Great read, Vince. Interesting portayal of a very reclusive subject. It would be a lot easier to buy into Lerner's vision and the organization's future right now if didn't appear that their personnel decisions were being directed by Bob Lamonte. That's one question I wish would be asked of Lerner.
Vari, who said anything about exhorbitant salaries? Stop trying to justify what is nearly a year-round job that generates hundreds of millions of dollars with $20,000 a year in room and board. That argument completely ignores the supply and demand principles of division 1 athletes. It's not like the kid with 20 scholarship offers can just decide to let the schools determine his value by bidding against each other (unless he's Cam Newton). Normal people's salaries are determined, at least to a degree, by free market principles. If you don't make a lot of money while your boss or owner does, it's probably because your skills are replaceable. It's supply and demand. Further, your argument ignores the fundamental unfairness of these kids' likenesses being used with no compensation. How is it that a kid is entitled to NOTHING when his image is used to sell a jersey or placed in a videogame. You can't justify this just by saying that tuition makes up for everything.
Justingying the rules just by saying they're the rules doesn't quite hold up. The simple fact is that college football generates hundreds of millions of dollars. That money is going to end up in SOMEONE'S pocket. Should that someone be an NCAA suit, a university suit, a network suit, a corporate suit, a mercenary coach, or subsidizing other students' educations? Or, should at least a substantial portion of it be used to compensate that 18-22 year-old kids who are being exploited. And make no mistake, they are being exploited. They are neither old enough, smart enough, nor organized enough to be able to stand up for themselves; thus, this ridiculous charade will continue for eternity. Should these kids not be able to fly their parents in for games, get cars, buy new clothes, or do anything else a normal student who can get a job may have the opportunity to do? I understand the concept has problems. How much should they get paid? How do you control it? Do scrubs make the same thing as stars? These are all valid questions, but instead of just ignoring the problem in the face of these questions, we should be working to find answers to them. Because the fundamental fork-in-the-road question of who the SOMEONE should be is quite simple. It's the kids whose talents are being used to make everyone but themselves quite wealthy.
If the NCAA tries to make an example out of Ohio State, Ohio State needs to try to make an example out of the NCAA by emptying the silos with whatever they have. Certainly, Gene Smith, who is probably about to be out of a job, knows a thing or two about how this organized band of white-collar criminals is conducting business. I'm serious: If the NCAA is going to sacrifice OSU at the altar of its own greed, OSU needs to go nuclear and just make this the landmark event that overthrows the corrupt system for good.
Hilarious, Vince. Love it.
Peter, I agree that they will continue to improve as they learn to play together, but I think those gains will be offset by aging (especially with a slasher and mediocre shooter like Wade) and offcourt distractions. As for the Heat surrounding them with complementary parts, that absolutely WILL NOT happen. Even with a soft cap, like we have now, it would be virtually impossible. Everything is committed to 6 guys, three of whom wouldn't be in most teams top 7. When the league goes to a hard cap, you're looking at 4 full years of the big three being surrounded by two corpses, Joel Anthony, and a bunch of minimum salary guys. I'll say it again: If they don't win now, my money is on it never happening.
Peter, equating someone who went to great, calculated lengths, to publicly humiliate a city and someone who pulled a fast one on the Cavs when they were trying to cheat league rules is hardly fair. They're both enemies in these parts, but one is clearly worse than the other.
Your analysis of the Heat shows a tremendous lack of understanding of how the league is evolving. If Miami doesn't win a title this year, they are in a CRITICAL state. Wade will turn 30 next year, Haslem 31, and Miller 32. Those three are either already in decline or soon to be in decline. The team is completely capped out for eternity and Lebron is unlikely to get any better than he is right now. Assuming that cohesion will more than offset these declines is a bit presumptuous. They've already played some 80 games together. If anything, in the coming years, you're likely to see more "me first" destructive forces come into play than the selfless "us against the world" mentality they've taken on this year. Meanwhile, teams like Chicago and OKC have elite stars who haven't even reached their primes yet. If Miami doesn't win now, they may never win.
We understand that you are and have always been a Gilbert hater and Lebron apologist, but don't try to turn that into a lecture as to why the rest of us shouldn't root for the Heat team bus to crash on the way to the arena (non-life-threatening injuries only, of course).
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