Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 12, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 15



Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 12, 2023 




It all started years ago when everyone took everything 
for granted. Everything was great! 
The big football schools were winning games 
and getting the very best players. The NCAA 
had established rules about academics, practices, 
number of players on teams, times and hours for practices. They had committees 
to discuss rules and make changes when it could ---sometimes making 
decisions that didn’t make sense----- they were very careful of certain schools. 
They had the Big paddle, and paddled who they wanted. 

Football was the money maker for most of the other sports. Football coaches were 
high on the scale of Very Important People. In some instances the College football 
coach was more popular than the governor, and certainly more important 
than the college president. There came the conversations about the purpose of 
“college,’ Is it academics,? getting that degree? Is it for exposure for athletes who 
want to become professionals? Athletes needed to be “on track” for graduation 
and heading toward a degree. Classes needed to be approved, grades needed to 
be calculated. 

Rules were made so that the athletes were to be treated the “same” as any other 
college student. (And was that actually the way it was?). Does the college student 
leave town and school for three days for a game? Do they wake up at 6:00am for 
morning practice? Stay after classes for practices at 6:00pm? In a way, athletes 
were at a disadvantage in some areas. They could not make money over and 
above certain guidelines. They could not have favors that other kids could not. 
In my own experience a kid with a dental problem could not get treatment unless 
the issue came from playing football meanwhile, he was in pain. If he needed to 
travel home for a sick or dying family member, the school could not help. (NCAA 
rules were strict on those favors.)If you cared about a kid, this was hard to see. 

Yet, the NCAA and committee members were treated to travel, trips and entertainment 
all over the country. Having meetings in very beautiful resorts. Playing 
golf and sharing fancy jet travel.

Schools (and the NCAA and Leagues) were earning money from college kids 
playing football… Selling tickets, jerseys, posters, tee shirts and memorabilia 
with pictures and names and photos of those student athletes. 

After a while coaches and players heard about and noticed those dollar amounts. 
This began a bit of resentment among the not-so famous schools and the athletes 
in those photos, tee shirts and merchandise. When a small not-so big-name 
school won a few games that were unexpected…. Hmmm. How did this happen? 
They must be cheating the rules. Here comes the NCAA. Are kids making 
money in the summer? At a part time job? They have a scholarship, food, uniforms, 
tuition. That’s enough. But someone was making money selling all that 
merchandise. This was the beginning of the current “Name, Image, Likeness” 
(NIL) deals. This took a long time coming. It was the topic of discussion on radio 
and television. NIL came to pass. It is understandable that some athletes are 
taking advantage of this, with commercial deals, merchandise copyrights, and 
special services and products…. but the extent of this situation seems to have 
jumped way beyond the idea of “fairness” and past the idea of “amateur” status 
at the college level. And again for some, there is the question, “is all of this fair?” 

What was illegal and not permitted is now legal and common place. What was 
then against the rules, resulted in the Big Paddle and probation and discipline 
to schools and teams. Now it is accepted and for some applauded. Is it fair to the 
“non-stars” on the same team who are helping those celebrity players win? Are 
his skills worth it? Is it okay if a better ‘deal’ comes along that players leave one 
school for another that will help the fame, the exposure, the NIL situations? This 
situation in colleges is now moving down in the high school level as well. It’s a 
new world for some athletes. Next time, it’s another “new world” for Universities, 
colleges and Conferences. Traditions, rivalries, West/ East/ Midwest divisions.. 
The PAC 12? The BIG TEN? The BIG Twelve? The SEC? changes, Part II Who’s 
to blame?

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