Dear NCAA, Your Business Model Is A Folly
by Glenn Minnis
Sometime before the dawn of summer, Terrelle Pryor will saunter into a standing room only filled stadium lined with more than 100,000 or so of his closest, most ardent admirers many of whom will be draped in his famed N0. 2 Ohio State jersey as an added declaration of the adulation they now profess to feel for him. And what shall be the Heisman Trophy contending QB’s blessing from all that reverence? Try a five game NCAA imposed suspension for daring to cash in on what could very well simply be his fifteen minutes of fame.
Understand that’s less a commentary on Pryor’s NFL prospects than it is an ironclad indictment of the hypocritical NCAA system and the bureaucrats who selfishly insist on classifying him an amateur athlete even though all logical deduction stipulates a different ruling. For what can truly be construed as sophomoric about an industry that grosses on the fringes of a billion in annual earnings, not to mention outpaces the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball in ad revenue by 40 and 60 percent respectively each calendar year?
To the contrary, it seems more than just a bit wily how any institution could ever devise a financial scheme where the men and women chiefly responsible for generating all the revenue are unilaterally prohibited from sharing in the windfall.
And yet, even in the face of all that hypocrisy, there are still those that will tell you the idea that college athletes should be paid is as asinine as the mind boggling reality that they still are not. Among other memorabilia, Pryor—along with four of his teammates— is accused of having shortchanged the system by— you guessed it— daring to sell an autographed replica of his very own jersey.“They’re not professionals,” reasons NCAA president Mark Emmert . “They are getting ready for whatever their profession is. College is such a great opportunity… they should be grateful for the opportunity to receive a great education. They are pre-professionals… just like every other student on campus.”
Only Pryor and the roughly 700 or so other Division 1 athletes aren’t quite like all their other collegiate counterparts at all. There’s just something about those millions of dollars they generate for the university that makes them quite different.