An Alternative View Of March Madness

An Alternative View Of March Madness

Should student athletes be compensated?
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It is that time of the year again when every guy begins making bets with their best friends, its March Madness. Intelligence will be measured by statistics and pure luck for this time period. Many people will lose a lot of money, and only a select few will walk away with their best friends beer money.

So it should be time to make the routine discussion of a basketball players rights to financial compensation. The NCAA had staggering revenue of 1 billion dollars in 2014, later in 2015 that number was constant. The winners and collectors of that large sum of money are the schools, coaches, and NCAA. The one group of people who are not paid a financial sum is the players. The players are the only reason the NCAA is in business.

Taking into consideration that the players are compensated through tuition, room and board, meal plans, and fees. All of those compensations are very rewarding and is well deserved.

Much of the revenue made from the sport events comes through viewership. However another large part of the revenue comes from the selling of merchandise. Essentially the NCAA has been marketing the player’s jersey numbers and names.

Compensating players with a highly esteemed education and basic living conditions is a great compensation. But marketing a player’s name and jersey number is unethical. Players should be receiving a percentage of the merchandise that is sold in their name.

Any normal professional sports player reviews a contract with the sports organization they are associated with and agree upon a percentage of the merchandise sales. The NCAA is no different than any other sports organization; the only difference is that they commission athletes before they officially become professional.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah interviewed Joe Nocera this week on the topic of NCAA. Nocera is a credible New York Times writer who has recently written a book titled "Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA." His recommendation on the show was that if any players want to receive their rights to any monetary privileges they should refuse to play. More specifically the final four in March Madness refuse to play to take the NCAA off their guard.

The NCAA would have to meet their demands as this is the biggest pay out time of the year for them and they would not want to see it go down the drain. The players have the right to demand for merchandise compensation above all else and should be compensated immediately.

Side note, Kentucky do not stay in the lockers and refuse to play. I put a lot of faith in you this season and I intend to win again this year. Purdue losing set my bracket off enough as it is. The other teams can protest in the lockers, please not you.

Cover Image Credit: PBS

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5 People You Didn't Know Went to Cal Poly Pomona

Bronco Alumni who made it BIG
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1. Jim Zorn

Jim Zorn first went to Cerritos College and transferred to CPP where he played football for 2 seasons. While he was attending CPP, he set 44 school records and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997. Since then he has played with the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After his retirement, he moved onto coaching in the NFL where he has been for 16 seasons. He is currently a quarterback coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.


2. Forest Whittaker

Whittaker attended Cal Poly Pomona on a football scholarship (yes, we had a football team), but an injury left him unable to play. He changed his major to music where he was a part of the Cal Poly Chamber Singers. He ended up transferring to University of Southern California to finish up his degree, but got his start at CPP. He is now a famous actor who stared in Platoon, Bird, The Shield, The Color Money, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and many more productions. He was also the 4th African American male to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards.


3. Hilda Solis

Solis was accepted into the Equal Opportunity Program at Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While getting her Master of Public Administration at USC, she worked for the Carter and Reagan administration. Under the Obama administration, Solis became the first Latina to serve in the US Cabinet. Currently she serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.


4. Kevin Lyman

Lyman became well known by creating Vans Warped Tour, but before this he graduated Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Recreation Administration in 1984. He discovered his love of music while in college and worked with on campus bands to find places to play. He took his love to the LA music scene which led to the creation of Vans Warped Tour, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and Down From the Mountain Tour.


5. Michael Steger

Steger graduated CPP with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Spanish. After graduating with honors, he went on to appear in NCIS, Criminal Minds, Covert Affairs, True Blood, and several Disney Channel productions. He is best known for his role as Navid Shirazi on 90210.

Cover Image Credit: Hahn-Khayat-Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

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The Supreme Court Legalized Sports Betting But This Doesn't Help Shoeless Joe Or Pete Rose

They still won't get in on integrity issues.
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In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which made gambling on sports illegal outside of the state of Nevada. The major sports leagues (the NFL, NHL, NBA, NCAA, and Major League Baseball) all stood by this law for 20 years. However, New Jersey governor Chris Christie set out to allow sports gambling in state casinos.

The leagues would start legal proceedings against Christie and the state in 2012. They would win every step of the way until the United States Supreme Court took over in June 2017. The trial ended on Monday with a 6-3 decision in favor of the state. Now the precedent has been set for other states to establish legal sports betting, and New Jersey, along with a handful of other states, plan on doing so.

With PASPA being deemed unconstitutional, what does it mean for players who may or may not have been implicated, and then banned, from their sport for gambling?

There are, of course, two names that come to mind. The first is Shoeless Joe Jackson, an outfielder with the Chicago White Sox who was one of the eight players indicted by the Cook County Court system for throwing the 1919 World Series. The other is Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader who was accused of throwing games when he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

It isn't a question of whether or not they are Hall of Fame worthy players. They both are: Jackson was kicked out with the third highest career batting average ever at .356, while Rose knocked over 4000 hits in his career. Now the question is whether or not the Court ruling will be enough to have the writers overlook this.

Let's start with Jackson. It is hard-pressed to believe that Jackson actually knew what was going on: he was an illiterate "rube" from South Carolina. On top of that, none of the players knew what was going on half the time. In the Series, he hit .375. He slugged the only homer of the whole series. He did not commit in error out in left field. Suffice to say, if he was actually trying to lose, he would have been trying a lot harder than that.

On the other hand, he did take the money. He wanted $20,000 but only got $5,000. He then told the Grand Jury everything that he knew, even if he was liquored up at the time. Even when he tried to do right, he threw the integrity of the game right out the window.

Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the game's first commissioner, banned Jackson and the other players for life for being involved with gambling.

Let's look at Rose now, who was investigated for gambling activities in the 1980s. It came out that he did, in fact, bet on games during the 1987 season. If he were to cover bets for the whole season, he would have betted on 98 games during the season (with the other 64 that he didn't bet on them being when either Mario Soto or Bill Gullickson were starting on the mound).

The law may not have been in place at the time, but that doesn't matter. They were active participants in the games. They were also active participants in the gambling. They wrecked the integrity of the game, and should not be in the Hall of Fame. The voting committees for the Hall of Fame have it right: that players on the ineligible list should not be in.

In the words of Pete Grathoff for the Kansas City Star:

"While sports gambling will be legal in states other than Nevada, none of the professional leagues will allow players, managers, coaches or executives to wager on their games. That's what Rose did and why he won't have his ban overturned"

Cover Image Credit: Ghost Presenter via Unsplash

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