Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Problem is Greed

(Realizing my post was getting waaaaaay long, and as a gift in the holidays, here is part two of We Taught A Generation to Steal)

The problem is the greed.

That is what the NCAA tried -- kinda pitifully in a combination of class warfare and the uber-fail past regulatory practice (can you say . . . restricted earnings coach lawsuit loss?) -- the past couple of months in the name of [trumpet fanfare!!] COST CONTROLS. It was really trying to legislate equality and restrict greed.

Let's call names. Texas can establish the Longhorn Network because it has a national following thanks to its extremely large enrollment and alumni base. Texas is rich, both in supporters and assets (remember, the Lone Star State for decades was our own American OPEC -- along with Louisiana). The rest of the region can look upon that as exactly what it was -- a weapon of sports hegemony.

Don't think so? If a kid grows up playing high profile prep games on the Longhorn Network, you don't think that's a recruiting advantage? If ESPN ever decided to field it's own team, even I could coach that squad to a national title with the talent that would line up to be a part of that. (Hmmmm . . . Maybe that William Harrison dystopian future should reboot with different corporations as the global nexus . . . not The Energy Corporation, but NIKE, et al).

Why is Texas doing that? Because Notre Dame did it before them in 1991. And because the SEC exists today. Oh, let's see . . . that was 1991-92. (Another aside -- if you want to laugh and cry about the current state of leagues, Frank Deford's In with the South, Out with the East is must listening. If I'm the president of Greece, I'd want in the SEC also.)

Come to grips with this: We are in the Entertainment business. Capital E. Business. As in making money.

It takes money to support sports departments. It takes money to promote universities. It takes money to fund scholarships -- academic and athletic. It takes money to pay instructors. It takes money to enrich our local communities with pride and common sense of purpose.

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