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"Fundamental Change," Part II

Here at Hustle Belt, we may not always know why the VCR keeps flashing "12:00" or how to properly initiate the usage of a glass bottle of ketchup, but we darn sure have some ideas on how college sports, football in particular, can work to eradicate this mess they've allowed to overflow in recent weeks.

Here is the conclusion to our Hustle Belt roundtable discussion about the sad stat of affairs and how we intend to heal it (with bandaids and duct tape). If you missed the first part, click those highlighted words right there.

bmiraski - It is an interesting [idea], but a little different than baseball, where the entire minor organization is owned by the major league team,

How would you control the usage of a player you drafted? How do you manage when two different pro teams have kids on the same college team?

It could be a slippery slope...

Mark Travis - I guess it would be more like the D-League in that respect. Some NBA teams co-own the D-League teams and their prospects have to earn time over the other prospects on the team.

geeves - I don't think that the people advocating pay-for-play are the only ones who undervalue a college education. I think a lot of the kids who play those revenue-generating sports do the same thing. I know it isn't every single player, but there is certainly a fair share who don't care about the education they are receiving, and look at the coursework as a burden they have to put up with in order to play football, rather than a way to inform and mature themselves into an educated member of society who can contribute whether they play football or not.

As to the developmental league...the NBA and NFL have plenty of developmental options - I don't think there is anything really stopping a player from going and developing himself in Europe (for basketball OR football) other than not being talented enough to play on a squad. There's nothing I see that's stopping a high school football player from going into the Arena or Canadian football leagues other than it being seen as a "strange" choice - nor is there anything stopping the NFL money juggernaut from forming a partnership with either of those groups.

There are so many angles to pursue and that would need to be run through the grist mill on this that...well, I'm not sure the end result is much more than a big pile of unintelligible grist. It's not unlike an economic discussion - how do you find a way for everyone (student-athletes, university administrators, professional leagues, all of the businesses that profit from college sports) to stop worrying about "i got mine" and think about "we've got ours"?

cmadler - I think FBS football and D-I men's basketball have an identity crisis, and have had for some time. Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins summed it up nicely: "It becomes a complicated issue, because so many of the decisions being made are about money. Yet the theme of the whole concept is not about money. It’s sort of a two-sided issue where you’re talking out of two sides of your mouth. You’re trying to make it about money, but you’re trying to make it not about money."

geeves - I appreciate Cousins' sentiment, but I disagree. It isn't about "trying to make it about money, but trying to not make it about money"'s more like "you're trying to make it about money while you lie to yourselves and the general public by maintaining a stance with the media that it's not about the money." I think it might be wise for the NCAA to stop trying to pretend that the business of athletics is anything other than that, and start treating it as such.