Blog Entry

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 5:35 pm

In May, Adam Bates received his law degree and master's in Middle Eastern studies from Michigan. In 2007, he got his undergraduate degree in political science at Miami.

Bates, 26, is starting an internship with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., next month. He is a bright young man, very bright.

He also happens to have been a walk-on offensive lineman at the University of Miami from 2003-05. He feels strongly about the hypocrisy of the NCAA and its "amateur athletics."

Bates told me he's been making these arguments for years, but the Miami situation hit home, so he made his feelings known with an impassioned take on his Facebook page Wednesday night.

"I have a hard time stomaching the party line that this is amateur athletics," Bates told me. "It's all about the money. The arm races, the [salaries of] coaches.

"The NCAA doesn't want to deal with this -- if it all. If not for [the media] discovering these situations, the NCAA would still stick its head in the sand. If [the media] sorted through everyone's laundry, they would find the same stuff that Yahoo did at Miami."

Bates' strong view on the so-called "amateur" aspect of college athletics:

"There is an awful lot of righteous indignation floating around college football lately. A man spending the next 20 years of his life in federal prison for fleecing investors out of more than $900 million says he gave some money and benefits to some Miami Hurricanes over the last 10 years. I'm not interested in talking about what did or didn't happen. I'm not interested in confirming or denying the spiteful ramblings of an insecure snitch with an inferiority complex. I'm interested in talking about hypocrisy.

"I want to talk about the hypocrisy of the NCAA and, by extension, its constituent school administrations; the very people who have enriched themselves so shamelessly on the backs of the kids they're soon to righteously delight in punishing.

"First, a little background: I had it easy at the University of Miami, and it often felt like it was too much to bear. I had an easier time in class than most of my teammates, and far less was expected of me on the football field. I went to school on academic money and I played football because I wanted to and because I had played my whole life, not because it was the only way for me to get through school or make a better life for myself and my family. I can't speak about what it's like to be a high profile recruit, an All-American, or a future NFL star and the pressures such statuses entail. But I can tell you this: College football is a grind.

"The NCAA says players put in 20 hours a week. Anybody who has spent any time around a college program knows that 60 is a better number. Then add 12 to 15 hours a week of class on top of that. Seventy-five hours a week, in exchange for a stipend mathematically designed to make your ends almost meet.

"The president of the NCAA makes more than $1 million a year. Any head coach worth his salt is making two or three times that. Talking heads at ESPN/ABC/CBS and the presidents of most major institutions join them in the seven-digit salary club.

"That's what this is really about, and people have to understand that. Why is it a problem for [former Georgia wide receiver] A.J. Green to sell his jersey when the NCAA sells 22 variations of the very same jersey? Why can't [former Ohio State quarterback] Terrelle Pryor get some free ink from a fan? Why don't people react the same way to that as they do to hearing that Peyton Manning is selling phones for Sprint or that Tiger Woods gets paid $100 million to wear Nike gear? What's the difference?

"The difference, as far as I can tell, is that the NCAA has done a wonderful job duping people into believing this multibillion-dollar-a-year industry is pursued for the sake of amateurism. It's a total sham. The coaches aren't amateurs, the administrators aren't amateurs, the corporate sponsors and media companies that make hundreds of millions of dollars a year on the backs of these players aren't amateurs. The only 'amateurs' involved are the guys doing all the work. Pretty nice racket if you can get it.

"The NCAA and ESPN are going to be telling you that some great kids are scumbags because they allegedly broke rules designed to keep them poor and implemented by people making money hand over fist. An ESPN shill in a $5,000 suit is going to ask you to morally condemn the kids who provide the framework for said shill to make enough money to afford that suit because those kids might have taken some free food and drinks. They're going to be called 'cheaters' despite the obvious fact that boat trips don't make you run any faster or hit any harder.

"Oklahoma gives Bob Stoops $3 million a year and nobody blinks. A car dealership in Norman gives [former OU quarterback] Rhett Bomar a couple hundred bucks and everyone wets themselves. Urban Meyer sat on TV this very day, making approximately $1,500 an hour to sit there and flap his lips, and was asked to judge a bunch of 20-year-old kids for allegedly accepting free food and drinks and party invites.

"Is that immense delusion intentional or do people actually not realize the hypocrisy they perpetuate?

"What's that you say? The rules are the rules? I call bull----. When the rules are propagated by the very same people they're designed to benefit, I say the rules must be independently justifiable. What is the justification for saying that A.J. Green can't sell his jersey? That he won't be an 'amateur' anymore? Doesn't the scholarship itself render him no longer an amateur by any objective definition? Doesn't the fact that Georgia spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising itself to A.J. Green render him no longer an amateur? Doesn't he stop being an amateur when UGA promises him that his career at Georgia will net him NFL millions? Doesn't the fact that millions of dollars change hands thanks to the service he provides make him not an amateur?

