Players powerless in college structure

South Florida Sun SentinelApril 6, 2013 

ONCE AGAIN, THIS is why you never take a college administrator too seriously when it comes to sports. Once again, a story of total abuse wouldn’t be a story if it wasn’t brought before the masses.

Once again, the question is why the Rutgers president and athletics director, who both knew about the verbal and physical abuse by basketball coach Mike Rice against his players, took small steps to prevent it and fired Rice on Wednesday only when the engaged sports nation became enraged.

And, once again, the answer is?

College administrators aren’t running athletics programs for student-athletes. They’re running brokerage houses. They’re making it rain, are paid to continue making it rain and such ideas as players rights or ethical conduct is prioritized behind falling money.

Rice wasn’t fired for abusing players. He was suspended a few games without pay and fined $50,000 for that by his school bosses. That was done in private this past December.

Rice was fired to save the program. Once video of Rice kicking, throwing balls at and calling players names was leaked to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” he was done.

If someone of Mike Krzyzewski’s stature had done this, would he have been fired? Should he have been?

Money is the big item on the menu inside college sports. This is no surprise if you’ve paid attention.

Money is at the core of them all from the school administrator’s viewpoint. They didn’t care about right, wrong or any measure of players’ rights. They know a player isn’t going to fight back.

When Rutgers administrators were told their coach was verbally and physically abusing players, they ignored the players and quietly dealt with the coach. Of course they did.

At the end, the story wasn’t about Rice, though. It was about his Rutgers bosses.

More leaders of higher learning gave another lesson that it’s not about doing what’s right for kids. It’s about making it rain forever.

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