The NCAA: Whatever and Ever, Amen

Streeter Lecka

It's Armageddon in college athletics! We've got Johnny Football's daring to make money off of his likeness. While the NCAA, angry at players brash enough to capitalize on their success, apologizes for capitalizing off of player's likenesses. Oh, and the Big Boy conferences may break away and starting a new college athletics world! How was your summer, Mark Emmert?

I can't wait for the 30 For 30 on the last few months we've called Summer! I mean, there's NFL players turned serial killers, the never-ending steroid saga in baseball, complete with the oddity that is Alex Rodriguez playing the game he's been banned from -- a weird mix of martyr and devil. Plus, think of the non-sports headlines that have captivated...everyone...from June on?

Crazy, right? But this summer, when we look back on it, may truly be defined by the mess that the NCAA has become. Its president Mark Emmert's job being called for, Jay Bilas taking to Twitter to point out how contradictory the NCAA has become, just a mess. And of course, Johnny Manziel is front page fodder first for over-sleeping after partying then for charging money for autographs. The latter being a rule book no-no, which could lead to some form of suspension. And until the NCAA acts, the plight of Johnny Football will continue to be "news."

(My quick take: players not being able to make cash, especially in the off-season, from autographs is ridiculous. Having said that, if there is proof, Manziel should sit for a period of time for breaking rules everyone knows about. Yet, I still wonder, for the people saying Manziel is from a "wealthy" family and he shouldn't need to fend for money by breaking the NCAA rules: what if Manziel wasn't rich? What if he were a poor kid from the middle-of-nowhere? Then would this story be less of a cash-grab and more understandable?)

But while Bill Simmons' team should most certainly document the summer of 2013, that 30 For 30 probably could leave out the NCAA "stuff." I'm betting we'll be bitching about Emertt, or the next guy to take over the NCAA this time next year. I can guarantee we'll have a new player caught up in a stupid scandal -- one of those scandals that will have most of us thinking "I'd probably do the same thing if I was 20 years old and famous," too. It's an endless loop when it comes to the NCAA for players, for the fans.

Seriously, what are the odds Manziel is on the field in mid-September when Texas A&M lines up against Alabama in College Station? Off the board probably. Just like the "tattoo scandal" and punishment for Ohio State's Sugar Bowl appearance. The NCAA likes to enforce rules just so long it can profit first. Which actually brings me to the point here - four graphs later - and to the point where I'm probably going to come off a little "get off my lawn-ish."

I hate the twelve game NCAA schedule!

Last week I wrote about the weird feeling attached to the Penn State opener for Syracuse. But you know what has an even more odd feeling to it? Syracuse's home opener against Wagner....WAGNER. Get yourself to the Dome early, get your Dome Dog and Pepsi, and settle in for the Orange battling the immortal Seahawks! I know, I know, it's football. I shouldn't give a damn who the Orange play. I mean, they don't care in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, etc. And I'm the one always whining about fans showing up to the Dome dressed as metal bleachers, but I don't know if anyone can really get that excited about Wagner. I mean, it sounds like a last name of some dude.

Syracuse taking on Mike Wagner, NEXT ON Fox Sports The Dos!

And the thing is, I don't blame Syracuse or Daryl Gross, PHD. I blame...the NCAA of course. For some God awful reason MONEY the nonprofit organization upped the schedule for schools a few years back, going from 11 to an even 12, 13 for some teams. The logic being: the more games, the more revenue for schools, the happier the school presidents. But the side effect of all that happiness being tweets like the following:

Mercer, guys. Mercer! I mean, Ray could ball back in the day, but this is ridiculous. (BTW, I freakin' love that picture!)

Mercer hasn't had a football program in over seven decades, yet in three years it will be roadkill for the Yellow Jackets. All so Tech can fill out its 12 game schedule. Just like Syracuse with Wagner, or Michigan with Georgia State, or USC with Boise Tech. That last school is made up, but you had to think about it for a second, didn't you?

For years people have made the argument: If a school has to schedule one or two FCS teams to round its schedule every year, maybe we should just bring everyone back to 11 games. The counter has always been: We're Alabama, we'll get 70,000 fans to watch us scrimmage. Of course we want 12 games. Which I understand, but as a general football fan, the weekends where 'Bama or any of the big boys plays a tomato can are weekends when I tune them out. Period.

But even with me, and maybe most other fans, tuning out, 12 games is here to stay. I wish it wasn't but just like buffoonery with NCAA higher-ups, and kids making mistakes, we'll never go back to the way things used to be. Which is why we probably shouldn't get too caught up in what Johnny Football is doing. Or how the nonprofit NCAA is, in one form and another, making gobs and gobs of profit.

Maybe the new playoff system will force the Big Boys to schedule tougher, but I doubt it.

We'll all still get some what amped for Syracuse v. Wagner, and then by the second quarter to start to mentally check out. The bitching about FBS v. FCS will continue too. But nothing will ever be done to change any of it.

No ground breaking documentaries to be made here, such is just life in the NCAA.

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