OPINION: The Pimps of Fall - The NCAA

William "Dollar Bill" Mersey

News flash: Pimps are prevalent in all strata of society. It’s only those individuals who earn money from the selling of sex without actually providing the service who wear the ugly moniker.

Enter the NCAA. If they aren’t pimps, I don’t know who is? Wait a minute! Am I really calling the guys who run collegiate sports pimps? Am I crazy? Check it out!

Let’s take a look at the people who run college football programs. On the face of it, the college offers a free education to exceptional football players to compensate them for generating billions of dollars in revenue from television rights, alumni contributions and ticket prices. But in fact, the monetary value of that presumed education is dwarfed by the amount of money the athletes bring to the university. In a free-market collective bargaining scenario, their compensation would be 10 — or even 100 times higher. But because the entire ruse falls under the umbrella of collegiate sports, the pimps get to keep almost all of the money!

Not only that…the great majority of these players on scholarship don’t get an education…unless you consider training in how to maim your opponent part of a liberal arts program. If you think that a Division I football player on scholarship graduates from that college with any skills with which to earn a living in the mainstream world, you’re kidding yourself.

Anybody remember Dexter Manley, a Washington Redskin pro bowler with a degree from Oklahoma State University who admitted after his playing days were over that he couldn’t read or write? Big universities with football programs that generate millions of dollars don’t care if their players — especially their stars — get an education. Keeping them eligible with basket weaving courses is paramount. Preparing them for a world after football is not!

Worse is the reality that playing football is a very dangerous proposition. Once upon a time, it was the prevailing opinion that players might have a problem later in life with arthritic joints caused by multiple breaks, tears, separations, dislocations, and the like. But now we’ve been made aware of a whole new arena of injuries — namely head trauma — which can cause dementia, memory loss, senility, and at its worst ALS!

I happen to be a huge fan of professional football. Wouldn’t that make me a hypocrite? No, and here’s why: Professional football players are highly compensated for their work. They know the risks but throw the dice in exchange for fame, glory, and a huge hunk of cash. Hopefully, they’ll escape with a portion of their bodies and minds when it’s all over. 

But a college player? Now that’s a trafficked and pimped individual if ever I’ve seen one. He puts his well-being — and even life — on the line in exchange for what? The hope that after 4 years of getting his body brutalized for zero monetary compensation that he’ll be good enough to make the pros and the big bucks 4 years down the road. And all the while, the big pimp gets over on them earning millions for himself and the school he represents with that fake fantasy that after those 4 years of indentured servitude, the athlete may actually make the pros and get a shot at earning his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

How’s this for a sobering stat? Only 1.6% of college football players make it to any level of the NFL. And that includes the practice squad where they don’t earn a lot of money!

Pretty sorry if you ask me! I’ll tell y’all…it’s atrocious what these pimps get away with. Just for example, whenever one of the servants gets maimed, does the pimp go to jail? Is he even prosecuted? Hell, no! One of his players could drop dead from heat exhaustion and still…nothing! Somebody pays a little lip service about protecting the players while the pimp continues earning truckloads of cash as he continues to traffic those who are still standing.

In truth, the guys who run away with all the money are about as likely to be prosecuted as a corrupt Wall Streeter. That’s America. Some pimps go to prison and some just don’t. But make no mistake about it. The guys and schools who profit handsomely from collegiate football are pimps — and just as egregious as the Cadillac-driving, velvet hat-wearing guys who put girls out on the corner. Maybe even more so!

College football is an embarrassment. Let’s face reality. It’s a de facto minor league for the NFL. And its players should be compensated as such. And considering the dangers involved and the money generated, they should be compensated at a very high level!

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Alt views, news, and opinions from Greenwich Village, NY. Contributor for the Daily Beast, New York Daily News, Daily Mail, The Independent, and New York Times

New York, NY

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