Monday, March 25, 2013

Tournament Times Show NCAA Doesn't Care About Student In "Student-Athlete"

I haven't been shy in saying I'm not a fan of the NCAA -- for a variety of reasons.  One of which has bothered me this weekend and, upon seeing the schedule for the Sweet 16 games, bothers me even more.

Last night ... SUNDAY night ... Duke played Creighton in the city of Philadelphia.  The game time was set for 9:40pm.  It really didn't get going until 10:00pm.  Lovely that the NCAA has schools playing this late.  It would be one thing if it was a couple of west coast teams going at it, but it was an Eastern Time Zone team facing off against a Central Time Zone team in an Eastern Time Zone city.

Sunday night.

I can get with the late start times on Friday and Saturday.  I can even get on board with the Thursday night late tips.  But not Sunday night when these students ... whether it is the ones playing on the court, the ones in the bands, the ones cheerleading, the ones who made the trek all over the country or even the ones who stayed home to watch it on television ... have school bright and early on Monday morning. 

The Sunday schedule is a new thing.  When it as just CBS holding the tournament, this didn't happen.  CBS' final Sunday game was typically at 7:00pm or so in order for them to get to the 11:00 news with no issues.  Now with TNT, TBS and TruTV showing games, the NCAA sees no problem in having these late night tips. 

Never mind that these players miss about 2-3 weeks of school during this tournament (as well as the conference tournaments that preceeded it) or that the NCAA mandates when these teams get into town or their media availability.  That only matters when the NCAA is worried about if football playoff  money will be more than the bowl money. 

To me, this isn't the same as people complaining about the World Series or NBA Finals games starting so late.  That's a different animal.  This one is more of a gripe since this is supposed to be about the "student-athletes" that the NCAA loves to say are going pro in more than just sports.  Yes, sports do provide many kids with the ability to further their education in ways that they may not have been able to do financially.  But for the NCAA to pimp out these kids this badly says something.

By the way, I can't wait to watch the Florida-Florida Gulf Coast game on Friday night in Dallas.  Game time?  10:00pm.

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