What’s in that syringe? Untie me. You’ll go to jail. This won’t work. I’m not talking. I hope I won’t. I know I shouldn’t say as a kid I was a white wimp and still am and therefore perfect to work for the NCAA. I loathe my athletic superiors and all the media and fan and female attention they receive. They don’t deserve it. They only deserve room, board, and an education. We in the NCAA have a solemn right to the billions generated by those young football and basketball players. From our vast headquarters they paid for we plot and preach how to keep them from gaining any financial benefit, even a trip home on a holiday. We have this power because years ago we emasculated passive athletic directors and university presidents and bamboozled the public and, miraculously, made ourselves immune to the Constitution and due process.
We can no longer get away with banishing disagreeable players and universities from television or sentencing their programs to one year of death but still take away their scholarships and bowl games and make fans unhappy. And, in my liberated state, I gleefully volunteer that it’s especially fun signing hefty television and concessions contracts while punishing schools where black athletes are the stars. That would be most places. We enjoyed tormenting USC because Reggie Bush’s parents received rent money from an agent, while he produced millions for us, and demanded return of his Heisman Trophy. The terrified Trojans responded instantly and, without our even ordering, removed all Bush trophies and photos in the most thorough historical erasure since de-Stalinization. Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have said Stalin. Don’t make any connections. Our greatest leader, Walter Byers, bragged about the “plantation mentality” of those of who us who strangle college sports, but that’s only a metaphor. We haven’t enslaved or killed anyone. We only destroy aspirations and fun and ignore twenty-two percent of the athletes whose scholarships are cancelled every year. We get off on that. We’re the NCAA.
Source – I become ill thinking about NCAA outrages so am keeping this piece short and referring readers to “The Shame of College Sports,” a devastating essay by Taylor Branch in The Atlantic’s October issue.