In the aftermath of his basketball team’s win over Michigan last night, Rick Pitino said he wanted to take his players to New Orleans for tonight’s women’s title matchup between Louisville and UConn. The NCAA, however, said no; that a school flying its players on such a trip violates multiple rules.
This fascinates me.
On the one hand, I get it. I 100% get it. Why should students—any students—be treated to a vacation by a college? Even if those students are elite basketball players? Hell, wouldn’t a chem major like a free trip? How about the student newspaper? Would certainly be fun for those folks, too. Why not give every good student, every good athlete, every person on campus a free trip? Come to think of it, it’s an admissions tool waiting to happen—ATTEND LOUISVILLE, AND YOU’LL GET A GREAT EDUCATION, A BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS … AND A WEEK’S GETAWAY TO THE DESTINATION OF YOUR CHOICE!
And yet … not so ludicrous.
As many of my Twitter followers pointed out this morning, the NCAA is full of big mounds of hypocritical shit. Think how much money the administrators make; the institutions make; the coaches make; the college presidents make. Millions upon millions upon millions. And, in exchange for this, the “student-athlete” (quotes intended for sarcasm) get a platform to play basketball and a mediocre, 150-missed-classes-per-semester education. Maybe they’ll reach the NBA—but probably not. Maybe they’re graduate—but a good many never do.
So, heck, why not let them fly to New Orleans. They’ve certainly earned it.