Friday, June 3, 2011

A basketball story for the ages!

Let me swerve off into the sports world for a moment. The National Basketball Association looks like they will have a labor dispute that could affect the 2011-12 season. The industry is making $4 billion a year and the player average salary is $5 million a year. When is enough enough??? They can join the ranks of greedy football and baseball players, but it isn’t limited to the pros. Some say some college players take a pay-cut when they turn pro, could that be true? Let’s look around:

 Ohio State could be looking at a death sentence (remember SMU)in football for player trades. They traded OSU championship memorabilia for free tattoos, drinks and heaven knows what else. The coach, loved by everybody in Ohio, became a sacrificial lamb was fired and the university is praying that is good enough to escape SMU treatment. He claimed no knowledge of all this stuff going on under his watch, but we know winning comes first and he looked the other way. Oh, those football players pocketed very little from these transactions, whereas the beloved coach received $3.5 million a year.  Most of these guys who go to schools like Ohio State have to be damn good football players and it is an unacceptable standard to be less. Most are coming from poverty-stricken backgrounds and all of a sudden they are wearing fine threads, sporting expensive jewelry, drive fine vehicles and have apartments off campus. Rest assured their mamas who might work at McDonalds, don’t send that kind of cash to them. One national writer commented on this affair: “players skirt the rules, coaches skirt the truth, and the NCAA tries to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun. It’s not pretty.” Another said the Ohio State coach cut corners and gamed the system when nobody was looking. “Either a rule is a rule, or it’s not,” said the writer.

But don’t think for a New York second that it’s limited to Ohio State. I read an article about Alabama football players driving SUVs, but Alabama said their rivals were jealous of the team and was making trouble for them. Cam Newton’s daddy was trying to get a six-figure payment from Mississippi State, but he went to Auburn instead. Maybe Auburn paid more, but don’t think for that new jersey second, that his daddy invented an idea like that. It just might go with the territory. Southern Cal had Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo and their stories are similar and it goes on and on….

Locally, a KU basketball player got in the news with some irregularities, but we know that was a lie. Kansas State provided new threads to the players and we know that’s true. Those farmers are the same as Ohio State, but I imagine the clothing line is a little more stylish in Columbus than the lil apple.

Stuff like that happens, my friend! These universities make a bundle of money off these jocks and maybe they ought give them a little more than the normal stipend, but that will never be enough because they got it into their heads they are going to turn pro any second and make millions, which would get their mamas out of McDonalds, so they don’t really give a damn what happens to the U. The coaches have to win or it’s hit the road Jack. The alumni expect a winning program or they won’t donate their extra cash they got laying around. Maybe the answer is blowin in the wind, but don’t expect to catch it anytime soon.

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