An Open Letter To The National Collegiate Athletic Association

The following is a copy of my letter to The National Collegiate Athletic Association regarding their men’s basketball tournament which got underway this past Tuesday night with four play-in games and started in earnest at noon on Thursday.

Steven H. Spring

March 21, 2013

Dr. Mark Emmert
President & CEO
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, Indiana  46206

Dear President Emmert,

As the NCAA men’s basketball tournament gets underway Thursday and Friday, I hope you or a member of your staff can answer two questions for me.  One, why has your organization decided to make every arena holding a tournament game impossible to tell apart from one another, with the exception of the host city’s name along the end lines of the court and occasionally shown on the scorer’s table electronic advertisement board?  Since CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV are advertising that they are showing every game in full this year, one can become mesmerized by watching numerous games on indistinguishable courts, all sporting either your NCAA logo, basketball logo or 75th tournament anniversary logo.  But then again, that’s your goal isn’t it, to have viewers captivated by staring at nearly identical basketball courts, all sporting virtually innumerable matching logos?

I am alarmed by the sheer number of NCAA logos that appear either on the court, courtside or on the television screen.  We are brainwashing our children with the constant barrage of television advertising and your tournament is a perfect example.  As someone who watches many of the old television shows on DVDs, I have noticed that hour-long shows from the late 1950s and early ‘60s were fifty-two minutes long.  Now days, a show of this length is at best only forty-four minutes.  This represents a one hundred percent increase in the number of commercials per hour.  When you consider how the networks now routinely use pop-up ads to advertise up-coming shows and product placements in their shows, we are being inundated with commercials.

After watching several of the second round games on Thursday, I decided to make a list of every NCAA logo I noticed while watching one particular game.  The following is the list, and most likely is not all-inclusive:

Three logos on the court itself, including the enormous one at mid-court,
Three logos on top of each backboard,
Two, sometimes three logos on the scorer’s table electronic advertisement board,
Two logos on the bunting along press row behind the scorer’s table,
Two logos on the floor in front of the scorer’s table,
Two logos on the sideline reporter’s microphone,
One logo at the base of each backboard support,
One logo on each player’s uniform,
One logo on every coach’s suit jacket,
One logo on every referee’s shirt,
One logo on every chair on each team’s bench,
One logo on every chair behind the scorer’s table,
One logo on each team’s shoe scuffing pad,
One logo on every bucket of Gatorade,
One logo on every cup of Gatorade,
One logo on the scores of different games at the top of the television screen,
One logo is flash very quickly on the television screen when every reply is shown,
And one logo is flash during every commercial break on the television screen as the score    of that game is given.

I did not attempt to count the number of logos shown at half time in the television studio behind and in front of the commentators as there were so many different NCAA, network and university logos displayed along with videos being played that one could become nauseated by it all.

My second question concerns the four play-in games, now referred to as the first round.  Why are there two sixteen seed games, one thirteen seed game and one eleven seed game?  Why are these four games not all sixteen seed games, with each winner playing the four number one seed teams?  Why are the eleven and thirteen seed teams forced to play one more game than every other team seeded the same as or lower than them in the tournament?  This makes no sense, and lacks fairness.  I hope you can provide an explanation to my questions.

Sincerely,

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87

Advertisements

Casinos, Cigars, Cigarettes And Hookers

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!

Sincerely,
Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87