Well, it seems California is at it again, and this time they decided to go after something that I happen to find near and dear to my heart: NCAA
college football. I always liked college football better than NFL for a few reasons:
- In college ball, the players are good but not
professionals. They make mistakes. The best receiver in the conference can miss a perfectly thrown ball at any time (witness Waddle dropping a TD pass
in last Saturday's Bama game... no offense, Waddle, if you're reading. You're still awesome!).
- College players aren't just in it for the money. Sure, there's that dream of joining the NFL and making boo-koo big bucks later on, but the
entire push is on academics.
- The (vast) sums of cash raised by college football are plowed back into the Universities, primarily as scholarships to make college education more
available for future students. Not just athletic scholarships, but academic and need-based scholarships as well.
- College ball is more locally prominent. By that, I mean that in the NFL, a quarterback can be playing for Oakland this week and next week be
playing for Denver. College players commit to a University, and while they can switch schools, it's a lot harder to do than it is to switch employers
in the NFL. NFL Draft rules are supposed to prevent this, but we all know how easy that is to break.
- I haven't seen any washed-up wanna-be legends in their own mind using their position to make political statements in college ball.
- The epicenter of all things football (Alabama) does not have an NFL team. What?
So yeah, I'm a college football fan.
The hallmark of college ball has always been that the athletes 'get paid' through their scholarships. They play ball for the University; the
University educates and houses them for free. Now California has decided, unilaterally, that that isn't good enough.
NCAA as Gov. Gavin Newsom signs into law Fair Pay to Play Act
Just who does California think they are? They want to be their own country? I say let them. This is inexcusable.
What this does is to give California teams an unfair advantage in scouting for new talent. Players will look now at California schools in a different
light... "yeah, I know Georgia Tech is a better school for the career I said I want, but if I sign up in California I can make money." Some of these
players may be good enough to go on to the NFL and never miss a beat, but some of them are not going to make that grade... and they may have just sold
out their future to an inferior school for a quick buck, all because some fool with too much air between his ears can't figure out how something as
simple as college sports works.
In my not-so-damn-humble opinion on this, the NCAA should take immediate action: All NCAA Universities in California should be barred from
championship eligibility and all post-season playoff spots for this season. Starting next season, they should be prohibited from competing in any
sports programs sponsored by the NCAA, until such time as they agree to play by the same damn rules as everyone else.
I honestly don't have that much of a problem with this new law as it applies to making a few bucks for the students. That's not my concern. Fair, in
my opinion, would be to have 10% of any endorsement deal go directly to the athlete, 30% to go into a retirement/trust fund for the athlete, and the
remaining 60% to go for scholarships to the University in the athlete's name. That's doable, and it would help the players and the schools out, if
it were applied across the board. Where my ire comes in is that California is using legal maneuvering to place their schools at an unfair advantage
over schools in the rest of the nation. That's fine; California can make whatever law they want, but California does not control the National
Collegiate Athletic Association. Want your own rules? Go play ball with yourself.
Leave the rest of us to watch our teams in peace, dammit, without your male-cow-refuse politics.