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: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:30 pm

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

This isn't about socialism, you pea-brained, tea party moron!!  This is about how students are treated and whether you agree that the current system is broken or whether you love the current system, it has everything to do with fairness to students.  Go blog on a political website if you must spout this crud publicly.

Since: Jul 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:11 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

This just in.  America has adopted socialist economic structure.  Every family no matter the size must only consume only 1 gallon of water a day (for drinking, showering, cleaning, etc).  This is being done to preserve the nations water resources.  So what if you have running water out of your faucet, you must not use more than a gallon. It doesnt matter if you have an elaborate water collection system in your backyard, collecting gallons of rain water.  This must be donated for the "greater good".  After all we gotta protect (and add to when possible) the nations water resources.  And dont you mind if you see "US" watering our grass, filling our swimming pools and having water balloon fights etc..b/c the rules are that YOU, a private citizen must only consume a gallon a day.  Oh.  And if you dont like it, you are free to leave the counrty b/c nobody's forcing you to stay here.  Some of us will say "screw you" I have a family of 5 and we need more water or "screw you" I collect my own water, so I can use more of what I need.  You "rules are rules" types, it is comforting to know that we can rely on you to be good slaves and model socialist citizens and take what we say as gospel! 

Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:11 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

When a person gets on the bus she knows the rules. Whites in front, black in back. No one forced them to take the bus. Nobody held a gun to their head and forced them to get on the bus. Some of these rules might be racist but they should be followed until changed. I have to follow rules and sit up front. Why should they get a free pass to sit anywhere? I agree things need to change but until then they need to sit in the back of the bus like good citizens and stay in line or just not ride the bus.

Nice play on the race card, or course race should play a part in this.  Why not bring up slavery?  That was the law until it was change. 

Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:42 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

When a person gets on the bus she knows the rules. Whites in front, black in back. No one forced them to take the bus. Nobody held a gun to their head and forced them to get on the bus. Some of these rules might be racist but they should be followed until changed. I have to follow rules and sit up front. Why should they get a free pass to sit anywhere? I agree things need to change but until then they need to sit in the back of the bus like good citizens and stay in line or just not ride the bus.

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:14 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Nobody seems to mention the Parents of these kids,I know I have raised my kids to obey the rules as i'm sure most of you have too,unless you never see or communicate with your children while they are attending school wouldn't you know some of these these were going on.I know parents are out of the loop and don't know everything their kids are up to but some of the things these U players have done are terrible,I wouldn't want my kids getting laid by some bimbo slut on some strangers yacht.I think the parents need to be held accountable to some degree for all the things going on at the U if they are true.Some of the alleged things these kids did are selfish acts and they didn't think of their University or their team,while I understand it would be tempting to turn down some of the things mentioned in this case they seemed to  shown no restraint what so ever and they knew what they were doing was wrong in more than one way.This whole deal is sad for College football let alone the kids and people involved.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:06 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Yes, they are both "fine institutions" in the same way that Apple and McDonald's are both successful companies.   But one of them is Apple, and one of them is McDonald's.

Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:56 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Another of the "well they should pay these guys so they dont have to cheat"

The guys at Ohio St.  broke the rules they knew the rules they take the punishment.  The guys at the U knew the rules and broke them so they can take their punishment.  Once again if you dont like the rules try to change them and by trying to change them does not mean just putting a post on your facebook page. There is much more you can do if you really feel strong about this.

Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:53 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

I think he makes many strong, valid points. While I don't agree the hypocrisies justify former transgressions, (there are known rules, and it is a choice to break them) the system should absollutely be reviewed and revised. Certainly there is too much money being made by some individuals and more rules for some than others. Personally, I'd rather see the whole system scale back before having college athletes become professionals, but I am not an educator, athlete or administrator, so my opinion doesn't count for much. Ideally, there needs to be a better balance of academics, athletics and standards. It is ridiculous that coaches can break contracts while athletes can not, schools are punished while players and coaches are not, etc...

I am curious, however, why the author participated in such a corrupt system. If he sees no value for the student/athlete, wasn't even receiving the benefit of an athletic scholarship and didn't persue a career in sports, why voluntarily walk-on? Why not play intramural sports or join a league that required less of a commitment? I won't presume to know the reason, but there must be some value or an intelligent person, which he obviously is, would not give the 60+ hours a week he suggests is required.

Listen, most people work for companies where the President or Owner makes big bucks off the "Worker Bees'" sweat. We all have the choice to stay where we are or go elsewhere. This is a great read but people who don't like the system need to start proposing specific ways to change it rather than repeating is is currupt. The people making big bucks are NOT going to change the system lining their pockets.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:50 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

I got about helf way through and stopped because it's just another spin on the old "but eveyone does it" defense. Doesn't work when you are 8 so it shouldn't work when you are 18.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:38 am

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Well said, Adam! College Football Needs the Canes. This is happening in many programs all over the country. Death Penalty is not Warranted. A rat like Shapiro, comes outof the woodwork but at the end of the day. The lack of institutional control or turning a blind eye to the Consequences, speaksvolumes for the chase for the money.

At the end of the day. There are 90% of the U's football program that are paying for the discretions of a certain Few. You can't take South Beach out of the U but you can take the U out of south beach.

Cmon man ! Lets play football It's Us against the world!

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