OK— Full disclosure… I HATE The NCAA. This ain’t nothing new… I’ve hated it for a LoooonG time now. And make no mistake about it, it is a distaste that has been well-earned. I almost find it hard to believe that it has not been identified as a criminal enterprise. Walter Byers knew it… said it, well just about. But people want to act like it’s not a big deal… it is! And who was Walter Byers? He was the very first and longest serving Executive Director that organization, who after leaving the cabal, declared it as akin to involuntary servitude, or a form of modern-day slavery. And who would know better? Of course, he was right… he was there when they drew up the plans. Like when you see the schematics of how they transported human cargo on those slave-ships. Nothing was left to chance.
And who is The NCAA? Well they aren’t some separate and apart governing body, even though you might sometime they think so with the way they carry on when one of their charter members get hit with a penalty of some kind. No! The NCAA is a collection of administrators from the same group of powerful schools you see listed in the rankings and power five conferences and so forth. So all you really need to know after that is that they are after the money and the control of the flow of money and they don’t want to share it beyond where they absolutely have to. Sound familiar… The Mafia maybe? Well Maybe not by strict doctrine, but just about the same operating scenario. And for all the moralizing and hand-wringing talking about amateurism and keeping the college experience so pure and clean, let me tell you, that train has so left the station it ain’t even funny.
Background… so the organization was formed in 1951 and operated from its headquarters in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Now I’ve never heard anybody say this but I will. I believe that was done on purpose… obscuring any perceived negative impact of big city proceedings by moving operations outside those traditionally held dens of dastardly dealings. Shawnee Mission, Kansas sounds like its out in some Field of Dreams setting somewhere. It isn’t. Shawnee Mission, or as later designated Overland Park, Kansas is a twenty-minute drive from downtown Kansas City Missouri. So what… well, think about The Mob… read about it, research it. If you do, you are guaranteed to come across references to a list of cities that include: New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City… and later, Las Vegas and L.A. its just a fact. So rather than even try and explain away Kansas City… Shawnee Mission just sounded so much more wholesome.
But if you want to know how un-wholesome it really is; well after all those years of calling Kansas City home, in 1999 The NCAA decided to move its headquarters from KC Metro to Indianapolis. And like a jilted lover, the home folks, none too pleased, starting talking like a drunken parakeet. The Kansas City Star ran a twelve-part special report called “Money Games”. In it they laid out case after case of out-right fraud, deceit and dishonesty that shook the institution to it’s core. So, starting up in suburban Kansas City, The NCAA oversaw every aspect of operations of its member institutions. The ones who would profit and the ones who wouldn’t… or not nearly as well anyway… like HBCUs. The wealth gap is not considerable… it’s astounding. Need proof… how about this one. The budget of the department for ‘amateur’ athletics at the University of Texas is larger than the same budget for sports at all the HBCUs athletics departments-- combined. That’s a lot of money. And they plan on keeping it that way. And not just as far as HBCUs are concerned, but with regard to any school that is not already a part of the big conference schools or can manage to force their way into one of them.
That’s why I so love what The University of Memphis did Friday Night. All of sudden and apparently out of nowhere allegations started flying about something wrong with future NBA star James Wiseman’s eligibility. This after having had that issue addressed long ago, The NCAA decided with some ‘new information’ Wiseman was being determined ineligible. But a group of attorneys representing Wiseman filed a motion and a local judge issued a restraining order against The NCAA’s ruling. And the school decided to run with it and played Wiseman in its game against Illinois-Chicago. Essentially telling the NCAA to shove-it up the old chocolate whiz-way.
The NCAA at last, finally appears to be losing its grip and God knows it can’t come soon enough. The California ruling that will allow athletes’ rights to be compensated for the use of their likeness is a major decision in the right direction. And when they decided they couldn’t beat it back, all of a sudden there they were now trying to get on-board to start to preside over a whole new list of restrictions. Good luck with and of course, I really don’t mean it. Even the likes of Jay Bilas who has for a while now been an ardent critic of The NCAA, was surprised that Memphis had been so defiant and acted as it did. But oftentimes that’s exactly the way it has to be. One minute its Brahms and a symphony, and the next minute— Gangster-Rap.
By ANDRE Jackson