The NCAA is despicable for a lot of reasons, but primarily it's because it's an organization which pretends to care about kids. The NCAA doesn't care about kids, they care about their money. How do we know this? Because even when the NCAA does the right thing, it lies about it.
Did you know, the NCAA (or perhaps its member-conferences) allowed at least one Final Four team to pick up the traveling expenses of players' families? It's true. Marc Isenberg of the Money Players blog had the scoop first, and it's really quite telling why the NCAA would then lie about it. It's probably a publicly unknown tidbit which Mark Emmert uses to sleep at night, but it's also something which would start to blur the lines of amateurism just a little bit more. You know, in case the Taxman comes calling.
It's the right thing to do, considering the billions of dollars in TV revenue alone that the NCAA harvests off players' hard-work. (It'd really be interesting to find out which school it was; I think it was Ohio State.) But don't think there is a moral awakening going on in the ivory tower of the NCAA, because there isn't.
Take, for example, the NCAA's latest abomination: lying to college players about when they have to declare for the NBA draft.
On Tuesday, collegiate basketball players, most of them recently having their seasons ended in gut-rending defeat, will have to decide if they're going pro or not. Time is certainly ticking on one of the biggest decisions of their lives, except that it's really not at all. The NCAA just makes them feel that way, because the NCAA has instituted a deadline which isn't a deadline at all.
The deadline to declare for the NBA draft is April 29th. The players don't have until Tuesday, they have two and a half weeks to make that decision. Why would the NCAA rush student-athletes? So as many of them will feel as hesitant about their prospects as possible in hopes "student-athletes" return to their multi-billion dollar incubators? Because that's what it smells like to me.
Know who isn't lying to kids? John Calipari. That "scumbag" told his players to ignore NCAA's worthless deadline, because John Calipari respects his kids and he's willing to treat his like the sovereign human beings they are.
If Mark Emmert can waddle around as if he's weighed down by some intergalactic truth, then I think I'm entitled to the same. Hell, I won't even have to jet-set around the country on the backs of exploited labor to do so. All I have to do is shift the audience I'm writing to.
I'm not talking to the "athletes going professional in something other than sports." The types of kids getting scholarships to play something like Lacrosse would have probably been okay in the end anyway. Privilege has a way of asexually breeding success. No, I'm talking to the kids who ARE "going pro." The ones who are the cash-cows in which the NCAA makes their money on.
Here's some tips, kids, so listen up: There are, as is the case with any human (regardless of stature), only a handful of people on this world (outside of your immediate family) who TRULY care about you as a human being. A handful. So, to the rest of the world, you are nothing more than a walking dollar sign. This goes for EVERYBODY outside of that handful, and it probably includes faces which are already burroewed their way into your circle.
So, knowing and accepting that, the equation is rather simple: If you can get drafted in the first round of the NBA draft, then take the money and run. Hell, you will probably get paid more overseas than you would as a recent college grad anyway.
Look at Byron Mullens. People (including the clown typing this thing you're reading) ridiculed him for going pro after one year at Ohio State. Well, three years into his career and guess what? He's getting paid 2.3 million dollars a year to put up 9 points and 4 rebounds (on average) a night in the NBA. Now, I'm tragically bad at math, but at $2.3 million for this year (and $3.2 million due next year), I'm pretty sure Byron Mullens would have enough money to come back and pay for his own way through school if Byron Mullens decided that was best for the future of Byron Mullens.
If I listen closely at night, I can hear Mullens laughing himself to sleep. And he should be. He came from nothing and now he's a self-made millionaire. Byron Mullens won at America because he took the money and ran.
Here's another tip, kids: colleges don't care if you can get an education. Many of you wouldn't be walking these campuses if you couldn't run fast with a ball or jump really high. Your grades and SAT scores would have been laughed at by admissions counselors before they threw them into the trash. They have invited you into a system, which by their own definition, you're not cut out for. Oh, and by the way, this academic system dictates your entire livelihood.
Not to mention, there are self-righteous clowns like Charles Robinson and Pete Thamel waiting to "expose" you; to hold you in front of a nation as the "what's wrong" with their eulogized unicorn which never existed in the first place.
The fans? 99.8% of them don't care about you either. Doubt me? Put 80% effort into a game one night and watch how you get scorned by people who only put 40% of their will into their own jobs on a day-to-day basis. There are people who make livings by ridiculing teenagers and 20-somethings like yourselves, which means there are even more people reading these clowns and nodding their concrete skulls.
No, this hellscape of an existence is one fueled largely by selfishness and greed. The safest shelter against it is money. Grab what you can today, because tomorrow is never promised. (Tyrone Prothro went from Alabama hero to a bank teller damn near overnight.)
So yeah, dudes like you, Mr. Trey Burke, take the money and don't look back.