While I ordinarily don’t write about other writers, I’m writing this because I find a recent not-so-subtle shift in position by the Patriot-News’ David Jones to potentially be a harbinger of a broad turn of media sentiments against the NCAA. The resulting pressure could benefit Penn State inasmuch as reducing the draconian penalties imposed last summer might be a face-saving move by Mark Emmert as media criticism mounts against the hypocritical NCAA and its Chief Hypocrite.
Jones hit two major points in an opinion piece published in his blog last Friday. First, morality and “the rules” don’t apply to the machinations of the NCAA and its leader. Second, the whole premise of the NCAA, to promote amateur collegiate athletics and protect participants from rampant commercialism is mere tongue-in-cheek hypocrisy. Hell, the major source of NCAA revenue is the annual basketball tournament. If that isn’t using amateur athletes for profit, what the hell is?
What I’m thinking is that the change in tune for Jones is significant because he was one of those who initially agreed that Penn State President Rod Erickson did the right thing by accepting his punishment and going to bed without dessert, but now he sort of kind of said that was probably necessary at the time maybe because the public sentiment demanded it. However, now that the public sentiment (however that is measured) has seemingly turned against the NCAA, Jones is hopping on that bandwagon. I think it is a good thing. One by one, the detractors are coming back into the fold. Jones’ target shifting from Penn State to the NCAA is a major win for the good guys. ESPN is showing signs of cracking, too.
So, with things heading in the right direction, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s antitrust suit against the NCAA is a stroke of legal and political genius. Way to go, Corbett! Great timing, dude! I believe that the “public sentiment” turning sour on the NCAA will create a favorable climate for moving forward. What fun this will be.
Want to read Jones’ article? Check out “Mark Emmert comes off as biggest fraud as NCAA investigates itself.”