Archive for Monday, April 2, 2007

Bedore: Florida to win title; Players should be paid

April 2, 2007


Things on my mind as the 2006-07 college basketball season today comes to a close.

¢ The odds of Florida and Ohio State reaching both the BCS title game in football and NCAA title game in basketball the same year have to be astronomical.

C'mon, numbers crunchers, tell me ... a million to one? Billion to one? This simply can't be happening.

That said, Florida 69, Ohio State 65. Bank it.

¢ It has to be eating away at Kansas fans that football school Florida may win its second straight NCAA hoops title tonight. Basketball just doesn't mean much to the folks at UF, certainly not nearly as much as it does to fans at KU.

I know of what I speak.

I attended a KU-Florida basketball game in January of 1996 at the 12,000-seat McConnell Center in Gainesville. Just 9,047 fans showed for KU's 69-54 win over Lon Kruger's Gators. The Paul Pierce/Raef LaFrentz-led Jayhawks took an 11-1 record into that game, yet it wasn't close to a sellout.

I do remember two things about that trip.

A fellow scribe drove the wrong way down a confusing one-way street in not-so-wintry Gainesville, nearly claiming our lives as we headed to the game.

Also, the Gators' fight song, "Gimme A G, Go Gators," which was played over and over and over and over by the pep band, proved to be one of the best, as well as the most repetitive, I've ever heard.

¢ Coach Billy Donovan, who persuaded several blue-chip high school basketball players to sign with SEC up-and-comer Florida instead of tradition-rich SEC power Kentucky, now may abandon those players he signed to coach at Kentucky.

Seems hypocritical to me if he in fact takes the Wildcats' job.

¢ Alabama will pay Nick Saban $4 million a year in each of the next eight years to coach football. Kentucky supposedly sometime this week will offer Donovan $3.5 to $4 million a year to coach basketball.

And the players whose sweat makes these coaches rich?

They receive nothing.

Well, something.

They get free tuition, room and board and a monthly stipend - and big-man status on campus - for as long as they are in school.

Big whoop.

It's time for some attorney out there - one who wants to become rich and famous - to form a players union for college "student athletes" and organize an immediate boycott until the NCAA elects to pay salaries to basketball and football players at the mega-powers.

You say paying players would ruin college football and basketball and make college sports just like the pros?

The bidding war for basketball and football coaches already has turned college sports into professional sports.

What can be done about it if paying the players isn't the final answer? A lot.

The U.S. government, which is thinking about it, can and should take a stand and immediately tax the NCAA and its member schools.

There is no reason college athletics should be tax-exempt anymore. Not with this bidding war for coaches and building war for facilities going on. These are all excesses, pure and simple, at supposed institutions of higher learning.

Reform is needed ... and now. The government can start by removing the NCAA's tax-exempt status.

That would catch everybody's attention and catch it fast.

And it just might end the arms war for coaches. 'Cause schools would go broke or at least have to drop a batch of nonrevenue sports or tap more rich boosters like Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens.

¢ Nice to see KU's postseason awards banquet sold out shortly after Williams Fund members received their mailers regarding the April 10 event at the Holidome. Obviously, the Jayhawk Nation deems the 33-5 season, which included Big 12 regular-season and postseason titles as well as three NCAA victories, a great success, which it was.

¢ My mini rant is over. Enjoy opening day today. Of course, the Royals are going to lose ... but that's another story in itself.


speedy 10 years, 11 months ago

another stupid story about paying players. how about paying the swim team, the rowers, the T&F, the cheer leaders too. another stupid story you sorry writer.

kujayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

...and if they underachieve, they should have to pay their way through school.

Ken Miller 10 years, 11 months ago

if we pay 'em, can we then cut 'em? trade 'em? Hang them out to dry if they get injured?

didn't think so.

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