KState’s Rich Elder Eunuch Statesman Bill Snyder & the Broken State of College Football

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I’m going to criticize Mother Teresa, your elementary-school’s special ed teacher, and the paraplegic Iraqi war vet — all at once — by taking on iconic Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.

Snyder, at sweet man who, in Kansas, is perceived as trustworthiness personified, did this several years ago, but he’s at it again. More high-minded proclamations, as reported by Brandon Schlager at Sporting News.

“it’s my feeling, Snyder proclaimed, ” that we have exploited college football, college athletics in general. We speak all the time about the welfare of the student-athlete and indeed that has not evolved as the most important thing.”

More Snyder high-mindedness: “I think we’ve sold out to the dollars and cents and we sold out to TV.” And, Snyder continued, “the resources out of television are so phenomenal. As coaches, and I can’t speak for others, I make far more than I’m worth, I can assure you of that.”

We don’t really need any such express assurances from Snyder, to know that big-time college sports is drowning in greed-disease. But now that he’s at it for the second time in three years, I think I’ve had enough. Snyder, who makes $3 million a year, could set up his own non-profit think-tank, just to help him past the mental logjam he’s met, since he signed his $14.5 million contract, which prevents him from figuring out some reasons — and solutions — for the ‘broken’ state of the college athletics system which plops $3 million per year in his account.

But Snyder, the elder statesman, is quick to tell the press that “I can’t tell you I have the answers.” His lack of curiosity, and complete lack of any action directed toward pushing to fix this horrible broken system, over the last three years, makes plain that he has no interest in finding those answers, or stepping up to the plate to fix the broken elements of the college sports business which have led us to this mess. Snyder’s de facto reality, no matter what he says, is this: everything is just fine, thankyouverymuch.

Snyder’s high-minded criticisms are somewhat accurate. But it’s alot easier to crticize than to be correct and, now, the second time I’ve had to listen to them, Snyder’s criticisms ring out to me as full of a disdainful ignorance, which needs no enlightenment, because it resides so securely behind the bulwark of fabulous fortune. It’s a lazy, almost cavalier criticism which Snyder here delivers. What, it is fair to ask, have you, Snyder, done, much as you might ask your wide recievers, or quarterbacks, or any other player, to forcefully change the game which is played before you? Nothing — even though Snyder now has a bully pulpit of considerable heft. Does Snyder at least acknowledge that, as Conrad said, his breath-taking financial success might, in some small measure, be the result of some “accident arising from the weakness of others”?

We don’t know, because Snyder performs here a little fussy tantrum, to inform the public that he is fully aware that it makes no sense whatsoever that he ought be paid $3 million annually, within a purportedly ‘amateur’ education-based system,  while the predominantly black and poor player-employees he uses to get him to that $3 million all have families which all cry out, “how do we get the kind of security which Bill Snyder has?”.

Snyder’s an elder statesman; in that status, his duty has changed, and I’m going to hold him to it. He’s no longer 38, and able, in an off-handed, supercilious manner, to happen to call out some wrong which he perceives. He’s at the top of the mountain. He speaks, people listen. Snyder should call up Ramogi Huma. Chris Nowinski. Jay Bilas. Jeff Kessler. Rodney Fort. Ask them: could you please help me to understand how the system needs to change, and what I should do, using my massive bully pulpit, to change it?

Snyder sits now atop the money-mountain, and needs to work hard to fix the system. Until then, his comments have only Conrad’s “taint of imbecile rapacity” to them, as the Brink’s trucks full of money from KState weekly pull up to the Synder home.  Snyder hasn’t done a damn thing to advocate for change. Why should he?

Copyright 2016 William Wilson

 

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About brewonsouthu

Michigan and Big Ten fan, former lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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