Monday, August 29, 2011

Moneyball


Matt Taibbi rightfully lambastes the hypocrisy inherent in the University of Miami football "scandal":

"Objectively speaking, there’s no logical reason why it should be wrong to pay a star football player who’s helping the University of Miami secure a multimillion-dollar TV deal. But the NCAA says it’s wrong, and its officials even wrote a complex series of rules to back themselves up – and, unbelievably, the entire sportswriting community buys the myth.

When stories like this Shapiro thing come out, about teenagers who are caught making the mistake of actually accepting pay for their labor, every pompous, finger-wagging dimwit asshole in the sportscasting world –- and there are a lot of those -- naturally has to sound the moral alarm."


I went to U.M., and even at the time, when the words "Hurricanes" and "football" were never uttered in the same sentence without the word "dynasty" -- and rarely without the word "assholes" -- I couldn't have really cared less about college football. Not saying I don't love football; I do, actually. NCAA football is just one of those things I've never really allowed myself to become a slave to fretting over one way or the other. That said, is the U.M. scandal honestly all that big a deal? Great, so some criminal gave a bunch of kids a leg-up in the grotesque lifestyle our entire culture has programmed them to strive for and which they were almost sure to become the next arbiters of anyway. Are we really gonna pretend that the greed that drives today's college sports is somehow of a higher moral caliber than the greed that drives professional sports? Jesus, that's a laughable conceit. Talk about misplaced righteous indignation.

Although, I really love Taibbi's take on ESPN blabber-putz Colin Cowherd:

"Cowherd, for whom a jewel-encrusted throne thirty feet high is undoubtedly already being constructed in raging sportscaster blowhard Valhalla, went one further – saying these kids should have been more like Jesus, who after all didn’t mind being poor."

6 comments:

vera lynn said...

ha! I can't stand Colin Cowherd. I love football, but can't stand college football for this very reason. I'll have to go read the whole thing. thanks.

Adrienne Saia said...

Just watched "The U," a film in ESPN's 30 for 30 series, the other night. I think Luther Campbell's tongue-in-cheek interview therein sums up the "so what" attitude on the open secret of D1 pay for play. Jimmy Johnson's pretty entertaining too.

Anonymous said...

I'm an engineering student at a pretty small school. I work my butt off and I'm no lazy kid. I spent over half a decade operating reactors for the Navy before I got a chance to go to school. I know the rewards of effort and I don't fuck around when it comes to my education.

However, there is a kid in my classes that puts me to shame every day. He is a student athlete. For the life of me, I have no clue when this kids sleeps, let alone handles our lab courses that typically take 9 to 12 hours a week (all for 2 credits). His sport is baseball so during the season (which is long as fucking hell), he is constantly on a bus. Game gets rained out? He gets to sit there and wait till the very next day because NCAA requires that rained out games are played with 24 hours. He is basically assured that his "four" year degree will take him six years so that even with a "full" ride, if he wants his degree, he is going to have to pay for the extra two years because he can't handle the usual crazy course load of engineering students.

The "extra" support for student athletes is a fucking joke. Anything beyond the general courses...your on your own. You can't find tutors for classes like ENME 430. He gets the "great" deal of turning his assignments in earlier than everyone when his sports schedule conflicts with classes. Same is true for exams. His coaches? Yeah..he gets told on a regular basis that if he was "serious" about his game, he would change his major to something that would not take as much time (such as "general education"). The kicker...we are a tiny school. He is supposed to get a fucking useless degree so he can spend more time for a sports program that at best...has maybe 6 people show up for games. Our school is hard core about academics and even here...we have assholes pressuring student athletes to cut corners on their education, for the benefit of the college sports team.

Screw any of these assholes judging these kids.

kanye said...

Be more like Jesus?

Well, that would mean a bunch more Hail Mary's, and I was under the impression that Hurricanes aren't all that fond of that particular play.

Michael said...

My favorite dopey blowhard Cowherd line: Bike racing isn't a sport because the bike does half the work. Not an exact quote, but quite close. Think what you want about bike racing as sport... but the bike sure doesn't do half the work.

namron said...

Like many American middle-aged men, I love football. I am sure a significant number of my ancestral demographic in ancient Rome had the same passion for sports and games. They were much more honest about "athletes." They were kept and paid for entertainment, nothing more. I am sure that some catamite (the Roman version of that twit Mike Lupica) tried to defend the gladiator games as some great moral epic and criticized some slave for dying in the arena without a showing of proper respect for the institution.