You have all seen it by now. Even if you weren't watching South Carolina beating Tennessee in the second quarter of Saturdays game, you have no doubt viewed a video on YouTube or seen a picture posted on twitter of the gruesome injury suffered by Gamecock RB and Hiesman Trophy candidate Marcus Lattimore. It was one of the worst looking injuries ever seen in football. There's no disputing that.
But what is being disputed by the NCAA is whether or not college athletes should be paid to play sports.
The NCAA may be the most corrupt organization in America. They make hundreds of millions of dollars per year without any oversight, any restrictions, or any regard for the athletes in which they control. They make there own rules all the while choosing which rules to enforce and how to enforce them. And they do this with one thing in mind. Their well being and their well being only.
Even New Jersey Mob bosses think the NCAA is a scam. And they envy it.
What they do to a large part of student athletes is downright disturbing when it comes to their controlling of a players financial present and future. The upper echelon players on Division 1 football rosters generate millions of dollars for the NCAA, their Universities, and the towns they play in.
What they get in return is pennies on the dollar. Literally.
And before you start with the "their getting a free education" argument, let me stop you right there because this is an idiotic argument.
Look at Marcus Lattimore. Since bursting onto the scene in 2010 as a true freshman he has wowed the nation with his physically running style, quick cutting ability, and break away speed rarely seen in power back. After a phenomenal freshman campaign he was already on NFL radars. Had he been eligible to enter the NFL Draft after the 2010 season, he would have been a first round draft pick. An instant millionaire. But he wasn't. Because the NCAA wants to keep its prized athletes as long as possible. Why should someone else make the millions off of them when they can do it at no cost to them.
Lattimore started 2011 the same way he ended 2010. Then an injury to the ligaments in his left knee ended his season and raised doubts about his NFL future.
But Lattimore underwent multiple surgeries and extensive rehab to be ready to return to the field at the start of this 2012 season. He not only returned, he picked up right where he had left off in 2011 as the best running back in the country. He had answered the questions of critics who were skeptical on how he would look after the injury. And up until the second quarter of Saturdays game, the injury that occurred a year ago was an after thought.
And then it happened. As Lattimore planted his leg into the ground to take on a couple of Tennessee defenders, a helmet landed directly on the knee. What happened next had people nauseous. Lattimore flew through the air, his right leg clearly mangled, and then landed on the field grabbing at his right knee, which was now located on the side of his leg. One Volunteer defender close to the play when it happened said post game that he had to turn away to keep from vomiting. It is easily one of the worst football injuries ever witnessed on TV. The diagnoses is complete destruction of his right knee.
Just like that.
Marcus Lattimore's future as an NFL football player and his ability to secure himself and his family financially is in serious doubt.
But hey, he'll have that degree from the University of South Carolina to fall back on, right? This is where this argument by the NCAA is ridiculous.
In his almost three seasons in Columbia, Lattimore has been the main reason for South Carolina's on the field success. He has helped transform the Gamecocks into a national power, bringing in millions of dollars to the University and the NCAA. He has also had an economical impact on the state. Because of Lattimore, Columbia, South Carolina restaurants, hotels, and shopping malls have raked in extra cash.
Thousands of people showed up on campus yesterday to show support for their fallen star. Professional athletes, actors, musicians, and politicians took to twitter to send out encouraging messages. The Governor of the state of South Carolina (who is a Clemson alum) declared yesterday Marcus Lattimore day.
And the reward that the NCAA sees fit to bestow on him for the accolades, accomplishments, and untold millions he has generated. Around $38,800 dollars. And not in a cash payment. In free tuition. At a value of about $9,200 per year.
And the kid can't so much as accept a $5 breakfast from a fan at Denny's without violating the NCAA's ludicrous rules.
These same people that are at the forefront of the "free tuition" argument are probably the same ones who boycott Nike because they pay Chinese workers about $2 a day to make $200 shoes.
And before you slam me for comparing the NCAA to a million dollar corporation who takes advantage of unfair labor wages, do the math.
Average ticket price to see Lattimore play is $64. Multiply that by 144 tickets and you have around $9,200.
Average attendance for a game at Williams-Brice Stadium: 80,000.
I'm not trying to take away the value of an education. Its important, but it's not priceless.
If Lattimore never plays football again and relies on a college degree and makes an average salary of $60,000 per year, it would take him around 500 years to make what he would have made with his first NFL contract.
So the next time you try and make your "free education" argument, think about Marcus Lattimore and do the math first.
You'll probably think twice about sounding so stupid.