Banky Edwards: Alright, now see this? This is a four-way road, okay? And dead in the center is a crisp, new, hundred dollar bill. Now, at the end of each of these streets are four people, okay? You following?
Banky Edwards: Good. Over here, we have a male-affectionate, easy to get along with, non-political agenda lesbian. Down here, we have a man-hating, angry as fuck, agenda of rage, bitter dyke. Over here, we got Santa Claus, and up here the Easter Bunny. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first?
Holden: What is this supposed to prove?
Banky Edwards: No, I’m serious. This is a serious exercise. It’s like an SAT question. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first? The male-friendly lesbian, the man-hating dyke, Santa Claus, or the Easter bunny?
Holden: The man-hating dyke.
Banky Edwards: Good. Why?
Holden: I don’t know.
Banky Edwards: [shouting] Because the other three are figments of your fucking imagination!
As I read news of the National Labor Relations Board‘s decision that college players have the right to unionize and allow myself a brief celebration of this victory for common sense, I also prepare myself for the inevitable defenses of the NCAA and its racket–college sports–from folks whom, in my kindest moments, I can only describe as deluded. It is for their sake that I have excerpted Banky’s rant above, for it could be easily rewritten with its three mythical creatures replaced by: the principled NCAA executive, the truthful NCAA lawyer and the honest college sport administrator. And standing over it all, the hallucination of the amateur student-athlete, who plays for passion and pride. Not money. No sir, not that filthy stuff, so visible in prices of season tickets, the salaries of coaches, administrators, the values of television rights deals, the spanking new sports facilities, gyms and stadiums.
Read the NLRB’s ruling and read the descriptions of college football players’ training and game routines, and ask yourself whether those descriptions accord with your sense of a college student playing sports on the side while he pursues a degree as his main vocation. Or do they better describe professional athletes who study a bit on the side? A choice sample:
During this time [football season], the players devote 40 to 50 hours per week to football-related activities, including travel to and from their scheduled games.
College sports is a plantation racket, from start to finish. Hold out promises of unimaginable riches to a community desperate for economic upliftment, pay them peanuts, shackle them to draconian codes of conduct enforced by hypocrites, all the while enriching yourself. That’s how it works. The student-athlete, the scholarship, the education in exchange for a few games; they sure do sustain a great deal of fantasy don’t they?
Thank you for tearing down the non-unionized wall, Mr. Ohr. Now, hopefully, later this year, the judges in O’Bannon vs. NCAA will take the necessary next steps.