John Oliver on The Scandal That is the NCAA

The NCAA doesn’t pay athletes because they consider them amateurs. The NCAA considers them amateurs because they don’t get paid.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The NCAA

HBO, 3.15.15

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  1. theexpertisin commented on Mar 16

    Collegiate athletics in a pure sense is designed to compliment the rigors involved in the academic pursuit of a meaningful degree, teaching values and life skills to enable the individual to become a more complete soul.

    We can all see that both ends of that premise are in the crap house..

  2. Herman Frank commented on Mar 17

    Another disgrace in the face of everyone!
    And by “everyone” I mean fans, public at large, schools and their administrations, sponsors, networks, State and Federal Gov’t, Min of Justice, Min of Labor, Consumer Affairs … EVERYONE!
    And NOBODY does anything to make this wrong right?! The NCAA doesn’t even hide its practices! It flaunts its avarice and corrupted ways as “our wonderful way”! Let me tell you, there’s NOTHING wonderful about the exploitation of slaves!
    Next up, Dorito, Coke, McDonalds (etc.) sponsorship stickers on the white robes of the KKK? Obviously, as long as they’re saying they’re a bunch of dressed up amateurs NO ONE is going to say anything.
    Are you?!

  3. jankynoname commented on Mar 17

    They should really just pay these guys with deferred stock in the athletics program that vests once they graduate. That way you get the best of both worlds; student’s aren’t preoccupied with making money during school (or getting bribed by recruiters), and they are properly incentivized to play well in order to increase the brand value of their university. Star players can get larger stock ‘bonuses’, and bench players can get less. Over time, the value of their claim on the profits will get diluted as more and more star athletes graduate, but everyone still has an incentive to act in ways that maximize the value of the brand.

    • curmudgeon2000 commented on Mar 17


      You kin gussie it up with all the high-fallutin’ language you want, but underneath all
      them purty words what you’re really advocating is collective ownership… socialism!!1!1!

      The university is simply continuing its role as educator by giving them an early life lesson
      in getting screwed by the system.

  4. Expat commented on Mar 17

    Not surprised. Nor is this new. It’s just more of ‘Murica.
    God bless this country…it frickin needs it!

  5. Slash commented on Mar 17

    I’ve read it referred to as a “plantation” system. And it is. Somehow, rich white men always find a way to profit from the labor of black people while paying the black people almost nothing.

    The NCAA has to be the most corrupt organization in America. And given how many very, very corrupt institutions we have already, that is saying something. It’s up against the SEC, Congress, various state legislatures, the Catholic Church and the NFL.

  6. CDizzle commented on Mar 17

    The root cause of the “scandal” lies with the American consumer paying their cable TV/satellite TV bill. These payments fund the contracts paid to the NCAA by the television stations that broadcast the games. This “phenomenon” known as supply and demand has been brewing up for quite some time now. If one wished to “take a stand” against this “scandal”, do so by not paying for TV content and/or not attending NCAA-sanctioned events.

    Oh, and, the MINIMUM NBA salary is north of $500K. That’s some pretty well-compensated labor, regardless of skin color, etc.

  7. Expat commented on Mar 18

    CDizzle, 1.2% of college basketball players end up in the NBA for some duration. Those who do not end up at McDonald’s in Nairobi apparently. I would guess that a higher percentage of final four players end up the in the NBA.

    Americans seem to be ignorant and stupid (at least by international standards) so we can’t expect them to take action from the consumer end. Nor is it necessarily their responsibility. We have laws, courts, and governments for these sort of things. “Student/athletes” will continue challenging the system and eventually a lawsuit will be brought and won. The NCAA will whine and cry and cancel the tournament for a year until they realize that making $300 million is better than making nothing.

    • CDizzle commented on Mar 18

      Expat, Ironically, David Harrison was an NBA first round draft pick and provided with a guaranteed contract paying him more than $4 million.

      Presumably, the potential benefits for the other 98.8% that don’t make it to the NBA:

      1) University degree,
      2) Professional Basketball career other than the NBA,
      3) Visibility (marketing) to the outside world that would be difficult to achieve elsewhere,
      4) Sports broadcasting position,
      5) Employment with alma mater (college or HS) in athletic department,
      6) Experience of competing on the highest amateur level of a sport voluntarily selected by the individual.

      And so forth.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think the NCAA is not efficiently operated. I’m just not crying in my beer for the “student/athletes”, many of whom would otherwise be unable to attend college in the first place (please refer to former NFL’er Damien Woody’s comments reacting to Chris Borland’s unexpected retirement).

    • Ralph commented on Mar 18

      3 things:

      -They may get a piece of paper from a university, but don’t kid yourself — they did not get an academic education.

      -The visibility is not helpful

      -There are even less sports broadcasting positions than there are rooms on the NBA teams’ rosters

  8. Expat commented on Mar 18

    CDizzle, and slavery was a free trip to America complete with guaranteed employment, room and board for you and your whole family!

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