I swore I wouldnt do this.
I swore I would swear off trying to decipher the logic of the NCAA, which is no logic at all and therefore makes my head ache like a thousand gnomes with sledgehammers were laying a railroad through my brain. The secret to thinking about the NCAAs fantasy world, Id discovered, was not to think.
And so I think, therefore I am, becomes I dont think, therefore telling former Colorado player Jeremy Bloom he cant play football because he skis professionally makes perfect sense. Simple.
Of course, then I read that, as with every football team in every college bowl game, Notre Dames football players will be getting a bunch of free stuff for playing in the Pinstripe Bowl – including, but not limited to, a Playstation 4.
And suddenly, here come the gnomes with the sledgehammers.
Suddenly Im wondering why its perfectly kosher for some moneybags in a bowl blazer to give college football players Playstation 4s, but if some other moneybags not wearing a bowl blazer did it, the NCAA would throw the players and their school in its roomy hoosegow.
I get that the latter is an impermissible benefit, but why isnt the former?
And, yes, in theory, I know why. Its because college football is a business above all else, no matter how much it pretends to be otherwise. And so a schools dealings with a bowl game are a business transaction: You help sell tickets and plump up the TV ratings for our bowl game, and in return well pay you large sums of money and, while were it, show you a good time.
Which includes free stuff for the players. And which is OK in this case, because its all part of the contract between the school and the bowl game.
Still ... how can taking free stuff in one instance be a crime against humanity, but taking it in another instance isnt? If the principle of an impermissible benefit is that its something thats not available to all students ... well, how many regular grade hounds at Notre Dame are getting free gaming systems from the Pinstripe Bowl? Right. Zippo.
And heres something else: Lets say one of Notre Dames players decides to sell his PS4 to his roommate. That would be an NCAA violation, but how, exactly?
Didnt the bowl blazers, with the expressed permission of the NCAA, say, Here, this is yours? Well, if its yours, arent you free to do with it what you wish? Isnt that what yours means?
My head. My aching head.