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The NCAA’s exploitative line between players and coaches

The College Football Championship game is tonight, and during a time where our culture is re-examining the ideas of exploitation on many levels, can we talk about the sham that is the NCAA?

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Back in 2012, the NCAA negotiated a 12-year television deal for its bowl games for $5.64 billion dollars. Yes, you heard that right, over five and half billion dollars so we can watch college football bowl games on the TV. That doesn’t include regular season games, or NCAA basketball, or any other sport. Just the football bowl games.

Would you like to guess who doesn’t get paid a penny of that bounty?

The young men who put their bodies on the line to actually play the games.

On the other hand, the highest paid state employee in 39 of the good ‘ole 50 is a state university ball coach. Not the governor, or the mayor of the state’s largest city — it’s the ball coach.

Nick Saban, who’s coaching tonight, makes over $7 million a year for his base salary. Of course, he also gets a lot of bonuses and perks. One of those perks is having Alabama boosters pay off his $3 million dollar mortgage. Nice gig if you can get it, am I right?

Meanwhile, one his players, Johnny Dwight was suspended for four games last year for having the gall to try and sell some Crimson Tide gear for $860. Should I point out that Johnny is a black kid from Georgia, and that the majority of the men in the authority chain of command in the NCAA are white? Nah, I won’t bother.

Do we need to invent a hashtag for these exploited young men?

And please don’t come at me with the tired old line about the value of a scholarship. If it looks like exploitation, smells like exploitation, and sounds like exploitation — it’s exploitation.

In my fantasy-version end of this story, the biggest 40 or 50 college football programs get together and just withdraw from the NCAA. They announce they will pay the players on their college football teams, and free market dynamics take care of the rest.

I forget, what’s that word again for when rich white guys exploit the bodies and control the minds of black and brown people for their profit?

You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.

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