The following is a copy of my letter to N.C.A.A. president Dr. Mark Emmert concerning that organization’s complete lack of disregard toward its student-athletes well-being in that they see nothing wrong with starting a football or basketball game at 9:30 p.m. on a school night. Does anyone seriously believe the N.C.A.A. has the best interest of its student-athletes in mind when television clearly dictates everything in big-time collegiate sporting events?
Steven H. Spring
November 28, 2012
Dr. Mark Emmert
President & CEO
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206
Dear President Emmert,
After reading the starting time for tonight’s basketball game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium, I wanted to write a brief letter to express my concern regarding N.C.A.A. student-athletes participating in collegiate sporting events that start at 9:30 p.m. on a school night, and most likely will not end until nearly midnight. Is this something for which your organization is to be proud? We all know who is behind this absurd scheduling, television or more specifically ESPN. I love college basketball; however starting games at 9:30 p.m. during the week is absurd.
How can the N.C.A.A. profess to be looking out for the best interests of its student-athletes when it allows these young men and women to compete in their respective sport at any time of the day or day of week, at the beckon will of almighty television? This tactless scheduling of sporting events affects not only the student-athletes, but also those students and fans attending these late starting games as well.
Moreover, what does a parent tell their young child as to why they cannot watch their favorite team play a huge game against a perennial national power in one of this nation’s most historic arenas because the game does not start until bedtime? I guess we can always give in and let them stay up until midnight, then give them a shot of 5 Hour Energy for breakfast, I write sardonically as I cannot believe this type of energy supplement is allowed to be a proud sponsor or advertiser of many N.C.A.A. sporting events. Why limit your influential advertising to young children to alcohol and adrenalin boosters, why not casinos, cigars, cigarettes and hookers?
The N.C.A.A. long ago sold its soul to the almighty dollar and its illegitimate offspring, television, at the expense of this nation‘s student-athletes. Our colleges and universities are as much to blame for allowing such malfeasance to occur. However, they too, have long ago sold their souls, again to big money and television. College presidents, football and basketball coaches and athletic departments all live high on the hog at the expense of the student-athletes. What is really pathetic is the hypocrisy by all involved. Look at the uproar that was created at Ohio State a little more than one year ago after it was revealed that several football players sold mementos given to them for winning a conference championship or bowl game. Years from now, those players who traded rings for tattoos will regret their decisions, however these men did nothing illegal, except in the eyes of the N.C.A.A, and yet this year’s undefeated football team is paying the price as they are forced to stay home this bowl system.
I understand that athletes are in reality being paid quite well because the cost of tuition, room and board is astronomical these days, however the money that swirls around college football and basketball is outrageous, especially that of your television contracts. For the N.C.A.A. to see nothing wrong with an athlete playing a game at midnight on a school night is asinine. You may fool some of the people some of the time with your proclamation that you are looking out for the best interests of your student-athletes, however, you ain’t foolin’ me. It’s all about money!
Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87