I honestly don’t know anymore. It seems like every week there is something being done by the NFL or NCAA (along with other professional sports) which is not in the best interests of the sport, but rather the best interests of owner’s wallets.
Take how the NCAA has treated Cam Newton, for example. He obviously violated NCCA rules, yet he was somehow reinstated before anyone even knew he was declared ineligible. The whole situation was seemingly dealt with behind closed doors, and now Auburn gets to play Oregon in the National Championship. God forbid a team like TCU got into the big game and hurt the TV ratings.
Such a ruling opens up Pandora’s Box where anyone can seemingly shop an athlete around as long as the athlete has no knowledge of it. The NCAA will likely close up that “loophole” for next year, so the message sent here is you can’t break NCAA rules unless you’re on a team from a Big 6 conference that is in contention for the National Championship.
I personally think college athletes should be able to get paid, however if the NCAA is going to continue pretending that integrity is the reason behind preventing athletes from accepting money, they should at least enforce their rules fairly otherwise it only hurts those that do play by the rules.
Instead, the NCAA keeps making decisions based on money, while hiding behind excuses of acting in the players’ best interest. Everyone from the average fan to the President of the United States wants a playoff system, yet the excuses we hear are that they don’t want to risk players’ health by playing extra games or hurting their studies during finals. Of course, the true reason is the lucrative bowl contracts that teams receive, and while this isn’t their public motive, it’s the one that truly matters.
The NFL is not much better when it comes to integrity and Commissioner Roger Goodell is one of the biggest problems. Goodell’s decisions are supposed to be in the best interests of the NFL, yet really they are based on what’s best for making the owners money.
The NFL historically hates making rule changes in the middle of the season. Even though Calvin Johnson's Week 1 catch in the end zone was not a ruled a touchdown even though almost everyone agreed it should have been, the NFL will not review its catch rules until after the season. However Roger Goodell did decide to start punishing heavily for helmet to helmet contact during the season, leading to a gross discrepancy in what hits are penalized. It’s all the in the name of safety, yet the most profitable players (QB’s) get far more protection than defensive players. Even the QB’s are treated differently, as the big money makers Manning and Brady seemingly get all of the calls, while other QB’s don’t get such preferential treatment. The most ironic part of this situation is that Goodell is pushing for an 18-game season, which is likely more harmful to player health than helmet-to-helmet hits.
The NFL replay system is a joke as well compared the NCAA one. Apparently the NFL believes it’s the coach’s job to correct officials’ mistakes for them. It would be very easy for the NFL to fix their replay system, but there is no monetary incentive for them doing so and therefore it’s not a high priority for Goodell.
These are only a few examples of the hypocrisy of the NCAA and NFL. I know football is a business, but it’s extremely frustrating watching greed constantly hurt such a great game. I am just hoping that maybe there are some people in the NCAA and owners in the NFL who do actually care about the game and the fans, and make decisions for the good of football, not just when the price is right. Until then, players' and fans' wishes will be an afterthought, and the game will continue to suffer as a result.