The NCAA is a cartel that exploits the unpaid labor of teenagers to make obscene profits for stuffy old people in suits. No one of reasonable intelligence disputes this. It’s been true, it continues to be true, and it will remain true until huge sweeping changes are made or the whole thing goes down in a spectacular fireball like the infamous hydrogen balloon pictured above. Good men and women have screamed about it from mountaintops for a while now (most notably Taylor Branch in his fantastic takedown in The Atlantic two years ago), and it almost, kind of, maybe seems like we’re finally getting to the point where the wood in all this has bent as far as its going to bend, and small cracks, creaks, and snaps are starting to become noticeable. Good.
Anyway, I bring all this up because the always excellent Charles Pierce has a piece up at Grantland today that is pure word-gold if you’re into this stuff. He starts off discussing the absurdity of playing the Final Four in cavernous domes (and really, you should read the whole thing), but the real fun part comes when he gets to NCAA president Mark Emmert’s recent statement that the NCAA’s “miscellaneous expense allowance” somehow doesn’t conflict with their stance that college athletes shouldn’t be paid. You. Read. Now.