No, I am not talking about the end of the world. I am far to optimistic about the future to embrace that idea. To the contrary, we may be about to witness the end of “indentured servitude” for college athletes. About that, I am optimistic.
The NCAA (often referred to as the owner of the plantation) is facing a situation in which may be about to lose one of it’s most prized and profitable assets, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Why? He sold his autograph, but according to the NCAA, his autograph is their property. Only the NCAA can sell Johnny’s autograph.
What to do? What to do? Mark Emmert, the Chief Executive of the NCAA, must not be sleeping well these days. If he declares Johnny ineligible he exposes the NCAA for what it really is, a multibillion-dollar entertainment business built on the exploitation of those who actually play the game. As I have written before, the coaches and administrators are “living large” while the players live with rules guaranteeing them a poor standard of living. The rule broken by Johnny Manziel is just one of those rules that ties the athletes down.
I have never understood how coaches making millions can live with themselves without taking a stand for these young kids they claim to care about. Is it peer group pressure, fear of being “black listed” by conference administrators, or just the joy of being an “exploitor” rather than an “exploitee?”
Johnny may end up being the guy who “knowingly” or “unknowingly” brought about the demise of the NCAA, as we know it today. And in my opinion, it is long overdue.