Last week was a real slap in the face for college basketball with the naming of current and former players that accepted money in order to be recruited at their respective schools.
Arizona head basketball coach Sean Miller was caught on a wiretap from the FBI talking about giving one of the top players in the country $100,000 dollars for his services.
Other schools in this corruption scandal include basketball powerhouses such as Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Michigan State, and Kentucky.
The NCAA is corrupt, and many knew that long before this scandal broke last week.
After this scandal, leaving a big stain on amateur athletics, the NCAA has to wonder if this is even worth the hassle of it all any more.
If they decide it isn’t worth the hassle, and I don’t think it is, it has to be time to pay NCAA athletes.
I’m a big fan of amateur athletics. Between myself and sports editor Chris Wechtenhiser, it’s what we do for a living. We also aren’t covering athletes that are making millions of dollars for their schools around the area.
I remember the Penn State-Ohio State football game this year. It was a game that legitimately could decide who won the Big Ten and possibly a College Football Playoff spot.
The Buckeyes were wearing LeBron James cleats and new gray uniforms. There was a packed house of well over 100,000 people at the game. Gamblers were surely all over the betting lines for the game, and the TV rights to broadcast any game is an outrageous amount of money.
Then it occurred to me that everybody is making money off of college sports except for the players that provide the entertainment.
College athletes have it good, but trust me, it’s not that good. With the time they put into their sports outside of their regular classes, even a part-time job is out of the question.
I remember watching the Michigan Fab Five 30 for 30 a few years ago on ESPN. Those guys were made out to be 18-year-old rock stars because they were really good at amateur basketball.
The problem was they were really just like any other college student. They had class, they had practice, and they ate ramen noodles and hot dogs because they couldn’t accept money.
And now the scandal today is punishing players for accepting money, when they don’t have much to begin with. It’s a shame because most college students ages 18-22 would accept that money too.
When we have these kinds of problems in 2018, it’s time for the NCAA to open up their wallets.
q q q
Andy Stine is a sports writer for the Courier Express and Tri-County Sunday newspapers. He can be reached at email@example.com.