This is like watching a couple of mall cops trying to contain America’s drug war, so now it is the University of Miami’s turn (again) to be devoured by the scandal of the month. The system is broken, and the rules are not only antiquated and dumb but also mean next to nothing to so many of the athletes being asked to abide by them. And yet we somehow keep trying to police the anarchy instead of the government that keeps creating it.
I keep waiting for America to get bored with these collegiate scandals and stigmatized students, the way it did with baseball steroids, but the media machine somehow keeps feeding on these reruns, the multibillion-dollar NFL keeps getting a free and monopolized minor-league system, and Pete Carroll simply flees an unholy mess with more power and money while the blame and the shame go to the poor kids. Poor, literally. …
Football and basketball are what make college sports relevant and profitable. Those sports traffic in poor inner-city talent. The rules of the NCAA, the governing body, are not quite the same as the rules on the street, and neither is the desperation the same near the library on the manicured campus as it is in the ghetto. The poor inner-city talent is expected to abide by these made-up rules — rules that are not their rules, rules not made by or for the poor and continually broken by the poor — and that’s understandable. The exchange is a free education. But the only real way for a football player to make it from the desperation of the inner city to the multi-billion-dollar NFL is through the NFL’s free and monopolized minor league. These rules keep getting broken because the rules either a). don’t mean much of anything to the inner city breaking them or b). the desperation of the inner city has outgrown the rules.
Related: See my post College Athletes and Money