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That doesn't mean they weren't talking money. They were, and some of it may actually go to players.
Not much, of course. No reason to open up the wallet when players can accept nothing more than books and board for their services while coaches and administrators laugh all the way to the bank. Throw a few dollars their way so they can do laundry or maybe buy an IPad, and then it's back to business as usual.
The idea that players are paid off in a college education has been the moral underpinning of college athletics for more than a century. It works well in most sports, but football and basketball are such huge cash generators at major universities that they are essentially running professional teams -- without the inconvenience of having to actually pay players.
The head coaches aren't the only ones cashing in. Assistants now routinely make six-figure contracts, while athletic directors are often the highest paid administrators on campus. Last year, four commissioners of the six biggest football conferences all earned more than $1 million a year.
Meanwhile, players like Terrell Pryor are essentially sent packing because they sold a few team jerseys to help make ends meet..
Emmert's idea of reform, presented to university presidents this week, would increase scholarship money a few hundred dollars a month so that athletes can afford to do laundry or even go to the movies. He also wants to shrink the NCAA's rule book, an admirable goal in itself.
Real reform, however, won't come until the huge imbalance is corrected between those who get rich off college athletes and those who play the games.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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