Friday, October 7, 2011

The Side Of NCAA Football We Try Not To Think About…

Unfortunately, that would be all sides save for the games themselves.

The most recent HBO Real Sports (Episode 174, to see it click here) took a look at the finances of the college bowl games and it’s, to say the least, rather disappointing.  

It turns out the bowls don’t give as much money to local charities or the participating schools as they claim they do.  Many pay pretty big salaries, entertain lavishly and enrich themselves as best they can.  Some are better than others, obviously.

Yes, there are benefits to the communities where the bowls are held and for the participating schools, but while the overwhelming majority of bowls give more than 50% of the revenue to the participants, they also frequently charge those institutions for unsold ticket allotments which can exceed $1 million – that’s a big chunk of the pay day.

It was also revealed that the Sugar Bowl has $30 million in the bank while receiving millions in grants from the government of Louisiana while organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of New Orleans go unfunded.

It was interesting to note that the guy running the Sugar Bowl makes $1.7 million per year, while the guy running the New Orleans division of Habitat For Humanity makes $130,000.

(Speaking of New Orleans, evidently, Mercedes Benz has paid $165 million for the naming rights to the Superdome.  This is curious and clearly aimed at big event television audiences because there are NO (yes, read that none, nada, zip) Mercedes-Benz dealerships in New Orleans. None. In fact, there are only five in the entire state of Louisiana.  You gotta admit, you can’t get this kind of quality information just anywhere.)

Which leads us to the bowl games bedfellows, the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) who have recently been handing out penalties to everybody’s sweethearts (except John Clark) Boise State.

According to the Broncos, the impermissible benefits that cost Boise State sophomore wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn four games included use of a 1990 Toyota Camry with 177,000 miles and driver’s insurance coverage.

Boldewijn, one of three Dutch players (who has Dutch football players? But, seriously, who better to understand the NCAA rules about student athletes using late model Japanese sedans than the Dutch?) declared ineligible by the school earlier this year, will make his season debut Friday night at Fresno State. He paid $700, the value of his benefits, to the charity of his choice as part of his reinstatement.

In addition, senior safety Cedric Febis missed one game and paid $20 to charity for unspecified recruiting violations and impermissible transportation (stupid Camry!).

Those details were released Wednesday by the NCAA and Boise State. The NCAA answered an inquiry from the Idaho Statesman newspaper and Boise State responded with a statement later in the day.

In all three cases, Boise State, the Mountain West and the NCAA have agreed the violations were secondary (defined as “isolated and inadvertent”) and no major case proceeding will result from the investigation, Boise State said in its release. 

Good thing, we got that cleared up. 

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