"Is it because athletes should be treated like other students, lest they not appreciate the 'college experience?' Other kids get to sell their belongings, don't they? They get to go to parties and drink and throw themselves at women, don't they? They get to have jobs and earn their worth, don't they? And other kids don't spend 60 hours a week having their bodies broken or their spring mornings running themselves to death in the dew in the dark.

"It's nonsense. Unmitigated, indefensible nonsense. The players are ‘amateurs' for the simple reason that they're cheaper to employ that way. What is bad about giving a poor kid some money to spend? What is wrong with showing your appreciation for the service someone provides by giving them some benefit of their own? I'm supposed to believe it's wrong because the NCAA says it is?

"These players are worth far more than a free trip to the strip club and a trip around the bay on a yacht. A.J. Green is worth more to the NCAA and the University of Georgia than the cost of his jersey, and Terrelle Pryor is worth more than the value of a tattoo.

"I don't know much about players taking 'illegal benefits' and if I did I wouldn't be snitching about it like a lowlife, but I can tell you this: I hope to the bottom of my soul that every player in America is on the take, because they're getting shafted. The powers that be make too much money this way to ever change, and the rest of the country seems far too committed to delusions, institutional partisanship, and jealousy to see their own glass houses, so take what you can get while you can get it, youngbloods. You earned it."


Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 4:34 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

UM--Interesting that you mention 'perspective'--I certainly thought I provided an unique VIEW  since my uncle taught at UM. But perhaps you missed that.  And I believe it could be said "the win at all costs" mentality was certainly pervasive with your infamous Fab Five and its  money wielding booster.  And since we both have one of the largest stadia and athletic  department budgets in the COUNTRY , your claim of disinterest is perhaps self-serving in light of your six decade recent history.  But to be ignorant of the fact that the cash cow that is UM and OSU football that supports/provides  funds for  over 50 OTHER sports is simply not acknowledging the big picture .  Dont forget the million$ in jerseys and other memorabilia that are sold that add to the coffer$ of these institutions. Coaches are hired and fired on the outcome of the game and I bet the vendors , restaurant owners and alcohol purveyors have a vested interest as well.  Yep,  President Gee made a comment 'tongue in cheek' but someone with your purported education should have understand his faux pas .  As for 'vested interest in this argument'---ONE only has to tally up the # of POSTS to determine who may be MORE so  than the other.  AND while the sun  will rise the next day in the land of the loser but  your claim  of the games unimportance when the TV numbers, $$ and other facts suggest otherwise --it just one mans opinion who perhaps needs a dose of reality that big-time college football is larger than he thinks it is or  what he wants it to be.  No , its NOT as important as my son getting his MBA or my daughter in law getting hooded tomorrow (ironically) but when Mike Hart ,Jake Long and company come back for their senior years expressly for the chance to beat US for once  ( but,  alas they failed ) perhaps you need to understand the fact the GAME and the rivalry is bigger than you.  You can now take your head out of the sand and ... oh... FYI pocket protectors went out in the '90s

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: August 22, 2011 10:00 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Buckeyefan67, your apparent anger and name calling suggest that you are much more invested in this argument than I am. No need to get your blood in a flood.  I didn't say football wasn't important at Michigan.  I said that IN THE LARGER SCHEME Of THINGS football wasn't THAT important.  It is, after all, only a game.  Michigan fans don't live or die by the outcome of the game.  Most of us understand the cyclical nature of winning and know that the winningest team in D1 college football will rise again.  Football is a game I love, but I certainly don't want my team exhibiting a "win at all costs" mentality or the University administration claiming that they hoped the football coach wouldn't fire them. I think that's the way most Michigan fans feel.  Apparently that is not the case for you and some other Buckeye fans.  If that makes you angry, so be it.  And, puh-lease, the Buckeye basketball program's infractions are the reason OSU had to admit in its recent response to the NCAA regarding the football infractions that it is a "repeat offender" in violating NCAA rules (you can read the official OSU response for yourself online).  Finally, I have played organized sports, and I also have a PhD.  I also have some perspective.  Perhaps you should get some.  

Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: August 21, 2011 11:12 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

This isn't about OSU, Michigan, UNC or any other school  Did you read the post?  Adam hit the nail on the head.   The NCAA makes billions and billions on these players every year.  Who really gives a crap if a couple of players get a flight down to a party in Florida.  Did they find "Cocoons" that make them stronger, faster and better football players?  

The NCAA needs to do what the WWF (WWE) finally did. Remember when they finally came out and called themselves Sports Entertainment (meaning wrestling was FAKE)  The NCAA needs to come out and allow the players to live alittle for their hard work.  

