In 2011, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), took in Total Revenue of $10.6 Billion, according to Statistic Brain, http://www.statisticbrain.com/ncaa-college-athletics-statistics/. Much of that money came from the Division I schools–and mostly in the major power house programs. Also, in many cases, Football and Basketball Revenues support the schools’ other sports and, perhaps, even the intra-mural programs. So, sports revenue is a big deal and of major importance on campuses. But, have the NCAA and the Universities gone too far?
Unless you are a hermit, you have probably seen videos of the Rutgers Men’s (now former) Basketball Coach, Mike Rice, pushing and grabbing players, throwing basketballs at them and shouting homophobic slurs. Apparently, the incident happened last November and a video was given to the Rutgers Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti, by Eric Murdock, a Team Assistant. Pernetti fined Rice and suspended him for three games. None of this was made public, however, until Mr. Murdock gave a copy of the video to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”, which aired it earlier this week.
Within the past couple of days, the Coach was fired, and the A.D. and several other College Executives resigned, as well. But, why was this whole fiasco kept under wraps? Shouldn’t potential high school recruits–and their parents–be entitled to know about the irrational outbursts of Coach Rice? Perhaps the Chain-of-Command was more interested in keeping their jobs. Remember that Legendary Coach Joe Paterno, at Penn State, right up to the President of PSU were fired.
This incident at Rutgers was not the first instance of College Coaches’ harassment, improprieties and breaking rules and, no doubt, it won’t be the last. But, in this Day of Social Media, when everyone (but me) has a cell phone with a camera, anything can go viral. So, there are not any secrets anymore.
I believe that there is an underlying point here, of which the Rutgers Incident is but one of many, many small clues. Have the N.C.A.A. and the Universities formed a Cabal, which enables them to attract big money for their respective coffers. We know that College Bowl Games and March Madness attract phenomenal amounts of money. Are the schools overlooking their Primary mission of Academics? But, what do the players–with all their effort and risk of Career-Ending Injury–get out of all this, that is-if they don’t make it in the Pros? Student-Athletes? HA!
I hope to follow-up with related Blog Posts on Players like Kevin Ware of Louisville, who might have had a very serious leg injury in an “Elite Eight” basketball game on Sunday, and Kevin Ross, who went back to prep school, after four years at Creighton Univ., to learn how to read and write. And, then he sued the University. SO, STAY TUNED!