The NCAA rule book is not the United States Constitution.
If anything, the rule book supporting the bogus concept of “amateur athletics” is akin to the laws that supported Jim Crow, denied women suffrage and upheld slavery.
The architect of the modern NCAA, the organization’s former president, Walter Byers, spelled out all of this in his 1997 mea culpa, “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting the Student-Athlete.”
Byers wrote: “Today the NCAA Presidents Commission is preoccupied with tightening a few loose bolts in a worn machine, firmly committed to the neo-plantation belief that the enormous proceeds from college games belong to the overseers (administrators) and supervisors (coaches). The plantation workers performing in the arena may only receive those benefits authorized by the overseers.”
Byers was not and is not a Jesse Jackson sympathizer. Byers is a white, right-wing conservative from Kansas. He was the NCAA’s first president (1951-1988) and sole visionary. He admitted creating a monster. His NCAA memoir was his repentance and call for a fundamental overhaul of a corrupt organization.
Reggie Bush is Kunta Kinte, a runaway slave.
The media are slave-catchers, mindless mercenaries crucifying child athletes for following the financial lead of their overseer coaches such as Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban.
I graduated from a very good journalism school. Ball State’s program is not the equal of Northwestern’s or Missouri’s, but I feel quite comfortable that I understand the role of journalists.
Journalists are not trained to be attack dogs for morally bankrupt institutions.
At some point, we can recognize that an investigative journalism award and individual career advancement do not justify pretending there is some honor in safeguarding the NCAA’s plantation.
USC is giving back Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy. Call me when Pete Carroll gives back a dime. Call me when USC offers a refund to all the people who purchased Reggie Bush jerseys.
Call me when the phony moralizing stops and we, the media, quit demonizing black kids for cashing in like white men.
If you read this column regularly, you know I’m fond of the TV show “The Wire” and making Wire-related analogies. The pursuit of Reggie Bush and his Heisman Trophy is the equivalent of police commissioner Ervin Burrell demanding a “buy-bust sting” and “dope on the table.”