I’ve promoted a college football boycott for years now. Clearly it has done little good thus far. Don’t get me wrong, I love the college game. But I wanted to see some changes, mainly in the way the national champion was crowned. I felt like a player boycott of big bowl games would force the NCAA and colleges to adopt a better system for crowning a champion. Such a protest right before a big prime time game would have made changes in a hurry, no doubt. But now I am looking for a different type of boycott, I don’t expect much to happen from this one either. But I am going to go ahead with it in spite of that fact.
This little boycott only involves myself. I am committing to not watching anymore college football games due to the overwhelming unfairness toward the players. The ignorant system of deciding a champion is still part of my issue with NCAA football though. No, the four team playoff hasn’t made this system much better. It still involves voting.
This doesn’t mean I won’t be keeping up with the game overall. I just won’t be watching entire games. I will keep up with the games through highlights and of course my daily reading. It would be impossible for me to go cold turkey on college football. The connection to the NFL makes it necessary for me to still be knowledgeable about the “amateur sport.”
It’s not like I want to turn away from college football, but I am being forced into it by my conscious. This little one man boycott has nothing to do with players like Jameis Winston either, if that is what some of you may be thinking. There have always been irritating athletes in college football who do awful things off the field. I do despise Jameis Winston, who is at best a phony jackass, and at worst a rapist, allegedly. And there are plenty of lesser known players out there in the college football universe who have committed violent crimes or just acted a fool this year. That kind of stuff bothers me, but doesn’t make me want to stop watching the game.
The system of college football is more perverse than a few knuckle headed players. That system is forcing me out. I don’t want to be seen as a supporter of a game that keeps on exploiting these young men for profit. I love profit by the way. Smart, talented people should be able to make all the profit that people willingly give to them. College football players are excluded from this capitalism however, and I’ve seen enough of it. I’ve stomached all I can take of colleges’ raking in tons of cash on jersey sales while the player behind the number gets zero dollars from the sales. I’ve watched all I care to watch about university presidents making millions a year along with head coaches of the football programs, while the “student athletes” only get a paid education that can be ripped away at any point. I’ve seen enough of the hypocritical nature of big time college football to last a lifetime.
What tipped the scales for me was the Todd Gurley issue this year at Georgia. The kid was the best running back in the nation and in truth, the best player overall. He was the favorite for the Heisman Trophy and was racking up big numbers week after week. Then he got “caught” signing his name to his jerseys for a sketchy eBay seller. He was suspended for a few games which ruined his Heisman hopes. Georgia failed to stand behind him so as to make sure the NCAA didn’t come down on the school even harder for the violation. The school was protecting itself. But when Gurley was able to come back and help his team, he did so. I felt like it was an ill advised return at the time since he had little to gain from coming back for just a few games. The risk of injury was too great for a guy that would be the number one running back taken in next year’s NFL draft. And that’s exactly what happened as Gurley tore his ACL in his first game back. So much for loyalty. Todd Gurley showed more integrity than his university did with this situation. The man had a right to profit from his own signature, no matter what some ridiculous NCAA rule states. Anyone with a sense of justice understands that.
The NCAA is not moral. That is what has ran me off. If the NCAA goes away, I will return to a full blown college football fan. If the NCAA stays but is forced to cut players in on the profits of college football, then I shall return to the game. There is not much in the way of this happening either. The Ed O’Bannon case is a huge step toward letting players actually own their own signature and likeness. The NCAA appealed this ruling, which shows how corrupt they are and how desperate they are to hold on to their imaginary power. Todd Gurley would have been free to make money on his signature according to the O’Bannon ruling. That is all I am seeking, fairness. A man owns his own signature at the very least. Any organization that stands in the way of that, I am opposed to.
There are good arguments made about the benefits players get from college football. A free education at a great university is worth quite a bit. But college football has turned into such a giant money maker that a free education is not on balance with the billions raked in each year by the schools. The players deserve more than a scholarship. At the very minimum they deserve to be able to take part in capitalism. If a star player can get $100 per signature, he has earned it. That is the free market at work. All these old people in power at universities and the NCAA love the American ideal of capitalism, except when it comes to college athletes. I’ve had enough of it.