Valenti’s Blog: Getting To Business

The Miami (FL) scandal has a lot of people doing a lot of hand wringing, myself included. I figured it might be a decent idea to put a few of my thoughts down in more detail since this issue can’t be fully discussed or solved in a sound bite.

First things first, the NCAA is the single most corrupt, disingenuous and hypocritical organization I’ve ever seen. They sell you, the fans, an ideal, a picture, simply a fantasy. That’s fantasy is amateurism. College sports are the furthest thing from some amateur after school hobby. In fact, the only difference between college football and its big brother that plays on Sunday is a few minor rules. The NCAA sells you on virtue, honesty, on simply put, not being a professional league. Why? Simple. No taxes and they make millions.

That’s right. I said no taxes.

The little rule book that we all rail on and in most cases mock, is the shield the NCAA uses to run a multi-billion dollar…tax free business. Learn that. Stop calling me with your arguments of virtue. Stop wasting all our time babbling about “student athletes” and how we are producing young scholars. This is business. This is exploitation at the highest level. For every Kirk Cousins there are 1,000 kids who barely attend class.

Second big thing, you must understand the hypocrisy of the NCAA rules themselves. Why is it a normal student can go on a booster’s yacht, drink, party, and pretty much go crazy…but an athlete cannot? Why can a normal student buy said athlete a drink and dinner on the town but a booster cannot?

Here’s why? The NCAA needs to make you think that athlete is an amateur so they can avoid all taxes and keep raking in millions. Has nothing to do with what is “right” as so many of you scream about. You think they preach equality as some kind of moral stand or competitive balance? Hell no. They use things like the old title 9 as a shield.

NCAA “We cannot pay Tim Tebow, what about the women’s swim team at Valdosta St.?”
My response? Who cares about them? Unlike the swimmers, Tim Tebow brings in millions. And unlike the fantasy the NCAA has created, reality doesn’t treat all people the same. Ask yourselves why a brain surgeon gets paid more than a construction worker? Simple. One has a higher skill set and brings in more money for his employer than the other.

Only in the NCAA fantasyland of lies would a kid who plays table tennis be treated the same as a Heisman trophy winner.

The NCAA stands to lose millions in taxes by simply allowing what already goes on to happen above board. No corrupt organization ever changes from within. Why would they bother changes rules or policy when it is they themselves who stand to lose the most?
So the next time you’re watching one of their wonderful commercials about all they do, remember who is really winning. Athletic directors, conference admins, BCS admins, the money train pulls up to their very desk.
So what can be done? I mean I just told you the NCAA has ZERO interest in altering rules. They won’t rid themselves of the biggest lie on earth…amateurism. They won’t pay kids because it would cost too much and cheating would still happen. So what is real? What is realistic?


Business is good. In fact it’s great. Every few months guys like me explode at how awful this system is. How corrupt it is. How ridiculous the hypocrisy is. But nothing changes. It never has.
Last thing as I’ve rambled enough and these blogs are meant to be short form here on the website. Indulge me a few lines more for my own fantasy.

You want a real answer where things could actually be “opened up” and the institutions could somehow cope with the loss of tax free amateur status?

A playoff. 16-teams. Multi-billion dollar TV deal.

Allow boosters to do whatever the hell they want. Schools with money will rise to the top. Half the country will be made irrelevant and subsequently form a secondary level of play.
The 60-70 teams left standing form four 16-team mega conferences. New more lucrative TV deals are formed on top of the new playoff deal which would rivals March Madness.
The result becomes real matchups replaces ridiculous non-conference money grabs versus inferior teams.

A professional style league of sorts where each school involved has resources to compete unlike today.

And for once, a true settle it on the field national champion.

There, I warned you I was dreaming. Would it work? Yes. But it’s just too easy as is right now for these hypocritical, lazy, and disingenuous “leaders” to change.

  • Andrew Vincentini

    Excellent points !….I appreciate guys like you keeping it real. BTW, what websites/books on college sports have you read and/or refer to the most.?
    Thanks…GO BLUE!…Unity Council For Life !!!!

  • gary

    I could not agree with you more the ncaa is very .hypocritical they look the other way on violations except when they absolutly have to and then the punishments depend on who you are. I am sick of football and basketball having to support all of these other sports that very few people care about.the truth is most people watching the games do not really care about how well the athlete is doing in the class just that their team wins., 16teamplayoff in college football is something I have wanted for a long time, just play the first round at higher teams stadium maybee other teams having to come to big 10 teams stadiums would find it a lot tougher than getting what seems like a home game in the bowls every year. Just want to say this wolverine enjoys listening to you terry and Matt.

  • Michael from Macomb

    Spot on Mike! As I get older the politics, greed and stupidity of the NCAA are driving me more and more to High School athletics. Unfortunately I am finding that high school is almost as corrupt. I think this is simply a societal problem.

    I love your fantasy idea with a 16 team playoff, but it will never ever happen.

    Shame on the NCAA and all those who CHEAT us fans!

  • Rich Lewis

    REAL RADIO!!!!!!!!!!

  • john h

    this is re oklahoma state coach. I agree with Mat. Yes I would have fired the guy and asked him to leave my home and let him know that I did not appreciate his humor. I would not have dropped the f-bombs. I wonder how many fights , shootings or deaths are preceded by people hurling the f-bomb. Everyone seems to condemn violence but rarely is the pre-violence verbage mentioned. This obviousely was not a smart thing to do but throwing out the f-bomb at someone like this might leadf to something much worse than a flimsy lawsuit.

