I love college basketball and really like pretty much all college sports. It's fun watching these kids compete and, especially with the "big" sports like basketball and football, it's great seeing the excitement the teams produce for the students, alumni and the rest of the school's community. All that said the current state of college sports is absurd and hopefully something is soon to be done about it. First let's highlight the absurdity of the NCAA:
Exhibit 1: Walk-ons, aka non-scholarship players, are allowed to participate in team meals but they have to pay for them. "Walk-ons, by NCAA rules, are free to eat team dinners, but they have to pay. It comes out to roughly $15 per meal, which Auslander figured wasn’t fruitful, because that could buy two meals at Chipotle."
Exhibit 2: Everyone but the players is making an absurb amount of money. Sure the kids get a "free" education, but is that really a fair trade when you consider what everyone else is getting out of the deal? Hell, the men's basketball tournament alone brings has a 14 year, $10.8 billion TV deal attached to it. How is it then that a walk on, who isn't even getting a free education, has to pay for his own team dinner?
The absurdity that is the NCAA is obvious, and has been for years, but until now there hasn't been a whole lot done about it. Thanks to a potential class-action lawsuit that might soon change:
Sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler has filed suit against the NCAA and five power conferences, alleging that capping player compensation at the cost of a scholarship is an antitrust violation. Unlike previous suits, this one does not seek damages. It wants to tear down the NCAA. "We're looking to change the system," Kessler said. "That's the main goal."
The suit names as defendants the NCAA, the ACC, the Big 12, the Big Ten, The Pac-12, and the SEC. The plaintiffs are Rutgers forward J.J. Moore, Clemson DB Martin Jenkins, UTEP TE Kevin Perry, and Cal tight end William Tyndall, though as a class action claim, it hopes to represent all FBS football players and D-I basketball players.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see college sports stick around, but not in their current form. Hopefully the reform that is most definitely coming will change the system for the better and we'll end up with a something that is fair to all concerned, especially the players, and can be a continuing source of pride for the schools they represent.