Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., August 7

August 07, 2013 | Drew Forrester

I sure hope he gets the boot.  For good.  If Manziel is ruled ineligible for Texas A&M, it’s potentially a program crusher for them in the short term.  They’ll recover, because they’re in a college football hotbed, but if Manziel isn’t on the field this year, Texas A&M’s season goes in the tank.  Pretty nice way to treat the school who gave you a scholarship, huh?

Johnny Football wants to make money — let him wander off to the NFL and tee it up with the varsity.  Then we’ll see how good he REALLY is, right?

It’s guys like Johnny Manziel who taint college athletics but, at the same time, remind us that about 95% of the “kids” (that’s what the defenders will call Johnny Boy — as in, “he’s just a kid…he doesn’t really know what he’s doing when he’s taking that money”) are doing it right.  The 95% who are getting some scholarship money and following the rules and protocols set up for all college athletes are the ones we should be focused on the most.  They’re the ones who realize the true value of their education.  They’re the ones who likely wouldn’t dare “step over the line” and endanger their status on the team or in the classroom because they actually have the one thing that seems to be missing more and more these days as we all witness the sagging nature of “the American People”:  personal accountability.

The rules in place say one can’t accept money in exchange for “anything” related to their status as a collegiate athlete.

And again, this is NOT an argument about whether or not the rules set forth by the NCAA are “right”…I don’t think speed cameras are “right”, but when I get the notice in the mail, I send my money in with gritted teeth because those are the rules.

So, because college athletics have rules rules, 95% of the athletes follow them.

Johnny Manziel figured those rules didn’t apply to him.

Strangely enough — and this is another reason why our country is on rocky ground — we spend more time and energy trying to “fix” the issue that’s bothering the 5% who break the rules rather than simply say to those creeps, “Hey, goof ball, 95% of the student athletes are with the program…they follow the rules…they value their education…they’re not cheating the system.  We’d rather applaud them and try to make their time at school better rather than spend time trying to appease you because you’ve decided the rules aren’t fair.”

For a nation that follows college sports as closely as we all do, I’m shocked at how little the people who follow it actually know about how it all works from a business standpoint.

The knee-jerk response anytime a college athlete gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar is the obvious one:  “Those schools are making boatloads of money off of the athletes…that’s wrong.  The athletes should get a piece of that.”

Maybe they should.

And maybe you should also get a grip on how college sports works, too.

Take this little test, if you would, by answering the following questions:

1. Who pays for the annual maintenance on the stadium, fields and arena on the college campus?

2. Who pays the water bill and the electrical bill on those college athletic facilities every month?

3. Who pays for the health insurance and medical coverage provided to the athletes?

4. Who employs the coaches and the trainers and the equipment people?

5. Who buys the airline tickets and/or bus travel for the athletes to travel to away games?

6. Who pays the ticket takers at the athletic facilities?  The parking attendants?  The ushers?

7. Who pays for the assistant coaches and other staff members who do recruiting?

8. Who puts up the money for the merchandise that’s christened with the school logo?

9.  Who buys the food that is sold at the concession stands?

10. Who pays for the rooms at the Westin, Hyatt, Marriott, etc. when the teams travel?

11. Who reimburses the school for academic aides, tutors, etc.?

12. Who employs the marketing guy/gal who sells sponsorships for the various teams?

13. Who pays for every piece of equipment?  Helmets, bats, bases, basketballs, lacrosse goals?

That’s the end of Part One of the quiz.

If you answered:  “The School” for each of those 13 questions above, give yourself an “A” and move on to Understanding College Sports 201.

If you answered anything other than “The School” for any of those questions, you failed the quiz.

(Please see next page)