We’re Enjoying “The Weirdest NCAA Tournament Ever” Thanks In Large Part To The NIL - The Same Thing The NCAA Told Us Would Ruin College Sports
Remember this clown?
The last of the Mohicans of indentured servitude. The final boss of non-compensation.
The man who saw zero problem making $3 million dollars a year off the backs of student athletes, yet stood firm in cracking the whip in suspending those same students for receiving a free lunch. Literally.
My buddy and former Dozen teammate Reags, aka “the human rain delay”, just posted a great blog calling this “the weirdest ncaa tournament ever”.
And he’s right. I think everybody would agree, and say that it’s fucking awesome.
Much in part due to the top seeds being knocked off and the Elite 8 being totally up for grabs going forward. As well as for the excitement we’ve enjoyed thus far. (That UCLA Gonzaga game was one of the best we’ve ever witnessed.)
But one thing he somehow left out crediting for this excitement, was the dreaded NIL.
People like Mark Emmert said the NIL would ruin NCAA sports as we know it, and we’re having one of the most exciting March Madnesses I can remember and first time ever we have zero #1 seeds in the Elite Eight and that’s in large part because of the NIL.
The NIL effect has leveled the playing field. The traditional blue blood schools used to hoard, funnel, and stack talent to their schools with the only incentive being the school legacy etc. But by also having the means to pay kids and their families thanks to boosters like Happy from Blue Chips.
But now top talent can help their families instead of just the legacy of the school. Aside from the obvious endorsement deals, kids are actually allowed to work now, in or out of season.
(Sidebar - it still blows my mind this was forbidden for as long as it was. Imagine being as broke as fuck as you are in college and not having the option to make money in the little free time that you do have?)
Athletes are now allowed to sell their season tickets and the coaches wallets and thus the talent is diffused, more than concentrated. Which is why a school like Alabama all of a sudden isn’t just a Football school anymore and has a good basketball team now. (That and they have alleged accomplices to murder on their team.)
At the same time now lower level programs and schools are more likely to upset traditional powers with less than elite talent because of the leveled playing field, greater chance to catch them with their guard down, and because of all the cliches “any given Sunday”, “that’s why they don’t play the game on paper”, etc.
And smaller, on the rise programs are more likely to have players who have played more years together and have better chemistry than Reags’ favorite scumbag Calipari’s one and done rosters. That chain reaction I feel is why this craziness is going on and we’re getting to enjoy the byproduct of it all.
The only downside to it all is that it’s pretty much rendered the fun of filling out a bracket useless, as nobody’s bracket is worth a shit after opening weekend of the tournament anymore. Unless you’re Pam from accounting who picked which school mascots she likes the most or some shit like that.
In summation, Mark Emmert and his cronies are being proven wrong, yet again. They told us paying student athletes for their services would pollute and destroy the purity of college athletics. That it would lead to a shitstorm of scandal and a snowball effect that we’d never be able to reverse.
That quote of Emmert’s at the top of the blog is so outrageous you almost have to respect it. An employee is technically somebody who works for a business, helps that business generate revenue, and is in turn compensated for their work. Sounds exactly like an athlete who shows up every day, competes, and puts paying asses in the seats to watch them, draws eyeballs to tv screens to watch them, and networks and advertisers to pay obscene amounts of money Mark.
So far, this experiment seems like a win-win for everybody across the board. Even the stooges at the top of the NCAA who are sadly still banking big time off this excellent tournament.