Sunday, September 26, 2010

Charles Barkley Gives It To Us Straight

Charles Barkley from his days at Auburn.   Go, War Eagles!
Recently the University of Southern California was sanctioned because a sports agent admitted that he had given former college star athlete Reggie Bush some funds while he was still at the school.  In response, the University has distanced itself from Mr. Bush, removing all photos and awards that would tie the school to the young athlete.

Charles Barkley was asked to comment on it, and not surprisingly he had a number of thoughts to share:
"These college programs are making so much money that I think it’s a travesty that USC is trying wipe Bush’s legacy away. How much money did they make when he was there? With all the money they made during that three-year period when they won 34 straight games, its ridiculous what they are doing."
Charles Barkley is a rare commodity.  Like it or not, he'll give it to you straight.
“Players make these colleges money.  We here at Turner just bought the NCAA tournament for $11 billion.  Let’s stop joking like this is amateur stuff.  These schools are raiding powerful conferences for TV contacts.  When I played it was amateur athletics.  But if your school is raiding conferences to get TV marketing and revenue, there’s no integrity. NCAA sports [are] bona fide big business.”
Bona fide big business is right.  He's talking about conferences going to other conferences and trying to steal away schools so that there own conference will be able to get a better TV deal.  That's why conferences like The Big Ten doesn't have ten schools in it anymore.  They have eleven.  Come July of 2011 they will add the University of Nebraska and have twelve.  Now does that sound like the work of enthusiasts of amateur athletics?

In my own opinion, Reggie Bush was an extremely talented college athlete who brought great recognition and excitement to USC.   The university made a ton of money off his talents.  He is one of thousands of college athletes who compete before thousands and whose athleticism and commitment make it possible for these schools to pay for all kinds of other activities, not the least of which are the Title IX unfunded mandates for women's athletics.  USC wants to distance itself from Reggie Bush?  Get real.  It's Bush that should be happy to distance himself from the NCAA, and its member schools that so shamelessly take advantage of their athletes.

Hey, USC, how about distancing yourself from shyster agents and overly interested big-shot boosters?   Not likely, huh?


  1. Yes, I so wholeheartedly agree. Reggie Bush is amazing. I don't blame anyone who takes some perks while still in college. He was amazing. People who didn't normally watch college games were watching him. He was just that good.

    To strip him of his title is absurd and unfair, IMHO.

  2. Well, what strikes me as rank is the effort on the part of the NCAA, the conference and USC to act like they are shocked that anyone interested in college athletics would take money!

    "My word! I am shocked..shocked to discover money is involved."

    Are you kidding me? These guys are all above the notion of money in sports, and their interest is all about the love of amateur athletics? Sport for sport sake?

    The NCAA Lacrosse programs are not big money. The Cross Country programs are not big money. Baseball is not big money. But Football pulls in huge amounts of dollars for the NCAA, for the conference, for the USC puke administrators who are taking down Reg's photos. It's like stripping Jim Thorpe of his Olympic medals. That was bogus. This is worse, because the Olympic guys never made money off of Jim Thorpe. The NCAA, the Pac 10 and USC did - big time.

    Thanks for dropping a comment, Sara.

    September 28, 2010 11:02 AM

  3. I feel the same way as you and Sara. This is like that scene in Casablanca. We are shocked -- shocked -- shocked!!!!! -- that money is involved in college sports! Oh my God!

  4. Everybody comes to Rick's, Coco.

    Speaking of which, that's a pretty good darn one, Cath. Humphrey Bogart with his disaffected, jaded, tough exterior; and yet capable, principled and good hearted interior. Loved that guy. And Ingrid Bergman, who wouldn't fall for Ilsa? And there were so many great characters...