Can Dez Come Out and Play? An Open Letter to the NCAA
I was watching the Oklahoma State-Missouri game this weekend and I noticed that you still haven’t reinstated Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant from suspension.
I’m sorry NCAA, but are you Dez Bryant’s daddy… or maybe his girlfriend? It must be one or the other because that would be the only way to explain you punishing him for having dinner at a man’s house and then not being entirely forthright about it. I get that as an NCAA athlete he isn’t allowed to have a job, get paid for the extra 40 hours a week he spends making you millions, meet with anyone who could potentially make him money in the future, or be caught in any pictures that might make The Association look bad. But continuing a suspension that was handed out for lying about a dinner with a former NFL super star is absurd, even for you.
I understand that somehow you and your governing board have convinced yourselves of your unquestionable moral superiority, despite the fact that your entire business model is, ostensibly, slavery. I’m not calling anyone a racist here, but does a group of old, predominantly white men making millions off of young, predominantly black men (who don’t get paid a dime for their services) sound like anything else?
While most coaches, college presidents and athletic directors are making million-dollar salaries… and you yourself are raking in staggering sums of money from ticket sales, television contracts, bowl games, video game licensing and merchandising… the amateur status of your players is something you take very seriously (despite the lack of a name on the back, when I buy a number 15 Florida Gators jersey, you know exactly why I’m buying it).
I also understand that these players are getting a “free education,” one that is worth at best 10 percent (~$50,000 for tuition and fees at USC) and at worst two percent (~$10,000 at the University of Alabama) of a bare minimum salary in the NFL.
What I can’t understand though, and probably never will, is how you can take violations of this supposed “amateurism” so seriously. These kids are obviously not amateurs, no matter how much you want to pretend. They are grown men, playing a grown man’s game and they’re doing it all for free. I understand that you’ll probably never pay them, but you could at least loosen up on the BS regulations. Dez Bryant doesn’t want to recoup any of the money your corrupt system clearly owes him. He isn’t trying to leave school early or sign with an agent. All he wants to do is be a part of that corrupt system and play. How patently absurd is it that you won’t even let him do that?
T. Boone Pickens