Thursday, December 29, 2011

If Ya Wanna Play, Ya Gotta Pay

Sorry about missing yesterday. It mystifies me why, if you stay in a budget hotel the internet connection is free, but if you stay in a nice place, like I'm doing in DC, you have to pay for it.

If you're not into sports you may want to skip today. But, believe it or not this issue affects your life and taxes whether you're into college sports or not.

In the last two days there have been articles in USA Today, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal about the beyond-reason power big-time college coaches exert on their universities.

The presidents of The University of Connecticut and Miami University have both said more attention needs to be paid to donors and "sources of revenue that are not a part of the academic mission" of the university.

That's wonderful, coming as it does from the leaders of two universities that are being smacked by the NCAA at this time.

But, the toothpaste is out of the tube on this issue. It's like a coach once said about a great runner, "we can't stop him, all we can hope to do is contain him."

That's the issue on big-time football and basketball. Unfortunately, we'll continue to see problems and they'll come in waves accompanied by handwringing and penalties and the same ole-same ole...are ya listenin' Ohio State?

So, athletic departments can say that the coaches salaries are paid through donations but all the equipment, facilities, most of the scholarships and the upkeep is paid by...us.

Someone once asked Babe Ruth if he thought he was worth his $100,000 yearly salary (this was when a hundred grand was really worth a hundred grand)because it was more than the President of the United States made. Babe said, "Sure, I'm worth it. I had a better year."

Chip Kelly, the football coach at Oregon makes more than four times the COMBINED salaries of the president of the University of Oregon and the president of the Oregon university system. Think about that.

Go Ducks!

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