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."

Comments

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:28 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

When a player signs to play for a University he knows the rules and what he gets,if he doesn't like it then don't play,there are more kids that have followed the rules that have broken them.Your getting a free education and playing a GAME.Nobody held a gun to these kids heads and told them they had to play college ball,some of the rules might be stupid but they are the rules and should be followed until they are changed.I have to follow and obey the rules in society or I'll get thrown in jail so why should we write these kids a pass.While I agree some changes need to be made until then these players need to act like good citizens and stay in line with the rules or pursue a different avenue into their adult life,they don't have to play ball.



Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:26 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Ok you have valid points but you don't know what you are talking about... You are saying you worked 40 hours a week while going to school... What the hell does that have to do with anything? Are you really comparing working you college job to training and preparing upwards of 60 hours a week and then going to class and then playing on Saturdays??? You can't be that blind and foolish... And to somehow relate this to politics in DC is also foolish... This guy is just speaking his mind and apparently that is to much for you to handle so you begin to bash him and then relate his comments to what is wrong with our government... WOW



Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 8:53 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Funny to see the "these are the rules guys" spouting again. These are the same guys hoping to become one of the corporate presidents shafting America. Because in America, the way to get rich is too have rules written so everyone else loses and you win. College football has done that.  There are anti-trust violations here. Where is the school where an elite athlete can sell his old jersey's, cleats etc. to fans for a little extra cash? There isn't one, not because of any moral issue, because the NCAA acts as a cartel, to make sure that doesn't happen. The people benfitting ost frm all of this, the NCAA, the coaches, the big schools, aren't paying anything to those scholarships. That is a complete and utter fabrication. The players bring in millions of dollars more than is paid out to them. How do their schollarships cost the schools even one cent. One of the pitfalls of monopoly capitalism is it's ability to portray the rich as something other than scheming monopolists, and to portray those actually doing the work as in some way undesirable, as in "amteurs". 

There is only one reason one could argue that big school football players shouldn't be paid a share of what the football teams earns... that would be that one hopes to gain from their labour. A better education system with better libraries and equipment, sure, our football players can pay for that. Less taxes paid to build those facilities in state institutions, sure, our football players can lower your tax bill. Unrestricted discretionary funds, not tied to research or anything else. Sure, our football players can pay for that.

The sad thing is, 3 years lving under the thumb is the criteria, for getting a shot to play in the NFL, making college football like a lottery. The NFL is in colusion and there's no necessity. Johny Unitas, one of the greatest played sandlot ball, not university ball, the NFL has bought into the whole "3 years after highschool" thing, effectively removing the ability of anyone who wants to play pro ball to get a tryout without doing the "University" thing. Essentially, you have to donate your time, and forgo the thousands of dollars you should be making, because you are earning it, to a charity, for a shot at turning pro.

Only in America do you see this kind of blatant exploitation. What is the reward for the average college athlete? We won't make you pay to come here, while youare making us all that money. Slaves didn't have to pay room and board either.



 



Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2011 8:14 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

well said my bother!



Since: Jul 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 8:05 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Very well written article. Couldn't agree more. People say "well, they are getting the cost of tuition paid"--and I agree to an extent. But a person with an academic "full ride" scholarship is getting the cost of tuition paid as well, and he isnt bringing tens of millions of dollars to the university and the surrounding system. if I am bringing revenue to the table, I ought to be able to share in that revenue--and not even dollar for dollar. But I cant get $100 spending money here, a free meal there? Yes, these HS athletes knew what they were signing up for when the accepted the scholarship. But what was the option? There is no minor league or any other option for them to really have a choice. It is clear by reading the responses to this article that there are 2 types of people. Those that accept the status quo, or the rules, no matter what they are, just b/c that's what the rules are, and others that feel people are justified in breaking the rules if the rules are so patently unfair. Neither is right or wrong, per se. I am just glad this country has had its share of "unfair" rule breakers--b/c if not, we may still be under England's control, or slavery would still exist today, which judging by a lot of these posts, would be they way you would like it to be.



Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 8:01 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

UMichGradFan.....I agree winning goes in cycles but if you discount the early days of the series (OSU was terrible) OSU has a winning record in the "modern era of football".No matter of what you may think OSU is a fine institution as is UM,and I hope your're not dumb enough to think their hasn't been some favors done for UM players throughout the years and some funny handshakes going on,it happens everywhere,even  in the smaller schools.I still believe Tressel is a good man even though he made some mistakes,I'm not one to judge a person that is up to a much higher power than me.I wish your Blue ones well and hopefully they can make "THE GAME" fun to watch again........let us not forget OSU reported it's violations when they found out also...right....good luck and SCREW BLUE !Laughing



Since: Oct 29, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:23 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Adam Bates may be a smart man. He might see things that us mere mortals cannot see. But this diatribe is all about justifying the breaking of rules. He says it is about hypocrisy. But he refers to AJ Green, Tyrrell Pryor as men who have been abused and are not wrong to sell jerseys and other things owned by their universities for spending money. Players were not wrong to accept money for jobs they did not work. There is no right or wrong if one is being exploited.

Adam will fit in fine in Washington, D.C. This thinking is exactly the reason why out government is so screwed up. There is always a way to justify every action and within the beltway there is no one to say whoa....

The rules may be wrong. The rules may need to be relaxed. But when you sign for a free education at xyz university you agree to abide by those rules. Don't want to keep the rules? Don't take their money. I worked 40 hrs. a week while putting myself through college. I earned far less than these athletes earn from their athletics at the schools. Adam doesn't seem to think there is any value at all received by a college athlete given a full ride to school while the rest of us must pay a $100K or more for the same opportunity. So Adam, perhaps your education was indeed wasted. Perhaps your ire being at the thought of a snitch has colored your thinking. Black is still black. White is still white. Stealing and cheating and lying about it to authorities is always wrong. Let us set the record straight.
     Amen, Amen, Amen!



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:40 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Adam Bates may be a smart man. He might see things that us mere mortals cannot see. But this diatribe is all about justifying the breaking of rules. He says it is about hypocrisy. But he refers to AJ Green, Tyrrell Pryor as men who have been abused and are not wrong to sell jerseys and other things owned by their universities for spending money. Players were not wrong to accept money for jobs they did not work. There is no right or wrong if one is being exploited.

Adam will fit in fine in Washington, D.C. This thinking is exactly the reason why out government is so screwed up. There is always a way to justify every action and within the beltway there is no one to say whoa. There seems to be no one in Miami to say no. Every one of us knows right from wrong. It is built into us. But the enablers want us to consider how poor the thief is. The enablers want us to consider how overworked the embezzler is. To the embezzler these words are music to his or her ears. These word make it ok.

The rules may be wrong. The rules may need to be relaxed. But when you sign for a free education at xyz university you agree to abide by those rules. Don't want to keep the rules? Don't take their money. I worked 40 hrs. a week while putting myself through college. I earned far less than these athletes earn from their athletics at the schools. Adam doesn't seem to think there is any value at all received by a college athlete given a full ride to school while the rest of us must pay a $100K or more for the same opportunity. So Adam, perhaps your education was indeed wasted. Perhaps your ire being at the thought of a snitch has colored your thinking. Black is still black. White is still white. Stealing and cheating and lying about it to authorities is always wrong. Let us set the record straight.



Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: August 19, 2011 1:00 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Adam is 100% correct. NCAA football/basketball 
is a money making machine and the "students" people pay to see don't get a dime(aside from the free education they could care less about) It's ridiculous to make 18 year old kids sound like criminals for accepting money/benefits that all of us would have accepted given the opportunity.  I don't know how to fix it, but the current rules are grossly outdated and irrelevant.



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:53 am
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

Ohio State self reports and cooperates with the entire investigation, but Michigan fans want to pat themselves on the back for cooperating after getting ratted out by their own players.  And I love the "football isn't that important in the overall scheme of things here" comments.  That's exactly what I expect a fan of a crappy team like Michigan to say.  Its a tried and true defense mechanism.  Just like Miami's "we don't sell out because there is more to do here than there is in the midwest".  No its because your fans suck, your program sucks and your team sucks.  But to Michigan's credit, they still fill the outhouse every week with 110,000 wal-mart wolverines shaking their keys because they can't be bothered to yell. 



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