University of Washington President Michael Young had a couple of interesting statements to make in regards to the potential seismic changes coming to collegiate athletics.
Some of it was telling.
“If you’ve got a $6 million athletic budget, you shouldn’t be worrying about what I do,” Young told Bud Withers of the Seattle Times. “You’re never going to compete with us. We don’t recruit the same players. We don’t even play on the same field. It just doesn’t matter.”
And he’s right.
Anyone with any sense of college sports will realize that. The richest programs, the teams playing in the Power 5 conferences, might as well be playing in an entirely different division. The difference between the University of Texas and Texas State or the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin-Milwaukee are massive. There is a reason that McDonald’s All-Americans aren’t going to small, local colleges. There’s a reason that Alabama and Georgia are always going to annually have one of college football’s recruiting classes.
This is obvious.
Only, the NCAA doesn’t want to admit as much. They want you to believe that making certain changes to the structure of the organization — like, oh, I don’t know, eliminating amateurism and allowing athletes to be fairly compensated — would tilt the balance of power in collegiate athletics to the bigger, richer schools as if it doesn’t already work that way.
That means that Young, the President of the University of Washington, is explicitly undermining the NCAA’s arguments on the eve of the beginning of the Ed O’Bannon vs. the NCAA trial. I’m sure that makes Mark Emmert happy.
Not everything Young said was smart, however. His idea for deregulating transfers wasn’t the best.
“One possibility is, like the pros, you get to designate a franchise player or two,” Young said. “(Or) five kids who can’t transfer, or if they transfer, they have to sit out a year, and the whole rest of your team is OK. I don’t know, I’m just making that stuff (up). We’ll have to figure that out.”
Can’t win ’em all.