The NCAA vs. Everyone: Yesterday, NCAA commissioner Mark Emmert and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke to the media and this made just a bit of news. I'm not sure where to being, so I'll just list them:
* NCAA class warfare closer; BCS types push low-revenue schools away - CBSSports.com
* Power conferences gear up to battle antitrust suit, other legal threats - CBSSports.com
* NCAA still refusing to see big picture; all college sports are not equal - Yahoo Sports
* NCAA President Mark Emmert Blasts Union Idea - WSJ.com
* NCAA president: Union model a ‘grossly inappropriate solution’ to problem | Campus Union - SI.com
The first link is about how representatives and attorneys for the the Big 5 conferences met recently to discuss how to deal with this situation. Obviously, you have a ton of folks talking about how things are going to change and there's seemingly no doubt that things will change. It seemed that Bowlsby's comments were much more accepted that Emmert's comments, which were about how things need to evolve. Emmert went on the offensive about the union and pretty much said that it was awful, but I guess he has to say that. Bowlsby seemed to want to emphasize that the NFL and the NBA need to do a better job of creating minor leagues and from my puny legal mind, this seems like the best escape to leave the NCAA intact.
Something that sorta got swept under the rug on Saturday is that Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said that the players should vote "no" and will have an opportunity to discuss why before their vote (via Sports Illustrated).
Hocutt Acknowledges Changes to be Considered: Don Williams spoke with Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt about the NCAA issues and he is adamant that he doesn't believe that student-athletes are employees (LAJ):
"While respecting the process that is ongoing, I adamantly disagree with that (NLRB director’s) opinion," Hocutt said, "and I believe that we within intercollegiate athletics have done a very poor job over the last number of years of communicating and stating the value of a grant in aid in a scholarship that some of our student-athletes are receiving. I think the value of a degree, the value of an education is tremendous."
But Hocutt isn't dead-set on nothing changing and acknowledges the grant in aid has not changed over a long period of time and should be changed:
"All that being said, I would also recognize that the grant in aid, the scholarship as it exists today, is the same as it was when I was in school or even, I believe, three decades ago," Hocutt said, "and that’s not right either. The world has changed, but yet the grant in aid has not."
Barbee Unsure of Players' Union: The LAJ is doing a full series on the players vs. the NCAA and they talked to former Red Raider Britton Barbee, a former defensive tackle that was seemingly always injured in his career, talks about how important the education was (via LAJ):
"I told him about the importance of making sure you have a suit," he said. "When I was in school, everybody spent their scholarship checks on Jordans and clothes that can’t be worn past (age) 22. I wanted to be sure I had dress socks and belts to match so I could interview."
"Most people are so focused on getting paid now, they don’t realize you get paid later," he said. "You get paid when it matters. You don’t need extra money when you’re 18 or 22. You need it when you’re where I am now, when you’re 26 years old and married with a 1-year-old. That’s when you need it."
This interview doesn't seem to go far enough, especially with that last point, which is that if Barbee had whatever money that he helped his team earn put into a trust fund for his benefit upon his graduation or leaving college, would he accept that? Maybe this isn't about being paid right now, but being paid with that money being available later.
I normally don't just type titles to articles, and I'm sure that this is an over-exaggeration, but here goes, "TCU's offense did not score during final spring practice" (via College Football Talk).