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: August 21, 2011 1:43 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

For the record --the Fab Five didnt play football.  really?? ya think??   IF you are an grad of UM(and its getting harder to believe) --it shouldnt be hard to comprehend the parallel of your statement about NCAA infractions and probations in football as it relates to other sports where  YOU have had well documented problems as well.  And again your opinion doesnt hold water IDIOT--especially since OUR rivalry had been voted the #1 in all sports (only changed recently due to YOUR ineptness) , the annual media attention it receives and the recent "game of the century" played just a couple years ago.  BUT i would wager IF you had won that game or any of the past SEVEN --you would be singing a different  tune.  And for further evidence of the importance placed on the game --dont the governors and/or mayors wager on THE GAME?? Isnt there an annual  BLOOD drive  organized between the schools??  and lastly--My uncle taught Physics at  UM and altho  it  was decades ago --he and my dad would attend the games and the stories we were told as youngsters only enhanced the its importance.  So, it appears quite coincidental that your claimed feigned disinterest in the game seems to  correlate only due to the your recent  FAILURES in the  rivalry.  Oh, and dont think to  use the  UM education line--my family goes back four generations of OSU alums (myself included) with more MBAs and PHDs than you have digits . So,  perhaps you are some geek/nerd  that never played organized sports .  Me thinks thats the answer....

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:59 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

As I said, I knew Buckeye fans would find it difficult to understand.  And for the record, the Fab Five didn't play football.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:31 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

UM fan--perhaps we can put it another way.  We have dominated you the last 60 years --and altho I know you lead in the overall series by 13 games --ALL of those were won from 1897-1912--so simple math tells you the last 100 years have been EVEN steven with US dominating the last  SIX  decades.  And dont  play the holier than thou game--your FAB FIVE was a fiasco  almost equal to USC 's.  AND  now you are guaranteeing that no football problems are gonna ever happen again--pleeze get over yourself.  Your program is so far down --see App State and Toledo--and your defense is SO atrocious but you have some  hope that Hoke --your third choice--will be the savior of a once proud program.  Maybe so , maybe no--as his previous record doesnt say he has done it before .  Oh and dont give me this CRAP that football isnt important "in the larger scheme of things " --the mere size of the Big House --says you are an ignoramus.  Now if it were the size of  Boise States 35k  your argument might have had some credence.   BUT it would be better for the rivalry , The BIG TEN  and college football IF you were to become relevant again.  But realistically, that isnt gonna happen overnight --whether you wanna hear it or not.   Lastly, as pointed our previously--our "fame ISNT fleeting" as evidenced by the last 60 years --or the multiple national TITLE games in several sports we have been in  recently.  Where were you ??  I thought so .. .wishing and a hoping

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:19 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Elway, If you read what i wrote I never mentioned money or fighting in my i'm not sure what you're talking about.

Since: Nov 29, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:22 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

The listing of the young man's degrees at the top turned me off to the article from the start.  I also have had enough of the "workers unite" dogma from these revolutionary journalists.  Don't let the Cato institute see the phrases "making money on the backs of" and "What is bad with giving a poor kid some money to spend?".  I realize you are fresh out of the university yourself and this perspective comes unbidden to your mind, but you might want to begin deprogramming yourself before you start your job at the think tank.
  I do agree, however, that the idea of labeling these people amateurs is all together absurd.  Most of these players are mercenaries and have no business at the university other than developing their talents on the playing field.  The main part I disagree with is that these people should be payed to play while at the university.   
   We should make football and basketball at the university amateur again and move the hired guns to a proper developmental league.  The average joe could then join his university team with a far greater frequency and the professionally-minded athlete would have a way of being payed while his body develops to the point where he would be able to join the top tier of his sport. 
  The problem is that once a tick gets under the skin, it is hard to root it out.  The crusaders don't want true change, they simply want a larger share of the pie.  Men's lifestyles are currently financed by the arrangement and those men will fight tooth and nail to keep drawing as much water as they are able from the well.  The crusaders are still able to crowbar in the race issue in a very real legal fashion so we will likely see the workers given some form of greater monetary compensation in the future which will in turn require the formation of a union that will bargain for better working conditions for these workers.  The cycle will continue and the world-burners will rejoice.    

Since: Jul 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:15 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

@JaiJai--Wow!  I thought my hypothetical would be simple enough for people to follow--I guess I was wrong.  Let me hold your hand and see if you can follow.  A lot of reply's have stated that "the rules are the rules" and if you dont like them then dont accept the offer (scholarship).  In my hypothetical, I set up a scenario where the government set a restriction on water consumption (even on water that you collect), even though they are using it frivilously.  Would these people still stand by "the rules are the rules" motto when it adversly effects them, or would they do something against what they feel is unjust?  That's it.  Not about politics at all.  

@ Zane - I heard Jim Kelly saying that he was never offered any money in college, but if he were he probably would have taken it.  Is he a thug too?  When NBA players fight now all I hear is the term thugs thrown out.  I wonder if those same people were saying that when Danny Ainge and Bird and Laimbeer used to fight all of the time?   Are the hockey goons who fight every night, or the NASCAR drivers who are squaring off after every other race thugs too?  Just wonderingWink 

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 1:03 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Riding and having a party on a boat,screwing whores,getting ,rings,cars,plane tickets,etc has nothing to do football,change the rules ....don't break em,these kids just played an idiot for all he was worth and took their team and university down with them,they are no better than the scum that gave them the things they use to be the Catholics vs the convicts,now we all know the convict part was right...thugs

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