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The Cody Blog: No Tears for College Coaches

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

No Tears for College Coaches

Back in the day, I had myself a 42" vertical jump or so, and I could jam like nobody else. I played hoops at the University of New Mexico for one Dave Bliss. Now what I'm about to say, I say having worked around and on Wall Street for nine years -- Dave Bliss was one of the most evil men I've ever been around (let's hope he gets his just deserts and goes to prison for obstruction of justice).

To be clear, I have no first-hand observation of players at UNM on the receiving end of benefits outside the bounds of acceptability. In fact, some of the best players that I played with (and was roomies with) like Charles Smith, are some of the classiest folks I know. But let's just say that the dudes from the boondock ghettos in North Carolina who didn't have a pot to piss in, but were driving around in Eddie Bauer edition Ford Explorers -- well, something fishy was going on.

Anyway, this isn't a post about Dave Bliss specifically. But while I read these headlines and stories about this terrible mistake that some supposed leader of young men made -- John Chaney over at Temple that is (yeah, I'm sure he's really sorry)-- I'm reminded of how morally corupt all of college sports is.

Whether citing the ridiculous subsidies that the sports that nobody cares about gets or the exploitation of the great players who get nothing (legally, at least), while making millions for their coaches (like Bliss and Chaney and, yes, Krzyzewski at Duke who's made tens of millions) and their schools -- well, the whole shebang is wrong.

Here's a novel concept -- privatize that shit.


Blogger Sarah said...

thank u 4 helping me

3/01/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger The Unknown Broker said...

I enjoy college sports as much as the next guy. But let's stop calling the teams "college" teams and the players "student athletes" and be honest about it. College sports have precious little to do with the educational institutions with which they are affiliated, and everything to do with dollars. And big dollars at that. TV and other media payments, sporting goods and apparel companies, endorsements deals for coaches, etc.

The graduation rate for "student" athletes is quite low overall, and does anybody really believe that even those who graduate are held to the same academic standards as the non-sporting types?

I am perpetually amazed at the donations given to university sports programs. Again, I'm not anti-sports, but might the dollars contributed by the "boosters," "supporters," "President's Council Members, "Lifetime Golden Screaming Warthogs Club," or whatever the individual college calls them be just a tad more beneficial to humanity and society if donated to...oh, call me crazy, but curing cancer, feeding the hungry, improving education for little kids, saving the whales/trees/whatever?

And it turns out that at least in some cases, those folks aren't appreciated all that much. I have some clients who are major contributors to the athletic program of their beloved alma mater -- the school not far from where I live the lays claim to the fervent devotion (and more than a dollar or two) of many around here.
These folks (my clients) are well over 7 figure donors. (That's m-m-milions for thsoe of you keeping score at home.)

There was a level of contribution that garnered lifetime tickets in a nice spot in the stadium. "You give us a ton o' dollars to support the world-changing and enriching teams at Greedy U. and we'll let you come to the games and sit there in the same seat for free. Woo-hoo!"

Turns out lifetime doesn't mean lifetime at this fine school. (Perhaps they got some help from the Philosphy Department. "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it...etc. They converted that to "If we make a promise and no one sues us, did we really make a promise?"

Contributors recently got a letter that basically said "Just kidding about those seats. No can do anymore. We are however starting a New Lifetime Seats Deal and you have the privilege of being able to kick it off with another bazillion dollars! Lucky you."

"Yes, we said 'lifetime.' We just didn't say WHOSE lifetime. Gotcha!"

Guess they needed more money for the Rich Coach (I mean that selfless molder of young champions) and better study facilities for the intellectually ambitious student athletes. (Scratch that...some new SUVs for the semi-professional athletes who happen to live there at Sports Univ.)

3/02/2005 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous JoeBlue3 said...

I completely agree that college sports is a big business, but let's not paint all student/athletes, their coaches and programs with the same brush.

Some programs take great pride in graduating their players (UNC, Duke, Stanford) while others are doing nothing more than hiring mercenaries for a year or 2 (Cincinatti, UGA, Louisville).

Are all of these athletes Biology or Business majors? No, but neither was I. Are they taking crip classes just to get their Sociology degree? Yes, but I took my fair share of crip classes too.

The new Academic Progress Reports by the NCAA are a start to academic accountability by these schools. If players aren't on track to graduate or don't graduate their players, they lose scholarships which are the lifeblood of programs.

As far as donors giving huge bucks to schools. I think people should be able to give how much they want to whomever they choose. I don't think we can play the morality card on financial gifts, because many of those people giving to the new Stadium are also funding an art program or the Business school.

College sports is no longer collegiate, but let's not paint it as professional yet.

3/17/2005 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger JoeBlue3 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/17/2005 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger JoeBlue3 said...


I address the academic casualty report on my blog above, scroll to the bottom on March 1st. (I know, shameless plug)

Cody, love the blog. Keep it coming.

3/17/2005 06:47:00 PM  

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