March Madness begins in earnest today. I took the day off from work to turn on (multiple TVs), tune in (CBS, TNT, TruTV and TBS) and drop out (of the Bracket Challenge).
It’s always fun to watch the games. But try not to think about how the players – who are the “content” for the $900 million that the NCAA will rake in during the tourney – aren’t getting a nickel.
According to the reports coming out of the Indianapolis area this week, players are being fed fast food, given free deodorant as a perk, provided with puzzles in the rooms they must isolate, and, on occasion, being given warm breakfast foods that have long since gone cold and no utensils to eat that with. In essence, college age kids are being shut in a hotel and given conditions that would make the average middle aged traveler lodge an endless series of complaints and demands to talk to the manager.From this post on Banners on the Parkway
“It’s become clear to even the biggest NCAA apologist that we are playing this tournament primarily to deliver content to media rights partners,” said ESPN’s Jay Bilas, a former Duke player. “That’s what this season was about.“Source: Indianapolis Star article
Enjoy the “redemption” story of Rick Pitino, who has taken his fifth team to the tournament. Pay no attention to the facts about why he left his previous coaching gig at the University of Louisville.
In June 2017, the NCAA suspended Pitino for five games of the 2017–18 season for his lack of oversight in an escort sex scandal at the University of Louisville involving recruits. Louisville’s national championship from 2013 was eventually vacated as well. In September, Pitino was implicated in a federal investigation involving bribes to recruits, which resulted in Louisville firing him for cause.Wikipedia
Watch #8 seed LSU take to the court tomorrow afternoon, led by guard Ja’Vonte Smart. Don’t think about how LSU Head Coach Will Wade was recorded on a wiretap, talking about making payments to Smart.
I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade said. “I’ll be honest with you, I’m [expletive] tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just [expletive] sick of dealing with the [expletive]. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated.”
ESPN had reported Dawkins had at least three calls with a number belong to Wade between June 19, 2017, and June 30, 2017. Smart announced his commitment on June 30.
“Dude. I went to him with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago. [Expletive] strong,” he said. “The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was [expletive] tilted toward the family a little bit. It was tilted toward taking care of the mom, taking care of the kid. Like it was tilted towards that. Now I know for a fact he didn’t explain everything to the mom. I know now, he didn’t get enough of the piece of the pie in the deal.”Source
Enjoy the games. But don’t peel back too many layers of the NCAA onion, because it’ll make you cry.