCAA ha made it clear the that the sharecropping punk-feast system is still in play for Universities (although i believe that most BCS schools would gladly pay their players just compensation, but that’s for another time to discuss) and the NCAA

The good news is the veil of secrecy is rapidly being stripped away from the NCAA’s oppressive and exploitative system, and just like every other oppressive regime it will have to substantially  reform or be swept away completely.