After thinking about the scandal for an hour or so, my opinion changed because I remembered that the NCAA's rules against paying players who generate millions of dollars for their schools are an affront. The rules represent a rare instance where liberals and conservatives should agree. Liberals should hate the rules because they force an income transfer from labor (especially labor that tends to be poor and Black) to management (the mostly wealthy, white individuals who run the business of college football). Conservatives should hate the rules because they counteract the way that a free market should work. The most basic precept of the free market is that individuals should be able to contract freely with one another and receive the benefit of their bargain without artificial rules corrupting the process. The NCAA prevents this from happening by stopping millions of dollars that want to end up in the pockets of college football players from doing so.
And where do those millions of dollars end up? How about two examples from yesterday's headlines. One place they end up is in the pocket of coaches, regardless of whether those coaches deserve the money. You end up with a coach who sports a career losing record being rewarded with a six-year deal averaging $3.25 million per season. Yes, a guy who said that he would walk from San Diego to Ann Arbor is being paid as if Michigan had no leverage with him whatsoever. The contract that Dave Brandon authorized for Brady Hoke is so ludicrously generous on its face that my first thought was that Brandon was acting like the sheikhs who run Manchester City and distort the transfer market by overpaying for players, often by a factor of two. (Seriously, how many athletic directors are seeing their best-layed budget plans flying out the window now that Michigan has set the bar for a coach with an average-at-best resume at $3.25 million? What do coaches with good resumes now get? If Hoke is worth $3.25 million, then what is Nick Saban worth? $15 million?) That said, at least the sheiks waste their money on the players on the field. Dave Brandon can't overspend on the players who bust their humps in winged helmets, so he has to do so on Bobby Bacala's twin.
Where else does the money end up? Let's ask the incorruptible souls who run the Fiesta Bowl. I'm stealing the summary from EDSDS:
• Junker had a fetish for gold investing, and charged $1,595 to Fractal Publishing for their subscription marketing service. According to its website, Fractal Publishing offers The Fractal Market Report and The Fractal Gold Report, providing "a detailed forecast for equity markets, as well as selected other markets like silver, bonds, and crude oil." Junker also blew over $22,000 for gold coins purchased with Bowl funds because, urr, DURR, durp.
• Junker in effect provided the startup capital for "Blue Steel," the security company run by a Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy who later ensured that Junker's daughter received a police security escort to her prom.
• In order to "reach out to the Hispanic community," Junker sent Natalie Wisneski, the Fiesta's chief operating officer, to a Hispanic businesswoman's conference in Paris.
• The Bowl awarded construction contracts to standing board members in a no-bid process. #wellplayed
• Summed up by one quote: "As a general matter, it is unclear who is in charge of guiding the Bowl’s investment strategy for its available cash."
College football manages to combine massive exploitation and massive waste. In the words of Didier Drogba, it's a f***ing disgrace.