Pat yourselves on the back, NCAA. This week, you’ve really outdone yourselves.
Here’s what you’ve accomplished. In the name of protecting the ideals of amateurism in intercollegiate sports, you’ve made a convicted felon a sympathetic figure, and you’ve presented a clear argument for allowing basketball players to jump straight from high school to the NBA.
Nevin Shapiro and Shabazz Muhammad thank you.
Unfortunately, the NCAA has once again failed to offer a coherent answer to the question that has always hounded it. What, exactly, is its reason for existence? Is it to just make as much money on big-time college sports as it can get away with? Is it to see exactly how much of the billions earned by those sports can possibly be kept away from the athletes who generate it? Is it a combination of both?
Or is it something else entirely, like attempting to operate as much like the mob as the law will allow without actually having to put a horse’s head in somebody’s bed?