"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

THE NCAA; WHAT SHOULD THEY REALLY BE DOING?

The decision earlier this week by the NCAA to allow satellite football camps for high school students and college football coaches is a reversal of a ruling earlier in the month that disallowed the camps. Reportedly, the initial decision was urged by a few power conference schools that seemed to think that by running the camps, they were enabling their competitor schools to possibly pull recruits from their grasp. It's a shame that the very organization whose sole purpose should be to promote college athletics and benefit student-athletes has instead become a money machine and protector of the high revenue schools and conferences. The NCAA and its member schools have a television contract for their basketball tournament that generates around $1 Billion, yes, that's with a B, alone. Ticket sales for the tournament are probably in the $60 - 100 million range, more than enough to run the event. By my calculations, the cost of scholarships for all 351 Division 1 men's basketball programs, assuming an average of $40,000 cost of attendance, is in the area or $160 million. That leaves a lot of money for everyone but the student-athletes. I've previously blogged about this from the football perspective, and the math isn't much different.

My point is, there certainly seems to be a lot of money generated that doesn't appear to have a specific purpose for dissemination. Which brings me back to the sattelite camp issue. My proposal is that the NCAA organize and fund the camps. There are a lot of benefits to this idea. First, it takes any ownership and funding out of control of individual schools. If the NCAA is really concerned about some schools gaining an advantage over others, then why not give every student-athlete and every school the same opportunities? If the camps are held regionally, they could be virtual combine types of gatherings, minimizing travel issues and costs. Depending on the number of camps, perhaps coaches and athletes could attend up to a certain number or the NCAA could offer travel money to kids that can't afford the cost of attendance. I'd much rather like to see the NCAA engage in that type of activity than spending money making and enforcing arbitrary and seemingly unnecessary regulations.

If the organization can't use its extensive funds to add value for student-athletes, then I strongly recommend that the NCAA is disbanded and we find some other way to manage the activities of college athletics, including organizing and running championship events. It just seems like the current version is bloated and intent on spending  a lot of money on unnecessary activities, including staffing, travel and enforcement. I'd rather see funds spent on research for football and lacrosse safety, ways to educate student-athletes on life after competition, programs on domestic violence prevention or any number of other positive activities. Is is easy? Absolutely not. But the money is getting out of control, whether it be contributions from boosters or salaries for high profile coaches. There are a lot of ways to spend money for the benefit of student-athletes without paying them. It's time the NCAA or its successor to get a little more creative.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first two, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel" and "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and SmashwordsTune into www.WPFLRADIO.com at 8:40 am EST every Friday for my Beyond the Commentary segment on "Lou in the Morning" with Lou Vickery and Jonathan McMath.