The NCAA has, again, denied Jeremy Bloom’s request that he is able to play football for the University of Colorado….AND be able to keep his freestyle skiing endorsement deals.
The United States is one of the very few countries that doesn’t have its government fund the Olympic team. That is why endorsements are so critical….especially to athletes in those pure Olympic sports. Freestyle skiing is a Winter Olympic sport…and Bloom competed in the 2002 Salt Lake City games. To afford the training and travel needed to get to Torin in 2006.…Bloom needed the endorsements. The NCAA is fine with him being endorsed…..just that he’s disqualified from participating in varsity sports.
Of course, it is quite alright for coaches to sign ludicrous endorsement deals. In those endorsement deals [namely shoe companies], coaches must have the players [who cannot make one red cent] wear the company’s shoes and uniforms with the logo on the sleeve or pants leg. Of course, the coaches…..who are making the money off of this….still get to wear their Armani suits on the sidelines. So, coaches pimp their players to wear gear to make them money. Brilliant.
And it isn’t just the coaches. We have NCAA stadiums and arenas with corporate sponsorship. Many schools play in NBA arenas plastered with corporate names. MCI Center, Continental Airlines Arena, and Wachovia Center just to name a few. Value City Arena for Ohio State, Comcast Center for Maryland, Allstate Arena for DePaul, Dunkin Donuts Center for Providence, the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. It’s not just the big schools, either. Alltel Arena for Arkansas-Little Rock. Or Siena’s Pepsi Center.
And how ‘bout them bowls?? GMAC Bowl. Continental Tire Bowl. Heck, the Hall Of Fame Bowl is now the “Outback Bowl”….the Copper Bowl is now the “Insight Bowl”….the Citrus Bowl is now the “Capital One Bowl”. And all of the other bowls have a pre-fixed sponsored name attached to them. The Diamond Nuts San Francisco Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl, Nokia Sugar Bowl, Toyota Gator Bowl, Wells Fargo Sun Bowl. Even the Rose Bowl gets backed by AT&T.
Also, schools can completely disregard history and jump ship to another conference when they feel like it. The conferences love it to….as they will soon consolidate all of the upper echelon schools into a five, maybe six, mega-conference format…..all but hogging up the BCS money, which is supplied by those sponsors I was talking about.
And, if a guy is good enough to play college football and minor league baseball…..he’s able to play for pay in one and still have eligibility in the other. Huh?? Then what is different with Mr. Bloom? The NCAA allows a salary to be paid to an athlete as a professional in another sport. John Elway did it….so did Drew Henson. College sports are filled with this kind of thing. But Bloom is being sponsored for a sport that [I’m guessing here] isn’t part of the Colorado athletics department.
Yeah….it is an endorsement. And, I’m sure, the NCAA is protecting itself from bogus “endorsements” that will come down the pike in they decide to let Bloom slide. What is to stop a company from “endorsing” a football player’s…..uh…..skateboarding or bike riding or whatever else they work out.
With far more pressing matters in the NCAA and it’s schools….and a lot of them involving Colorado’s program….why this?? Clean up what is going on at Baylor. At Missouri. At Colorado. Fix the BCS. Fix the mess Clarett made and get Mike Williams back to USC. Figure out how to keep athletes interested in the college experience. I guess, Jeremy Bloom’s skiing sponsor is just more important than the school providing prostitutes to its football recruits.