Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Do You Expect?

There's been kind of a big deal being made about improprieties in the NCAA.  I mostly want to talk about the whole Reggie Bush Heisman Trophy situation.  Actually what led to it is more my goal.  If you don't know, Reggie Bush was stripped of his Heisman Trophy due to receiving improper benefits as a collegiate athlete.  Apparently, an agent offered Reggie and his family a lot things that they didn't have before in order to be Reggie's agent when he wanted to become a professional athlete.  Now I'm not saying what Reggie did was okay, because it's not.  As a collegiate athlete, you are not to receive any kinds of benefits during your tenure in college.  It's basically saying that you can't be paid to be an athlete.  However it bothers me a lot that Reggie's actions caused a lot of backlash for his former school.  Actually, it's not really Reggie's actions that bother me.  It's the actions of the agents that know better.  These agents are so greedy that they can't wait until the young man finished his collegiate career to jump on him and his fame.  Yes he was destined to be a superstar in the pros.  Yes he was destined to make millions in endorsement deals.  Yes he was destined to be a face of the NFL.  But we forget that he was still just a young man wanting to help his family get out of poverty.  This isn't just singular to Reggie Bush.  So many collegiate athletes come from low to very low income situations.  You throw money in a poor kid's face and tell him he can help his mother get out of debt and never have to worry again, they're jumping on that opportunity.  It doesn't help that the athletes don't see much of the money that they're making for their school.  People say, oh they're getting a free education.  They're getting an education for playing basketball, that's easy.  Not really.  They have to balance dedication to the sport they're playing with dedication to classes and dedication to being a 19 year old kid and having fun for themselves.  And what happens if the athlete gets hurt severely and can't play the sport at college any more?  They get tossed to the wayside like nothing happened.  How fair is that?  I don't think it's fair that these agents don't face criminal charges for their actions.  They keep making their millions from other clients with no penalty.  It's a shame.  I don't know what any of us would do if we were in the same situation.  I don't make a lot of money now, so being offered something to keep me from worrying about next month is something I'd totally be on board with.  I guess not totally, but at the very least have me thinking.  Like I said, Reggie knew the rules beforehand, so he should have exercised caution.  Maybe talked to somebody about the situation.  However, grown men with years of business savvy should at the very least have the decency to let the kid be a kid before trying to take advantage of him.  If you're that good of an agent, you shouldn't have to offer improper benefits to get him to sign with you in the first place.

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