Monday, March 12, 2012


I sense my withdrawal program is complete.

Even though I’ve watched probably 5-6 periods of Caps’ hockey since Thanksgiving, it’s a foreign thing to me now. I still know I’d enjoy hockey – as sport – but I’ve never been a watching-for-watching sake kind of person. Being that the brackets are everywhere today, and I have no idea about college basketball, I feel nothing. The truth of the matter is that I was never going to top my 1984 bracket victory – back when we still filled them out on paper and manually tallied the scores each round.

Since we are on the topic of the bracket, and more widely the NCAA, let me get down in writing something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit since last year. I refuse to believe that the NCAA survives this decade; I’d prefer it to disappear in the next five years. There are two factors that contribute to my hatred, and predicted demise: it’s an arbitrarily concocted, wholy illegal band of jackasses. And, secondly, the member schools have no need for the NCAA and their illegal band of jackasses. The NCAA, for whatever its history may be, is an association that has zero legal authority in this world. They don’t have ‘subpoena’ authority, they don’t have any legal basis for anything they do, they conduct closed, mysterious investigations using shitty fact patterns, and they punish/sentence players or schools based on some concocted scale of ‘imprisonment’. Why any school or university would voluntarily agree to this stuff is beyond me. One of the great cases was a kid named Jeremy Bloom who played football at Colorado and was also a professional, freestyle skier – and the NCAA came down on his football career as if they had some grand moral compass. As for the need for having the NCAA around flexing it’s smoothbrain tactics: the schools don’t need them. The two biggest (public) functions that NCAA performs are the ‘bowl season’ and March Madness. As for the bowls, the BCS (which rules the championship landscape) and it’s not linked in any true way to the NCAA. The mass amounts of money and selection process are done beyond the NCAAs reach. The tournament isn’t anything special that can’t be recreated. What? Someone can’t handle the logistics of scheduling venues for regional games years in advance? I’m pretty sure it could be handled.

At some point the damn will break and it’ll take only one, bold, BCS conference team. They will be the martyr for sure, and may pay a heavy price to open the departures, but they’ll be hailed in the end. Maybe an entire BCS conference will agree to walk away. Once either of those things occur the house of cards will disappear in a blink of the eye.

Don’t confuse my disgust of the NCAA with any type of support for college ‘scholarship’ athletics. I’d just as soon be rid of them all.

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