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NCAA: Brain dead

I knew there was a reason NCAA czar Mark Emmert's news conference was the weekend's best One Shining Us On Moment, and why more and more people these days think the organization's guiding principle is "Keeping The Hired Help In Line For 107 Years So We Can Keep Adding To Our Pile."

It's because of moments like this.

And, no, before you point out the disclaimer, the NCAA does not get points from me for changing its mind about allowing the Louisville men's basketball players to travel gratis to the Louisville-Connecticut women's title game tonight. It changed its mind too late to do those players any good, for one thing. And besides, an organization with any conscience, sense of decency or adherence to its stated principles wouldn't have had to change its mind at all.

It would have immediately signed off on the players' traveling to New Orleans to support the Louisville women, on the grounds that it's exactly the sort of all-for-one, one-for-all sentiment that's supposed to be a core value of college athletics. But, no. The NCAA's tone-deaf initial ruling was that paying the men's way there constituted an "extra benefit," and therefore would not be allowed.

All together now: For. God's. Sake.

All the money the NCAA makes off March Madness (and the hired help who make it possible), all the additional coin it makes off licensed apparel that trades on the sweat equity of that hired help (and shares with it not a dime of the cut), and it's blathering about "extra benefits" because the men wanted to support the women?

Good lord, no one gets more "extra benefits" than the bloated, delusional, money-grubbing monument to hypocrisy that is the ruling body of big-boy college athletics. Or maybe you think getting stinking rich off cheap labor that has no bargaining power or legitimate representation isn't the ultimate "extra benefit."

For. God's. Sake.

Ben Smith's blog.