Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Every time I call it a business, you call it a game. And every time I call it a game, you call it a business.
I was 12 years old the first time I heard the name Marcus Dupree. Living in Yukon, Oklahoma at the time it wasn't long before I was doing what every other kid that didn't pull for the OSU Cowboys was doing, and that was pretending I was Marcus Dupree in the back yard while I played football with my buddies.
At the time, I didn't understand why a guy would play 1 1/2 years at one of the greatest schools in the country and then just go home. Throw in joining the USFL instead of the NFL and as a 12 year old kid, I thought he was off his rocker.
Turns out things in 1982 weren't all that different than 2010. Spectacular athletes crossing paths with everybody with their hands out combined with the sadly always present dirt bags wanting their share.
If you watched this and have followed the recent developments of Cam Newton, the phrase "The more things change, the more they stay the same" should be ping ponging around inside your head.
NCAA athletes, especially the ones who play football and basketball, are no more an amateur athlete than I'm Andre the Giant. The universities and television networks get rich off the sweat and blood and concussions and blown out knees and broken dreams of these kids and the athlete can't let the coach buy him a Hamburger off the dollar menu or he's gone.
I don't know what the solution is. Fact is, I don't even know if it's possible.
But if you can watch this documentary on Marcus Dupree and not get angry about what happened to him and countless others over the years?
You may want to check yourself for a pulse.