It isn’t like it’s gone anywhere it’s just that I haven’t used the title in awhile. Either way, Weekend Ramblings returns and here are my thoughts on the latest in the sports’ world in a ‘Readers’ Digest’ form.
It was a very interesting and precedent-setting week for the NCAA as two different decisions were made that will have long-lasting impacts on college sports and most specifically, college football. The first seismic shift came from the NCAA itself when it’s Board of Governors voted to give autonomy to the ‘Power Five Conferences.’
What this means is that the Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12, ACC and SEC can essentially run things the way they would like to moving forward without the NCAA being able to say “boo” about it. Let’s face it; there is a significant difference between the Power Five and everyone else when it comes to money and power in most sports but clearly football is the issue here.
This ruling will allow the Power Five to work together to create legislation that benefits them. This could be in recruiting, in how the schools schedule future opponents and perhaps even how they create a football playoff in the future.
The second big shift came late yesterday when a judge ruled in favor of Ed O’Bannon and his fellow plaintiffs against the NCAA. This was the lawsuit brought against the NCAA where players’ likenesses were being used without their permission in such things as video games and jersey sales. The bigger issue was the fact that the schools were taking in all of the profits while the athletes were seeing zero dollars despite their obvious likeness being used.
Ultimately this paves the way for college athletes to be paid. While some believe this is a step in the right direction, it could also be the opening of another Pandora’s Box. How will athletes be paid? Will the starting quarterback make more than the back-up left guard? Can they be compensated for each and every jersey with their number that is sold?
Stay tuned because this in only the beginning.
I admit that I’m guilty of kicking a dead horse far too often. I do it with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and I certainly do it with Tiger Woods as well. My reasoning is that these guys continue to do things that scream for discussion and debate and Woods is once again doing this. I can keep calling him out because I don’t have to worry about being ignored by him for an interview.
Woods of course missed the cut yesterday in the PGA Championship after limping around the golf course with his bad back. I don’t doubt Tiger was in some pain and I congratulate him for actually finishing the round, but I’m tired of the act. You know and I know if he were somehow in contention that he would be labeled ‘heroic’ and ‘tough’ for hanging in there.
But he wasn’t in contention and he never is when he withdraws from a tournament. See last week as the latest example. OK, I’m over it.
One final thought for today is on Michael Sam who played in his first NFL game last night in the preseason opener for his St. Louis Rams against the New Orleans Saints. Sam was credited with a tackle and a QB hit on the evening. This was ESPN’s highlight of the night by the way.
I mention this only because I hope the day comes when an openly gay football player makes a tackle that it isn’t a big deal. I hope it’s noting more than statistic in the box score. That’s the road Sam is paving for many that will follow.