It was more than simply ironic that the College Football Playoff national championship game was held just 1.4 miles from the NCAA corporate offices.
You know, the power brokers who finally agreed to share some crumbs from the enormous financial pie with athletes by granting them permission to personally profit through the marketing of their respective name, image and likeness, which the NCAA has profited from for ages.
Mighty generous of the storied institution that for decades has taken cover under the guise of preserving amateur athletics and all things pure and wholesome within such.
All the while they’ve stockpiled enough cash to make even Wall Street envious, as TV networks and corporate America “partnered” with them for the good of the game and their share of all that money being printed.
Now the only decision left is how to make even more money off the young men who lined up last week at Lucas Oil Stadium and left the power football conference commissioners salivating for the potential of expanded playoffs, which will of course guarantee bigger payouts to their coffers.
The ongoing discussions regarding the expansion of this sham disguised as true athletic competition unfortunately do not include any provisions regarding payouts to the participating players, and while that’s no surprise to anyone who truly sees this out-of-whack financial sham for what it truly is, there is certainly no rush to grant the players their cut.
After all, ESPN is only paying a mere $470 million annually for the broadcast rights in a deal that will expire after the 2025 season, and it won’t be long before the vultures from the other TV networks join them in hovering over the offices of the powers that be looking to do more than simply wetting their powerful beaks.
The age-old questions here are how much is truly enough in terms of the obscene amounts of funds changing hands, and when will the young men who provide the entertainment content begin to be paid for their essential services?
The long overdue remedy to all that and then some is quite simple and right there for, shall we say, the taking. It won’t happen until the players organize and bring litigation against those who refuse to share with them what is rightfully theirs.
For starters, how about every player on both teams in the championship game simply walking off the field after the national anthem has been performed, signaling they’re not playing tonight as a result of the blatant financial inequality.
That would undoubtedly prompt a conference call between those who write the enormous checks and those who up until now have been cashing them and not sharing a dime with the players.
These talented athletes deserve more than a chartered flight to the host city and a commemorative golf shirt in a backpack bearing the CFP logo.
It’s obvious the money they’re entitled to isn’t going to be given to them without a fight of epic proportion, so it’s time to put all this talk about the paltry NIL money aside and discuss how the real money being brought in can be equally shared immediately.
The players have an overwhelming advantage and must organize and force negotiations. For those of you out there who feel that walking off the field right before the big game or filing a lawsuit is too much, it’s time for you to take your head out of the proverbial sand and look at the numbers.
I was downtown quite a bit on the last few days leading up to the championship tilt, and I’m wondering, didn’t you notice the stitch of greed permeating the air between the hotels in which the power brokers were being housed and Lucas Oil Stadium? I sure could.
Danny Bridges, who often wonders what is taking the players so long to claim their share of the enormous wealth associated with college football, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.