Angelique tweeted about this article, and it was a fairly interesting read.
BTN analyst (?) and New York Times contributor Gerry Dinardo discusses the climate of NCAA football, and thinks he has a solution: Let the kids go pro at 18. He suggests that if the NFL created a developmental (aka minor) league system, the kids who are only in it for the money would bolt for the minors, thereby cleaning up all the riff-raff eroding the college game today.
But perhaps the recent N.C.A.A. investigations into major college football programs have given us a wake-up call. If 18-year-olds could develop into professional football players in an organization other than universities, everyone would win. Athletes would not be forced to go to college to pursue an N.F.L. career, and the universities could eliminate those who did not want to be in the classroom.
He even name-drops Mary Sue, who was involved with the Knight Commission during her tenure at Iowa. Gerry does counter himself to some degree by pointing out the obvious, that the NFL has no need to spend the massive amount of money, time and legal proceedings to develop a minor league system, because it already has a free one in place called the NCAA.
He stresses that the universities would benefit by removing all of the student athletes that are uninterested in being students. But I think he's missing most the obvious point, which will happen at every gate on every campus this Saturday. Removing the stud players will reduce the overall quality of the product, which will reduce demand for the product, which will reduce the financial gains of college football.
The biggest problem right now, Gerry old boy, is that regardless of whether or not the system is working, it is bringing in tectonic gobs of money. And so forgive me if I just can't see the NCAA breaking the whole thing up on the conventional wisdom of Gerry Dinardo.