Billy Reed: Moneyball, moneyball, moneyball – let’s play ball; we can watch and wonder while gamers collect


When Kentucky starts playing basketball this season, it will be hard for me not to wonder how much money is made playing college – yes, I said college – basketball.

Until then, of course. Coach John Calipari’s talented players, who are often mentioned as the next national champion, will get something from someone.

I singled out Dontaie Allen because he is the only player from those regions on the list of 15 players I was able to document who took advantage of the US Supreme Court ruling that college players are free to play. get paid for their name, likeness, and image.

All of this, of course, changed the culture of NCAA Division I sports. Amateurism is as dead as James Naismith. The NCAA has no influence. Only the rich will get richer.

Billy Reed is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Athlete Hall of Fame, and the University of Transylvania. He has been named Kentucky’s Sports Writer of the Year eight times and has won the Eclipse Award three times. Reed has written on a multitude of sporting events for over four decades and is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable Kentucky Derby writers. His book “Last of a BReed” is available on Amazon.

I’m sure there are many who haven’t announced their sponsors. But believe me, it’s coming. Here are the ones I’ve documented, courtesy of the Internet:

ALABAMA – Brice Young, football quarterback. His trainer, Nick Saban, says he gets an “obscene” amount approaching seven figures.

ARKANSAS – Trey Knox, football.

AUBURN – Bo Nix, quarterback. and Shaun Stivers, football.

BAYLOR – Jared Butler, basketball player.

FLORIDA – Derek King, football quarterback.

FLORIDA STATE – Milton, McKenzie, football halfback.

STATE OF FRESNO – Hanna and Haley Caviinder, women’s basketball.

Believe it or not, one of their sponsors paid for a billboard in Times Square to increase their visibility.

JACKSON STATE – Antwan Owens, basketball.

KENTUCKY – Allen, basketball

MARSHALL – Will Ulmer, football.

MINNSOTA – Gabe Stevenson, wrestling.

NEBRASKA – Lexi Sun, women’s volleyball.

OHIO STATE – Nicholas Petit-Frere, football back.

STATE OF TENNESSEE – Hercy Miller, basketball player.

Like I said, this is only scratching the surface. As the seasons go by, the list will grow and grow, and no one knows where it will end.

It could also lead to some hilarious conversations between the coaches and their star players. Consider if you will, British coach Mark Stoops and Will Lewis, the Penn State junior quarterback who is second in the SEC by the way and led the UK to a 3-0 record.

The intercom in Stoops’ office crackles with the voice of his secretary. “Coach, Will Lewis is here to see you.” Stoops replies, “Send it.” Lewis enters, to the left of the stage.

“Coach,” he says. “I’ll get right to the point. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve posted much better numbers than almost every quarterback in our league, even those who are a lot better known than me. I want more coach money. As easy as that. If you can’t find a sponsor for me, I’ll stop right away and get into the transfer pool or play in one of the pro minor leagues. I need your response by the end of today’s work.

Stunned, Stoops mutters something about the team‘s old-fashioned loyalty, but Lewis is gone.

It couldn’t really happen, could it? Nobody knows. But what we’ve always called the NCAA Division I is running in uncharted waters.

Anyone who knows me, or has read some of my stuff, knows I’m a die-hard traditionalist. I’m not against change, even like some of them, but it must be change for the better.

The Supreme Court’s decision does not meet this standard.

Cynics will point out that for decades, courageous university and college presidents have diverted no school business or interest in staying longer than it takes to get a pro contract.

The cavalier contempt many coaches and players have for academics. I realize this is a weird idea, one that will attract chuckles from the majority, but I don’t care. We’re talking COLLEGE sports, for heaven’s sake.

I still think varsity sports should be played by students who are interested in academics. I think a four-year scholarship is enough reward to play any sport.

My youngest granddaughter Lucy will be a freshman in college in two years. Just for fun, I looked at college tuition prices last week and was surprised that some schools, large and small, were charging north of $ 50,000.

Lucy enjoys field hockey and is a good player. A field hockey college scholarship would be a godsend, but they won’t put any pressure on. All they want for her is an enjoyable high school experience.

I will follow the great university sports with detachment. The Supreme Court and the presidents of flabby universities ruined everything for me. If you see me at a game, it’ll probably be in Georgetown or the Center.

It’s fair, that’s all.


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