Thursday, August 04, 2005

Gregg Doyel knows who pays his bills
By Zach

Today, Gregg Doyel became the first major online columnist (at least that I saw) to comment on the NIT's lawsuit. If you want my take on the whole thing, you can read what I wrote the other day.

Now, on the surface, Doyel seems to be appealing to the NIT to drop its lawsuit for the sake of what's good for college basketball. And undoubtably, it would be bad for college basketball to have some uncertainty about who the actual best team is at the end of the year.

But Doyel glosses over a few things. First, he works for CBS Owned by CBS. Whose most valuable sports properties are the NFL and college basketball. Since Doyel gets paid to write about college basketball, and the money to pay him comes in large part from ad revenue generated by that propery, especially the NCAA Tournament. Therefor, Doyel's got quite a stake in maintaining the status quo.

Additionally, the NCAA tournament shouldn't be exempted from following the laws of the country just because they take advantage of their "employees." I mean, McDonald's has a maximum they'll pay their workers, but we don't let them monopolize the fast food industry just because it would be easier on us if we only had to remember one name for a cheeseburger.

Doyel says "the NIT would benefit, but college sports were not created for the good of the NIT." Of course not. But neither were they created to enrich universities and TV corporations on the labor of 18-22 year olds. The fact is that as long as the universities and corporations which make billions of dollars off college basketball don't share it with the players that actually do the work, they've got no moral ground to stand on when other people or organizations try and make money off them as well.

Doyel suggests that we ignore the legal evidence in this case and decide it on purely emotional grounds. But then again, people said baseball, football, and basketball would be irrevocably damaged if players gained more rights. Yet free agency has not only been fair to the players, it's increased the sports' revenue many times over.

No one wants to destroy college basketball, including the NIT. But they do want what was taken illegally from them over the course of thirty years, and people like Doyel will have to deal with that.


Blogger David Arnott said...

Too easy, Zach :) Can we expect to see a fair argument in favor of either side from any of the major news sources? ESPN/Disney has a stake in the NIT. And I believe NBC will be the biggest beneficiary if the NCAA doesn't settle and get proactive about including EVERY team in the postseason, because they'd be the logical destination for an Alternative Tourney. It would be remarkably unobtrusive to have a 220 team NCAA Tournament, eliminating the NIT altogether. Right now, I'm gonna write it up how they should set it up...

2:41 AM  

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