Friday, March 11, 2011

NCAA hypocrites unite!

The world is full of hypocrites and, it being March, we might as well talk about one of the biggest groups of hypocrites on the planet:

The university presidents and other Pooh-bahs atop the NCAA.

They refuse to sanction a national football tournament. Why? Because one or two extra games would put too much wear and tear on their beloved athlete-students. Plus, any system other than the BCS would cost those same athlete-students too much class time (even though almost all would be on Christmas break during a real championship tourney).

OK, let's say we take them at their word. (We don't ... but for the sake of argument, we'll say we do.) How do they explain what's going on this week in college basketball, with one conference tournament after another pushing hundreds of athletes to the brink of exhaustion and keeping tens of students among the athletes out of the classroom?

In the Big East on Friday, UConn will be playing its fourth high-intensity game in as many days. If the Huskies beat Syracuse and advance to Saturday's championship, they'll be the first ever to play five games in five days. And basketball games, unlike their football counterparts, include more than 10 minutes each of actual action.

Apparently, the money grab that is March Madness -- from the conference tournaments to the NCAAs to the NIT -- trumps all the fear of wear and tear.

My beloved Marquette Golden Warrior Eagles played three games in three nights in the Big East tourney, the third being Thursday's quarterfinal loss to Louisville. That the rest of the Marquette student body has been taking midterm exams all week was of little concern to the NCAA honchos. Not when there's big coin to be made at Madison Square Garden. Let the athlete-students make up the exams later (if they take the exams at all).

The NCAA wants it both ways ... and they're succeeding at getting what they want.

OK, fine. We know when we're beaten. Just don't look so smug while blowing smoke up our butts. Say what it is: preservation of status quo, cash grab, lording over the sports world, whatever.

And just don't say it's about the kids. Because everybody with an IQ over 50 -- even Digger Phelps and Dickie V -- knows it isn't.

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