As the host of College Gameday (both football and basketball), ESPN’s Rece Davis has a front seat view for the major events in college sports. He has to control and manage the sizable egos of his co-hosts. But he has some really great insights as shown in this interview with Cardiac Hill.
On overhauling the NCAA system:
I’m like most college fans. I love the nostalgia associated with the game. I wish that simply donning the blue and gold and hearing Hail to Pitt made every player tear up and that was reward enough. For some, it is. What I can’t come to terms with is restricting athletes in ways that no one else associated with college sports or no other student on campus is restricted.
I fully realize there would be issues, probably major ones, but I think it would be more a transparent enterprise. In the long run, it would be healthier for the game.
Davis is absolutely right. Holding to the status quo does nothing to save the games from Athletic Directors and Presidents who have lost their minds and morals chasing greater and greater TV revenues. If these so-called academics cared about the principles of amateurism, they wouldn’t have expanded the calendar to 12 and sometimes 13 and 14 games. They wouldn’t relax their academic standards to such a degree that “passing the SAT” (read: 800) is an actual thing.
There has to be a middle ground between providing some compensation to players for their efforts on the field, ensuring that they truly receive an education and, well, winning.