Saturday, January 16, 2016

The sport of making money

For many years the NFL told cities that if they made stadiums the league would not let their team leave. St. Louis apparently bought that, but 30 owners said nope. That is no surprise (although I am surprised because I thought the Rams owner Stan Kronke was unpopular with his peers) for all the love people have for sports they so rarely remember that the teams have owners for whom the team is a business. Does that make fandom somewhat irrational? To that question I would pose this response - in what ways is fandom not?

But let's move on to the more pure world of college athletics. The NCAA has avoided a much of the criticism about concussions, but that is mainly for two reasons 1) the NFL is a juicy target - both to sue and report on 2) NFL players have played longer and have more trauma. As a result the NCAA is not doing much to protect players. It turns out that if a college declares a player ineligible because of their concussion history that the NCAA does not prevent that player from just going to another school. If fact some colleges actively recruit guys other schools have put out to pasture. You can always find a doctor to tell you what you want and some players think colleges say too many concussions as way to ease a play they don't want anymore out the door.

Not the NCAA isn't a success at making bank. The salaries of the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences have QUINTUPLED in the last decade - from $541,000 to $2.58 million annually.


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