The NCAA is broken beyond repair

First of all, I like college sports. But they are awful. The NCAA model was fine a hundred years ago. The problems with it now are so many and so big that I barely know where to begin. It really comes down to one thing, though. Money.

The cash grab has broken the NCAA to the point that I do not think it’s fixable. An industry that generates billions can’t pay most of its workforce by its own rules. At the highest levels, the concept of student athletes is laughable. Everyone knows it. College basketball might be the biggest joke thanks to one and done nonsense, but wait, college football is really no better. Many players don’t have a major. They’re just playing to make their coaches and universities and conferences boatloads of money. Corruption and rule-breaking are completely within the norm. But when you’re televising a big game or hoisting a trophy, you don’t really care what the odds are of this championship being vacated five years down the road.

In my opinion, college sports should be club sports that aren’t televised or played in 100,000 seat stadiums. There should be for-profit developmental leagues for the very top players in their given sports where they can actually get paid. The guys who have no business going to college. This will never, ever happen. It can’t happen. This is why the problem is unfixable. So, as much as I really do enjoy watching college football and basketball, I almost feel dirty about it at the same time. Anyone else feel that way?

I’ve never understood what the connection was supposed to be between school and sports, in the first place.

Once upon a time, it was a straightforward way for students at schools to engage in a game against rival schools. Not too long after, it became more organized, and eventually became a business.

To a degree. But then I remember that for every kid from the ghetto whose pro dreams didn’t pan out and didn’t get anything out of college because he didn’t attend class, there are others who get to do things they probably wouldn’t have been able to without college sports.

at least pro sports admit it’s all about cash - they are honest. College FB and BB are now basically owned and controlled by TV networks. If ESPN wanted to show a game in Nepal at 2 AM local time the teams would say “when does the plane leave”

It’s not a new problem, the University of Chicago got the first Heisman winner ever in '35, then 5 years later dropped football altogether.

I’d like to see the student-athlete connection be broken. Let the big time football and basketball programs be developmental leagues that lease the university names. So, the team is still called the University of Oklahoma Sooners, but the players are employees of the team instead of students at the university. We already know the alumni from certain universities are willing to pay for athletes, this just makes it aboveboard. The schools with the most free-spending alumni will be able to charge more for licensing their name. I think things would continue in the same way as today, just more fairly to the athletes.

I would also like to see the universities provide admission to the players, but not necessarily concurrent with their time on the team. Let them be full-time athletes and then later, full-time students. That would allow the players who want to take advantage of their skills to get an education, to get that education.

And while we’re at it, stop charging other students fees to support the athletics program. Why are we paying those fees? Because it’s important to have an athletics program, and we can’t afford it without the fees. Why is it important to have an athletics program? Because it’s so profitable, of course. So why can’t we afford it without the fees?

Here in NC college BB is like religion. But we cannot get a Final 4 because the NCAA morons say you need a domed FB stadium to play BB which we don’t have. Meanwhile “hotbeds” of BB such as Minnesota, Tampa, Houston, Detroit, etc. get Final 4s.

Final Four ticket money is huge. Why should they purposely limit the event to a smaller venue when they can rake in much larger amounts of money is much larger arenas? It seems the “morons” aren’t so stupid after all.

If the schools cared about actually educating their scholarship athletes they would cut the existing schedules (10 football games, 24 basketball) and limit practice time to an hour and a half a day. They would stop worrying about athletes making money, which has no effect on educational efforts. They would make the scholarship equal to a full degree’s worth of credits, to be used how and when the recipient wants. And transferrable.

And the student fees are indeed a blatant ripoff, designed, as so much of the system, to enrich the people entrenched in positions of administrative power.

I work for a university and I am ashamed at the way universities have systemized the corruption in big money athletics. Those are institutions where we should expect much much better.

the amount of money they get from final 4 ticket sales is pocket change compared to the tourney TV money. The NCAA TV money for the tourney funds about 90% of the entire NCAA budget for the year. And remember they claim they are not about money.

And don’t forget a lot of those Final 4 tickets are scalped so they only get the face value of the tickets.

Then stop charging student fees for the other clubs/organizations that the fees pay for. Student fees pay for intramural sports anyway. University funds pay for the athletic programs.

Apparently some universities charge students fees that go directly to the athletic department. And these are places like Texas A&M, Clemson, places you would not expect need the extra cash. This was news to me, too. And there is, of course, a lot of pushback on universities that enact or suggest such a fee. Seriously, if a power conference athletic dept. can be at least self-sustaining they are doing something wrong.

At first I couldn’t figure this out. College Football money should dwarf basketball money, but then I read an article that said football revenue goes through the conferences, not through the NCAA. So I learned something today!

I would be curious to know how that came about.

Well, the NCAA basketball tournament is an NCAA event. It’s also a million times more valuable TV real estate than regular season NCAA basketball.
Football, on the other hand, has tremendous value even in the regular season. So each conference can make a boatload of money on TV deals. Hell, some conferences have their own stinking networks. That wouldn’t be possible without football.
So, conferences are making some money on regular season and conference tournament basketball TV. But the big NCAA tourney belongs to the NCAA.

Simple: football as a money sport is older. When basketball got hot, the NCAA didn’t get stiffed a second time. :smiley:

CBS and Turner have the NCAA BB TV rights until 2032. It’s about $1 Billion per year. Not bad cash for 12 days total over 3 weeks.

The thing is, the idea that college sports makes money for the schools is a myth. The reality is that most schools lose money on sports.


I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make wrt activity fees.