What game? Johnny Manziel’s Texas A&M Aggies vs. Alabama on September 14th. Returning Heisman Trophy winner vs. the defending National Champion, what a fabulous draw for CBS and the SEC. Now that the Manziel autograph “scandal” has been dealt with we can all relax, grab a beer and watch some great football in Prime Time in a couple of weeks.
Was there ever any doubt that the NCAA would stand in the way of this unique match-up? CBS is paying the SEC over a half billion dollars for the rights to broadcast Prime Time SEC Football over the next 10 years, and you better believe they intend to make a profit. College Football is one of the biggest media draws in the entertainment industry today and no one wants the NCAA, with their archaic rules, to screw it up.
The time has come for the Major Conferences and Universities that want to be in the entertainment industry to withdraw from the NCAA. The NCAA is an impediment to the players, the fans, the coaches and the Universities who want to see a great “product” on the field. The NCAA was never intended to be the overseer of a huge entertainment business. The Major Conferences already negotiate their own Media contracts.
As we have seen, over the past few years, the revenue generating capabilities of each school (business) determines how the conferences organize themselves to maximize their profit. Thus we see Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference, Boise State in the Big East etc. etc. It’s a business and they should have the freedom to take the actions they deem necessary to maximize their profits. All the parties, except one, have this freedom, and of course that is the players.
In a world without the NCAA each Conference would be free to establish their own rules, and the players would decide which school best meets their needs. If the player’s primary goal were to get an education, he would perhaps choose a school that guaranteed a scholarship for 4 or 5 years. If the goal were to develop the skills necessary for a career in professional sports they could choose a school with a great coach. Each Conference would establish its own rules recognizing the vested interest of all concerned, including the players.
In summary, the players deserve a “seat at the table” and a share of the benefits being created. The current situation is not sustainable and it’s time for a change.