Saturday, December 08, 2012

The NCAA is a Lot More Evil Than the NFL

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.....Not quite what Eric Hoffer wrote, but good anyway.

A bunch of former profession football players are suing the National Football League for concealing the evidence that playing football is likely to destroy your brain. I am pretty sure that they have a good case, but ambitious personal injury lawyers really ought to think about a more deserving target - the National College Athletic Association. The NCAA has degenerated into a terrible racket, one whose principal occupation is to churn out vast profits for television, football coaches, and the business of professional college football while exploiting the nearly free labor of some young people.

The NFL has taken some tentative steps to try to address the concussion problem. The NCAA has not. The reason it hasn't isn't just reckless disregard for athletes safety. It's mainly fear that they are going to get sued. The best way to relieve them of this fear is to sue their asses off - the NCAA, the coaches, the university Presidents, and the university corporations.

For the NCAA, this hands-off approach to concussion protocols is a calculated legal maneuver. "The NCAA doesn't want to be seen as the entity responsible for taking care of the student-athletes," says Paul D. Anderson, the attorney who writes the NFL Concussion Litigation blog. The NCAA is currently facing a class-action suit alleging that it failed to protect athletes from the dangers of concussions. But Anderson sees that suit as an uphill battle, partly because the NCAA has delegated responsibility for student-athletes' health to its member institutions.