The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editorials

August 29, 2013

Our View: Hypocrisy rampant in college football

Why It Matters: The Johnny Manziel case comes at a time when the NCAA is particularly vulnerable.

Another college football season begins this weekend, and with it comes the annual fuss over the eligibility of a star player.

This year it's Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner who spent his summer cavorting around the country — courtside seats at the NBA Finals, private jets — and, apparently, signing his autograph often enough to flood the marketplace.

Somebody is making money off Manziel's name. As far as the suits who rule college football are concerned, it would be a great evil if that somebody were Manziel himself.

It's perfectly fine for A&M to sell access to its star quarterback — boosters reportedly paid the university $20,000 for the privilege of sitting at Manziel's table at a recent banquet. But according to the NCAA, it's a sin for Manziel to profit.

Unlike the controversies of previous seasons — from Reggie Bush's SUVs to Terrell Pryor's free tattoos to the demands of Cam Newton's father for under-the-table cash for steering his son to a particular school — the Manziel case involves a white player with a privileged background.

Also unlike the Bush, Pryor and Newton cases, the Manziel controversy comes at a time when the NCAA is particularly vulnerable. The NCAA's investigatory arm took a significant black eye when it mishandled the University of Miami case last year; a federal lawsuit, with former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon as lead plaintiff, is challenging the NCAA's use of athletes' names and likenesses for profit.

As television money continues to flood into big-time college football, there is an increasing sense that some of it ought to go to the players. The NCAA, however, is committed the the notion that the players ought not share in the wealth.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Books can be crunchy fun for all Talk about extra-crunchy fun! If you haven't heard of Dave Pilkey's series of books that take kid humor in all of its silliness, grossness and creativity to the max, you have now. The "Captain Underpants" books topped the American Library Association

    April 21, 2014

  • Spear smile.jpg Spear column: Hoffner case tested first and right rules

    The biggest news stories carry the biggest risk

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SCC leads the way on work ed The importance of higher education has never been more pronounced than with the changes occurring in our economy, especially in manufacturing. Bloomberg News noted that manufacturing accounts for 80 percent of our exports and for every one high-tech

    April 20, 2014

  • Our View: Y helps kids with skatepark Thumbs up to the YMCA and supporters working quickly to open an interim roller sport park. When fire destroyed Chesley Roller Sports Park in February, the Y made the commitment to rebuild it this summer and fall. But the Y also moved to give skateboa

    April 19, 2014

  • Our View: Make course evaluations public There's been a considerable and legitimate debate over the years about whether students at a public university should have access to teacher and course evaluations. Whenever there is a legitimate debate, it's hard to be in favor of less information a

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View: Drawing the line after Ukraine Why it matters: Tensions are ramping up once more as Russia tries to dictate to Ukraine.

    April 17, 2014

  • Our View: Costs key in health care access While more uninsured got coverage, costs must be controlled to sustain programs

    April 16, 2014

  • Our View: Saving lives trumps booking drug users Changes to the drug laws would save lives of those who overdose

    April 15, 2014

  • Pay attention! Distraction a problem A few years ago safety experts focused heavily on the dangers of people talking on cellphones while driving. Some states passed laws prohibiting the use of hand-held phones in cars as a result. Today much attention is on motorists typing on tiny hand

    April 14, 2014

  • DEBATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA When Minnesota lawmakers return from their spring break, one of the issues they may face is medical marijuana. This has been kicked around too many times. We feel it deserves to be pushed from committee and debated on the floor. The issue has been tr

    April 13, 2014