Yes, apparently the Big Ten is considering a proposal to make freshmen football and men’s basketball players ineligible.
And they aren’t the only conference. But let’s take a look at this quote by Maryland University President Wallace Loh:
What I like about the concept of the proposal is it puts right up front the basic issue: Are we basically a quasi-professional activity or primarily an educational activity?” university President Wallace Loh said. “And if you support it, you are basically saying very clearly the No. 1 priority is the education of the students.”
I think Wallace is on to something here. NCAA football and men’s basketball do seem kind of quasi-professional as they stand now. Maybe we could make some changes to show that college sports are more about education. I mean really, once you own a TV network for the sole purpose of showing your conference’s sporting events, take billions, BILLIONS, in television right’s fees, and millions more on the sale of merchandise, it sure does seem professional to me, right Wallace? Heck, just look at those athletic facilities, plenty of professional teams don’t have the kind of luxurious facilities that the Oregon, Alabama or Ohio State teams do!
But wait, simply making freshmen ineligible won’t fix any of that. So before we decide to force kids to study for a year before they’re even allowed to play, let’s take these steps first to fight off this plague of professionalism:
- Shutter the Big Ten Network (And other conference and college networks as well)
- Give ESPN/ABC/NBC/FOX/CBS and whoever else their right’s fees back.
- Drop out of the football playoff system
- Cease any facilities projects still in the planning stage
- Get the NFL and NBA to drop their age limits
- Charge a nominal fee for tickets to games, if any.
With all of that quasi-professionalism out of the way, now let’s talk about the freshmen, cool?
Why only football and male basketball players? Surely if getting used to the academic rigors of school apart from the pressure of sports is good for them, it’s also good for lacrosse players and field hockey players, right? Besides, isn’t it a TitleIX violation to provide opportunities to female athletes that males don’t have? Shame on you. That’s sexist, and quite probably pretty racist too.
Want to reconsider yet? Or do you just want to accept that you are a quasi-professional sports league, take your money and shut up?