  • Asie Morris

    Yes…yes…yes! Finally someone in the media who has the onions to speak what’s real instead of the ‘integrity of the game’ mumbo jumbo we hear from the fall in line media types. These idiots are ruining my favorite sport; college football. I’ll have to watch the games on mute because of these stupid talking heads on TV for crying out loud…

  • Stephen Lefebvre

    Thank you Mike Valenti, great article, great read!! I’m a Michigan fan, and I tell you what, believe me or not, if the NCAA does not hit Miami hard, whether that means the “death penalty,” or four years of half the scholarships docked, plus a two year bowl ban, then I will completely do away with college football, until it becomes a sport with integrity again. As it is, I refuse to attend any college football game because I will not stand for this NCAA, what I like to call the National Cheaters and Administrators Association. I was planning a trip to Texas next year for the Alabama-Michigan game, then the Ohio State scandal, that for all intents and purposes, went unpenalized, and now this Miami scandal comes out, that I’m expecting another slap on the wrist from the NCAA, just voided my planned trip to Cowboys Stadium. The NCAA is a joke, a complete fallacy, that millions of people buy into every single season. I know you have season tickets to MSU, but man, enough is enough. I will still support Michigan, watch them every game, stay with them through thick and thin, but I will not pay for tickets and support the NCAA. And I’m not so naive as to think that the NCAA will miss me. All I am is another fan, with a number attached. When my number is called, and I don’t stand up, the next in line will be there to take that seat. Michigan will still have 111,000+ at every game, but I can hold my head high knowing that I do not support the NCAA’s ideology. I’ve had enough. I just wish more people saw my point of view: If you don’t support the NCAA’s ideology, then don’t show up at the games, don’t buy tickets, don’t buy into this sport that doesn’t even have a system in place to decide a true National Champion. The quickest way to change is to rise against. This isn’t about being a Michigan fan, or a State fan, or a Florida fan, or a Boise St. fan, or an Eastern fan, this is about the integrity of college football. This is about the true spirit that goes into being a college football fan. And until hundreds of thousands of people see it this way, then you’re going to continue to have this fallacy. Put this way, as a Michigan fan, I would rather lose every game, including to State and OSU, than to have one tainted victory. I want to win every single game fair and square. I want to win because my team was better than the team on the other sideline. I don’t want to hear one question about winning by cheating, I don’t want to hear comments made by fans of other schools that we didn’t truly win. And yes, Mike, I wanted Darryl Stonum kicked off the team, the same way I thought Chris L. Rucker should have been kicked off State’s team last season. I’m just 20 years old, turn 21 on October 3, and when I graduated high school on June 4, 2009, I knew right from wrong. If I had played a sport, and someone came up to me and wanted to give me a brand new Dodge Charger, or Chevrolet Impala, to come play at their University, I would have said, “No.” My pride and my intelligence is more important to me and more valuable to me than a brand new car. And what happened to me? I got a job the last Monday in September last year, and this past May, I purchased a certified used 2008 Chevrolet Impala, with my own money. I went to, and graduated from, Specs Howard in April 2010, and I am paying off my student loan, with my own money. Many college football players have a full ride scholarship(at least $100,000), that’s $25,000 per year they are given. Are you telling me they can’t get a job, and pay for a car?? Of course they can, hell I did it, and I was given no scholarship money whatsoever. And I did everything the right way. I went to school with Keshawn Martin(he graduated a year before me), and I have never met someone so humble. He has awesome ability, great speed, and I’m sure that he wouldn’t accept a brand new car, or other benefits, if MSU had offered. He’s the first person in his family to go to college, doesn’t have his dad here, and was given a scholarship to State. He knows it’s more important to get an education, so that he’s able to support his mom, than to accept improper benefits. He’s doing it the right way. Until the NCAA makes this a precedent, than this fallacy called college football will continue to be tainted.

    • Brian

      Playing DIV I college football is a YEAR-ROUND career for student-athletes. Sure, they could get a job in the summer, but how much do you really expect them to make? That’s fantastic that you worked your way through college, and, in your words, did it “the right way.” But it’s impossible to compare your situation as just a student to a DIV 1 college football player who’s bringing in potentially millions of dollars to his university. I believe you’re slightly missing the point of Valenti’s article.

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    right on Mike thats why you are the best reporter in Detroit sports today. Enjoy all your opinions even about my Wolverines. Give em hell

  • Brian

    Right on. Not to say that what Pryor (and most people forget about Herron, Posey, Adams & Thomas) did at Ohio State by selling merchandise is entirely kosher, but when Pryor can get berated for his actions and a college like Boise State can turn around THE NEXT SEASON and sell game-worn football jerseys in their campus bookstore just WREAKS of hypocrisy. The system is broken, and it’s ruining my enjoyment of college football.

  • George

    To me, easiest solution is to allow the athlete to opt-out. They can get agents, get a % of proceeds of named jerseys, do commercials, etc. They would give up their scholarships, have to pay their way for school, board, books, etc. They’d have to also register as a booster, and follow the rules when it comes to paying anything for their teammates.
    The school recoups a scholarship. The state gets a taxable income. The player gets to make money while staying in school. The school might get more players to stick around for 4 years.

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