Everyone's Making Cash Except the Players Generating it
Answer: They're Both Playing for free during the Final Four.
The difference is the basketball players will be playing for free while the Boss is probably making some real good money while headlining the NCAA's Free March Madness Music Festival at next month's Final Four.
Having Bruce headline the Music Festival is an awesome idea and for anyone in the Big D during the tournament I could not encourage you enough to go see Bruce. It will be an incredible experience and he will put on a phenomenal show.
The fact the NCAA is able to throw such a lavish party for its fans shows just how much money the organization makes. March Madness is one of the biggest cash cows in sports, second probably to the Super Bowl, would be my guess. It results in BILLLIONs of dollars for the NCAA, funds tens of thousands of scholarships in non-revenue sports and permits the NCAA ruling elite to lead the kind of lifestyle most of the rest of us (including 90% of the players in the tournament) could dream about.
It's amazing how popular and lucrative the tournament has become for so many people, except of course the player.
I cannot think of any other institution in the Free World that exploits workers as much as the NCAA does in college basketball and football. What other institution gets to pay its workers room, board and 12 to 15 hours of instruction per week in exchange for the workers generating millions of dollars.
Prisons? You might say. Not a good comparison because prisoners don't generate Billions in revenues. Wall Street? They wish. If there's one thing I can guarantee in life is that the people who generate the Billions on Wall Street get "paid" big time for their efforts. Off the top of my head, I believe Wall Street pays out close to 40 to 50% of its revenues in the form of compensation to those who earn it.
Only the NCAA gets to exploit its workers without compensating them. It is truly an injustice especially for the 99% of players who don't make it to the next level. The players who are generating more commercial profit during 4 years in college than they might the rest of their lives but have no way to profit from it......And then when they try, for example by signing their autograph...they get punished and are turned into villains. See Johnny Manziel.
You wonder how the NCAA Barons can live with themselves. How to they deal with the hypocrisy of flying into Dallas on a private jet to watch someone else's sons play basketball while punishing an assistant coach if he tries to help a parent fly into Dallas to see their son play.
Talk about exploitative. Just for curiosity, I looked up tickets for tonight's big Duke-UNC game at Cameron tonight. A game I was privileged to attend three times at Duke and I can tell you it was such an amazing experience. I'm not surprised that tickets in the upper level are going for $1,993. The atmosphere will be as good, if not better than that of a Super Bowl or Final Four.
But it does underscore the injustice that is taking place when the players who the fans are going to see don't get to see a dime of that money. When ticket scalpers are making more money off the players' efforts than the players themselves.
The time has come for the NCAA to stop exploiting athletes. It's time for all those who are feeding at the trough that the players create to start sharing some of the wealth with those wealth creators.
It's time for the NCAA to stop taking advantage of the fact the players are young and have no central voice speaking on their behalf. There is simply no excuse for any organization to make Billions of Dollars off the effort of a group of workers and then not let them share ANY of the profits from their work.
And I'm sorry, I've never believed that a dorm room, three meals a day, and the privilege of sitting in a lecture hall with 200 other students is fair compensation in exchange for generating MILLIONs of dollars in revenue for a University.
So remember, as you watch the games and perhaps have a chance to see the Boss in concert, think about the fact that all the grandeur, all the great experience is being brought to you by players who, at least in 95% of cases, are not able to get fairly compensated for all they do because of the greed and lack of conscience of those who run the NCAA.
That fact, the fact the ruling elites of the NCAA will be living like Kings and Queens during the NCAA tournament while the players who make it possible are living like glorified paupers is truly an example of "Madness."
R.C. O'Leary is the author of the legal thriller Hallways in the Night, a novel that Bookstory says is "