College sports represents a lot of things. Stuff like colleges’ traditions, educational opportunities for its student-athletes and things of that nature are often hurled out by the governing body of college sports. Another thing that is well-known about college sports is that it is a big business. Meaning the colleges make a lot of money off of their unpaid laborers. But, if my father ever taught me anything about business it is that you have to spend a little money to make a lot more. Just ask the Kansas Jayhawks.
Apparently, the University of Kansas plans on building a $17.5 million dormitory that would house men and women’s basketball players. The project would reportedly be done around the 2015-16 school year or, really, just in time for the 2014 recruiting trail.
Let’s not kid ourselves either. This isn’t being done as a thank-you to previous or future student-athletes. It is simply another legal, NCAA sanctioned means in which a program can entice recruits. I mean, since universities can’t pay for off-campus living quarters and refuses to give in and pay the people who drive their profit, I guess the next best thing is to build them the coolest dorm this side of Animal House.
Granted, at least Faber College gave us Delta Tau Chi House. Who gave us double secret probation (thanks Dean) in the most roundabout way possible — and none of that was in a dormitory but really a frat house. Eh, f-semantics.
Here is the question that immediately popped in my head when I saw the news; Is that even a necessary or moral thing to do? Moral being in the sense of fitting within the NCAA’s beloved fair and competitive playing field.
First, I must admit the fairly obvious. Even when I went to type this article on my laptop the title of this piece was hard to come up with. Using “moral” in it, or really questioning it, doesn’t seem fair to the university. Seriously, it is not their responsibility to worry about the gaping holes in the NCAA’s logic or the fact that the dorm would clearly give them a far better chance to land the next Ricky Roe than it does for the Club State Pool Cleaners.
Still, just asking if it was necessary didn’t seem enough. Because the answer to that question is more simple than a character on a Disney TV show. No, a multi-million dollar living quarters is not needed by a program with such a prestigious history as the Kansas Jayhawks, with such a great coach as Bill Self and in a conference where they are clearly king.
Obviously, it could be argued that the school is simply trying to be ahead of the curve. With programs like the Iowa State Cyclones seemingly on the rise that investing money into their basketball program via a tremendous (and it is tremendous) recruiting tool is a great route to go. None of which would be wrong and is certainly a valid point worth mentioning. More so, it is probably something Kansas — or any program of their stature — felt it had to do. Even if they didn’t actually have to — if that makes sense.
So, I think it can be safely established that the Kansas Jayhawks are doing nothing wrong. Not in a moral, just or in any other sense of college-athletic-evilness. Maybe, however, something like this might set some kind of precedent. Not in the realm of college sports, though, as the Oregon Ducks already built a bazillion dollar video game complex or something. More in the, “Hey, it is officially time to keep up with the..”, in college basketball.
Again, I want to re-emphasize this. Kansas is doing nothing wrong. Nothing at all. It is their money or their boosters’ or whoever’s. None of the 17 million dollars and change will likely come out of the tax-payers’ pockets (unlike something go on in Chicagoland). What it does do is give people like me a chance to — once again — bash what the NCAA pretends to stand for. You know, that whole protection of amateurism and stuff, all in an effort to not pay student-athletes.
I will summarize what the NCAA says in order to not pay kids who help make billions for schools (who will use the billions to build fancy new dormitories to lure in new players to help generate future billions). The NCAA — as well as the colleges that back it, mind you — say that paying student-athletes will immediately cause the College Athletic Armageddon. That the money would cause an unfair and unbalanced playing field because bigger programs would simply outspend or be able to out-advertise their players, leaving small programs in the dust.
I don’t know about you, but letting a team build a 17.5 million dollar dorm for potential basketball superstars as a recruiting tool while places like Grambling can’t even provide a safe practice environment doesn’t exactly seem like fair and competitive. But hey, what do I know? I’m just some fella who barely forms sentences and posts them on the world-wide-interweb.
If a twig from a branch from a tree in the forest falls does anyone……..
I guess not.