News with a Twist: News with a View

"NCAA" ... There's no "Academics" in that title

So the saga of LSU’s permanently-suspended Tyrann Mathieu continues to descend into the “college football as prep for the pros” abyss. To talk about this subject will also require some discussion of the conduit for the pro mindset: ESPN.

The latest in the “Honey Badgers” story is that he has decided against staying at LSU to finish his academic career. The biggest shock of this announcement is that it would actually shock anyone.

Matthieu is said to be heading to a Division I-AA “school” where his eligibility will be restored… to play football that is. There he will apply himself and follow in the quasi-tradition of LeBron James and prepare for next spring’s NFL draft. This was always the goal pursued by the Tyrann Mathieu’s of the No Collegiate Academic Association. When this news was developing Monday, none other than ESPN was on-hand to “break” the story, issue some retractions and then breathlessly rebreak the same news with correct facts.

I wonder why ESPN is so giddy to grab these stories from college campae to start with? Why does the NCAA allow billions of media money anywhere near their “amateur athletes” with an emphasis on amateur? There’s no CNBC coverage of the SAT test sessions for computer science majors or Food Network drooling at the country’s 18 college level “home ec” exams is there? The fact of the matter is men’s college sports provide ESPN BILLIONS of dollars in programming. That makes those athletes professional participants in pay for play broadcasting. This is fine, so long as the charade of “academic excellence” as the highest priority is dropped.

Once, the best and brightest young men who happened to also be good athletes went to university. Today the best athletes who happen to also take written tests go to prepare for the NFL, MLB and NBA telecasts which earn ESPN billions. In that endeavor the taxpayers of Louisiana who subsidize this scam should be un-Honey Badger and “care”about this racket.





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps