With the discovery of Reggie Bush's wrongdoings while attending USC being released today it made me think about how much of a fraud the NCAA is to their athletes. How much money do you think Peyton manning brought into Tennessee? How much money do you think Reggie Bush brought into USC? Both of these athletes put fans in the seats with their phenominal play while at the same time making money for their respective universities through jersey sales and such. How much money would these athletes receive if they did not accept money from boosters or agents? If your answer is nothing then you are correct. True, most athletes are on scholarships but the fact is that hardly covers daily life. While the universities first priority should be the health and well being of the athletes I can point to at least three reasons why the universities could care less if an athlete graduates or is injured.
1) Money - it will always come down to money. Athletics in college is about profit. Sure its great to have a team that wins the national championship in football. However, what a university president will be extremely happy about is the 17 million dollar payout that comes from making the championship game. Isn't it funny how these presidents can all get together and pretend to care about the athletes themselves but as soon as money comes up it changes everything?
2) The 12th Game - Prior to 2006 a 12th game would only be approved every other year and that was only if you made the trip to Hawaii (it's the island exception rule). University presidents who say a playoff cannot happen because it will interfere with school and cause to much of a burden for the athletes somehow think it's ok to have a game twelve. So instead of shaving the season back two games and having a playoff with the addition of one game the presidents will keep the BCS format and will now require twelve games out of each institution. But wait, isn't that more work for the athletes that the presidents care so much about?
3) Bowl Games - Bowl games purely exist to earn profit. Now there is the argument that a bowl game is a nice reward to a good season and I will not argue that. However, who is happy to play in the Silicon Valley Classic? Who is happy to play in the Humanitarian bowl? I am not saying the latter of the two is a bad bowl but you earn virtually nothing and it is a strain on the institution. If a playoff were to take place then these strains may not be nearly as tough on the student-athletes.
I am sure there are many more points that can be argued as to why the presidents in college football have screwed the game up horribly. The fact of the matter is that money is what makes college football work. Athletes are not given anything aside the sense of pride for playing their asses off. Some make it big and never have to look back, but most are not as lucky. What do you do to these players aside tell them that you are proud of their efforts? You don't pay them a penny and know they just went out and played their asses off for you and your university. The NCAA is the biggest fraud in the nation today. It's to bad that very little can be done about it aside allow these old men to keep operating under a system that sucks to say the least.