It’s time to stop watching college sports. The NCAA is an unethical organization, exploiting powerless young athletes for its own financial gain, and it’s about time they were punished. Since they rely on television money for the vast majority of their revenues, that seems like a good place to start. I’m not asking you to go all cold turkey and completely boycott the NCAA Tournament, or even to stop watching your alma mater play, but simply to make a concerted effort to avoid watching televised college sports whenever possible. Here are four reasons why you should join us in boycotting the NCAA until they begin letting the players share in the riches:
No 4: The Product Isn’t Very Good
This is truer for college basketball than it is for college football, but neither product is nearly as entertaining as it once was. Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid have been quoted recently saying they can’t even watch the college game anymore, and I can’t blame them. There is a serious lack of skill, which leads to a serious lack of spacing, which leads to unentertaining, foul-filled games. Plus, none of the good teams can build much chemistry, because they all rely on one-and-done freshmen and have to restock their rosters every year. The NCAA Tournament is usually still exciting because of the upsets and buzzer-beaters, but the days of elite regular season match-ups that are must-watch TV are a thing of the past, and are probably never coming back.
As for football, obviously the product hasn’t suffered as much, because they still get ALL the potential NFL players for at least three years, but gimmicky spread offenses have turned the sport into a very realistic looking video game, and once the playoff is expanded to eight teams, regular season match-ups will decline in importance. It will just be three months of waiting for Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Ohio State to face off in late December/early January. Additionally, the NFL is still the NFL, and even among the kind of hard core sports fans I hang out with, most people don’t watch sports all day on both Saturday and Sunday. Which brings us to…
No 3: There Are Better Things to Watch on TV
Enjoy your Saturdays: get out and see the world. Save the hibernating in front of the TV for Sundays. I stopped forcing myself to watch regular season college football a few years ago, and trust me, my life has gotten better, not worse. And if you’re the type of person who spends all weekend inside, regardless of what’s on the tube? In that case, use Saturdays to broaden your horizons. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and HBO NOW there are enough interesting things to keep you occupied for the next ten college football seasons.
The same goes for all those college hoops games on TV during the week. If you don’t dig the vastly superior version of the same sport (the NBA) a few channels down the dial, then just switch over to ROKU (or whatever streaming platform you use). I promise you can find something more exciting than Kansas-West Virginia, plus you can still bet on the game. And if you’re like me and only watch college basketball to get a look at potential NBA prospects, that’s what Mike Schmitz and YouTube are for.
No 2: Things Won’t Change Until We Force the NCAA’s Hand
Here’s the real reason, especially if you really enjoy watching college sports. Every time you watch a game, you are supporting a business model that is fundamentally unfair (at least to the athletes themselves – coaches and administrators are doing juuuust fine) and un-American. In case you hadn’t noticed, businesses (and the NCAA is most certainly a business) that make money are reluctant to change their ways, no matter who they may be hurting. The only way to force their hand is to put their ability to make money in jeopardy. If there were a concerted effort among millions of fans to avoid watching NCAA sanctioned events, and it was understood that the only way to end the boycott was to start compensating players, that would get the NCAA to the bargaining table quicker than any lawsuit or (and try not to laugh here) moral awakening ever could.
Every day, tens of thousands of NCAA athletes are exploited for financial gain. Start standing up for them, starting today, by refusing to watch college sports on TV (or at least avoiding them as much as you can). The NCAA only moves to the beat of money. It’s about time we started speaking their language.
No 1: Mark Emmert
Just look at this poser. Has there ever been a bigger divide in coolness factor in one photo? Bad ratings for college sports may mean (NCAA President) Emmert is out of a job, and that is reason alone not to watch. Easily one of the least likable men in America. If you have some time, watch John Oliver eviscerate him (and the NCAA).