Friday, July 2, 2010

I Can't Blame College Athletes Taking the Money

The joke about college sports is that it takes a lot of cash to land these five star recruits. We see stuff like this happen all the time ... and sometimes they even get caught. That's what happened to USC involving Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo. Now it seems to be happening with John Wall and Kentucky.

First off, I knew Wall was going to bite Kentucky in the rear. There were schools that wouldn't touch him because they knew there was some dirt linked to him (famously, my UNC Tar Heels refused to recruit him even though he wanted to come there). Still ... duh.

It has to be extremely difficult to be in that situation. Go back to when you were 17 or 18 years old and someone said, "look, I'll hook you up on the down-low if you remember me when you go pro" to you. Despite all your morals, you'd think about it. Don't lie. Stealing is wrong but we all had that "hook-up" at McDonald's back in high school that scored us free food or the friend who worked at the music shop that got us discounted stuff. Did that feel wrong back then? That's part of life: getting the most bang for our buck. It happens when you are an adult, too. Remember that whole "scratch my back" adage? Same thing. I'll do something for you now if you do something for me later. We all ask it and we all receive it.

Granted, receiving money or benefits while you are an "amatuer" may seem more harsh ... but is it? I mean, what really do you OWE anybody? High schools and those AAU-type leagues exploit these guys. Then the NCAA does it. All for free. So why wouldn't a kid who has limited resources decide to cash in a little on HIS TALENTS!

Remember, he's selling something that everyone is buying. The NCAA and the University of Kentucky had no problem pimping John Wall every chance they had. He was the face of one of the elite basketball programs in the country. They made tons of money off of him ... and all they had to "pay" him was a scholarship. They will even profit off him by saying "remember that John Wall went here!" You think the name "Michael Jordan" doesn't come out of Roy Williams' mouth when he's recruiting? Wall will forever be linked with Kentucky and all they had to do was pay for one year's tuition and the cost of the expenses of him being on the team. Yeah, that's nice and all but that doesn't even remotely equate his worth to the university or the NCAA.

That's why I think that all this agent stuff should be thrown out. Let these cats go ahead and get an agent ... even when they are in high school. Who the heck cares? As long as the university, the conferences or anyone linked with any school isn't funnelling money thru the agent ... what's the big deal? The agent then knows he has a client down the road and you won't get the feeding frenzy as you do now. Heck, have that agent work with the university about using him in advertising.

Of course, Kentucky or the NCAA doesn't want that because they have darn near free labor and making a gazillion dollars off it. Plus, this will still get pretty messy and this problem would then trickle down to the high school ranks.

Of course, just dumping the one-and-done rule would help a ton. Too bad the NBA doesn't want it. You don't see them punishing agents that are involved in this junk. They profit indirectly from this whole deal. John Wall is a much bigger name coming into the league because he went to Kentucky for a season. Sure, he was known around hoops circles during high school, but he wouldn't have had the draw if he came directly out to the NBA. Not just him, but the Xavier Henrys and Derrick Favorses of the world. Heck, not many people knew who Dwight Howard was until a couple of months before he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Orlando Magic.

The point is, I can't blame these kids for pocketing some money. Chump change to what they've made for other people. And ask Wall, Bush or Mayo if they feel bad about it right now. They don't care. That's all in the past and can't really hurt them if they don't want it to.

1 comment:

淑娟淑娟 said...