The NCAA is the king of “Do as I say and not as I do.” So what are college football and basketball teams going to do? Follow the rules? Ha! What’s the fun in that?
OK, so colleges are definitely following the rules, but they are also finding ways to bend them. They aren’t breaking any NCAA-sanctions, but their student-athletes aren’t exactly your average student. The NCAA and its schools are not giving the athletes any benefits that they aren’t giving other students in a nominal sense. It’s just that the athletes “dorms” are outrageous. The student-athlete’s healthcare is awesome. Even their classes are a little bit ludicrous.
Here are some perks of playing ball for a major school that will make you shake your head.
The NCAA gives $300 dollar gift bags to football players before Bowl games. Generally, the latest PlayStation console is in that bag. College basketball players get gifts from the NCAA for Conference tournaments and Final Four appearances. The basketball gift bags can reach the value of $3,780, according to NCAA rules, but alas, Big 12 and SEC players only get bags with a $270 value. Players must decide whether they want items like Beats Headphones, the Samsung Galaxy, Bose Speakers or a flat screen TV. Tough life.
So yes, the NCAA is giving them “gifts,” which, given by anyone else, would be against their bylaws. But whatever, right?
Classes Named By The Onion?
Classes taken by college football players include: Trees and Shrubs, Leisure, Adjusting to University, Advanced Slow-Pitch Softball, Billiards and Remedial Reading (which former Temple All-American running back Paul Palmer failed four times).
Without a doubt, many student-athletes take their studies seriously. But as is made clear by these classes, other student-athletes make their studies into athletics – which the university approves.
Dorms & Housing
In 2013, Ohio State University completed The Residence on 10th. The building cost $37 million. According to ElevenWarriors.com, “It could be converted into a Four Seasons with minimal renovations.” These facilities aren’t technically athletic dorms, because the NCAA outlawed those in 1996. But fill those dorms with more non-student-athletes than student-athletes, and the school has found the loophole.
Kansas announced in January 2014 that they would be spending $17.5 million on their latest dorm. But that’s penny change compared to Auburn’s Donahue Hall, which cost $51 million – it houses almost the entire football team. Oklahoma seems to take the cake, however. Its $75 million dorm, Headington Hall houses 100 football players and is conveniently located next to the football complex. The building has a 75-seat movie theater and a dining hall named after Sam Bradford, who donated $500,000 to that dorm.
Room assignments posted! We have already heard from some happy future @HeadingtonHall residents. Soon, you eat here! pic.twitter.com/uyYEPxBCxG
— HeadingtonFIR (@HeadingtonFIR) July 1, 2014
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsAnother Place To Chill With Your Teammates
Apparently, there was a video of coach Cal touring the Wildcat Coal Lodge that was erased from the internet for a short time. Hmmm… wonder why? Luckily, someone else took the liberty of re-posting it.
Anyways, this is technically a dorm and houses a small number of students, which is comprised by almost half basketball players. But it seems to be landing spot for all the basketball players, regardless of whether they live there. Like Headington Hall, the Lodge is conveniently located beside the athletic facilities. Basketball players hang there, “and study and play pool.” Typically you can’t do both at the same time, but the players apparently can take billiards as a class – so, it makes PERFECT sense.
And when the athletes are on vacation – I mean, on the road for a tournament, here’s the place they get to hang with their bros:
A quick look at what your Kentucky Wildcats will be calling home next week. #BigBlue #Atlantis pic.twitter.com/vxpWPyTSaD
— BigBlueBahamas (@BigBlueBahamas) August 3, 2014
You just got back from Advanced Slow-Pitch Softball and you’ve got practice in 40 minutes. Typically, you’d only have time to whip up some Ramen or Easy Mac. But thank god, your private chef has a juicy steak ready for you. “Best day ever” just became every day.
Remember the Coach Calipari video referenced earlier? Did you see him stop by to see the chef who will make food for the athletes. Anything they want, any time they want.
When the rest of the university breaks a bone, they see some combination of a general medicine doctor, a specialist, and a radiologist. Student athletes get that all at once. There’s no doubt, they deserve every bit of medical attention they get. They’re putting their bodies on the line for the love of the game – and all of these ridiculously awesome benefits. Plus, they have awesome whirlpools and ice baths.
Unfortunately, the college needs to have some stake in the athlete’s well being. Because contractually, they don’t have to provide players with healthcare after they are injured. However, some of them do provide highly addictive painkillers without tracking their player’s usage of those drugs. So you win some, you lose some as an athlete… right?
Best Weight Rooms And Strength Coaches Money Can Buy
Here is a 27-minute video that tours the weight room. Yes, it takes 27 minutes to tour the Ohio State weight room.
If you don’t feel like watching the video, just look at the proof that this weight room works.
Above the law?
Even at a big school, athletes stand out. Generally, they’re larger than life. I remember freshman year when I saw the DI hockey players in my dorm and was terrified at how small and gangly I was. Turns out they were all around 20 years old, and I a measly 18. There’s an air of the superhuman for college athletes. They’re on the football field or the basketball court – hopefully winning games – and they’re herculean.
And it seems sometimes, it’s not just player’s peers that are affected by the athletes aura of success. Perhaps, they’re superhuman nature allows them to supersede legal action, too. But what do I know? I’m still busy picking up my jaw from that one time I saw Tom Brady in person.