Ok, I call shenanigans.
Once upon a time, there was a young man who played football for the University of Colorado. Now, this is a fairly corrupt team in a fairly corrupt league, but let’s leave UC out of it and just focus on the player and the league.
That young man was also a talented ski jumper, and he wanted to represent his country (Bias Note: also my country) in the 2006 Winter Olympics®1. This is where the problem begins.
You see, in order to ski jump at the level of international competition, one needs equipment. Suits, skis, time in a facility set up for ski jumping, and I’m sure plenty of other things that I have no idea what they are. The standard practice is for a company to stand up and donate the money and materials necessary in exchange for minor promotional considerations. This is no big deal. Unless you’re the NCAA.
You see, they decided that taking that money and materials constituted a breach of their ethics, whatever they are (they seem to apply to players more than coaches, administrators or schools). So they forbade him from playing in his senior season. He had the choice of going to the olympics or playing football. He chose the olympics.
Having taken a year off, he was drafted by the Eagles and is currently sitting out this year because of an injury. We wish young Jeremy Bloom well.
Now, where’s the beef, you ask? Let me tell you another story.
A story about a young man who grew up in Valparaiso IN. He grew up playing both baseball and football and was heavily recruited to play at Notre Dame, where he continued to play baseball and football. Finally, in June he entered the major league baseball amateur draft, where he was selected by the Chicago Cubs and offered a back-loaded contract guaranteeing about $1M and worth up to over $7M if he continues to play baseball.
He then returned to Notre Dame to play football this year and enter the NFL draft in 2007.
Wait a second.
Doesn’t that violate the NCAA’s precious eligibility rule?
If Jeff Samardzija can take a $1M from the Cubs, why can’t Jeremy Bloom represent his country in the Olympics®1?
1 – The Olympics and the ugly olympic logo are trademarks of the IOC, just as big and nasty and corrupt an organization as the NCAA.