FanDuel - WFBC

September 01, 2004

Jeremy Bloom pokes a sharp stick at the NCAA.: Last week, the NCAA rejected Colorado's request to restore wide receiver Jeremy Bloom's eligibility. Bloom, who also is a standout freestyle skier, has battled the NCAA for the past two years to allow him to play for the Buffaloes while also accepting endorsements to fund his ski training. Bloom left Colorado's camp earlier this month and currently is training with the U.S. Ski Team near Santiago, Chile, in hopes of making the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Colorado, which hoped to have Bloom aboard to add speed and needed experience at receiver, has appealed the decision. This opinion piece by Bloom will probably not help his appeal, but it's funny and on point.

posted by pitchblende to football at 11:30 AM - 7 comments

Help his appeal? The poor guy has been filing appeals, filling out forms, and generally playing by their rules for years now. And, just as he says, they have simply said no. AFAIK, they have never answered the substance of any of his arguments. They just say no. Going Through The System hasn't helped Jeremy Bloom. I guess he's thinking that he either has no hope at all -- in which case, why not sound off -- or that whatever slim hope he has, rests on some kind of outside pressure on the NCAA. And the only way he could hope to get that is to raise a stink. BTW, he hasn't told the half of it in his article. I thought he went pretty easy on them, to be honest. You go, Jeremy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:50 AM on September 01

I thought the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm was brilliant, and then he went and commented on Katie Hnida the way he did, and then I thought "what and asshole." I agree that the NCAA uses athletes, and has a double standard when it comes to players vs. coaches (i.e., players have to sit out a season when they switch schools, while coaches can change jobs like socks). But they do get a lot in return as far as exposure. Sure this is unfortunately only the case in the big-ticket sports--football and basketball--but there are other opportunities such the ones Jeremy benefits from, like the ability to ski in the world championships, Olympics, etc. I still think that college athletes should be allowed to declare their sport as their major (if they are willing to gamble on having what it takes to go pro) and if they do then they should be allowed to take payment. Perhaps then schools won't have to give up valuable classroom space to those "student athletes" who have no intention of using their opportunity to get an education.

posted by scully at 12:00 PM on September 01

I agree that the NCAA uses athletes, and has a double standard when it comes to players vs. coaches (i.e., players have to sit out a season when they switch schools, while coaches can change jobs like socks). But they do get a lot in return as far as exposure. I don't think "exposure" has any value to Bloom, who has neither prospects nor intentions of a pro football career. He just wants to play. Sure this is unfortunately only the case in the big-ticket sports--football and basketball--but there are other opportunities such the ones Jeremy benefits from, like the ability to ski in the world championships, Olympics, etc. I don't know if you're aware of it, but Jeremy Bloom competes in one NCAA sport, and that is football. He has never competed in an NCAA skiing event. That's not made clear in the referenced article, but it's fundamental to Bloom's argument. The NCAA does have some skiing competition, but it is neither the venue nor the conduit for elite ski competition: US team members such as Bloom didn't get there through the NCAA, as pro football or baskeball players might gain entry into the elite level of their sport. In fact, it wouldn't be much of an overstatement to say that competing in NCAA skiing is tantamount to wearing a sign that says, "Never gonna make it to the big leagues". So Bloom has one NCAA sport, for which he receives no compensation, no endorsements, no consideration, etc., all in accordance to NCAA regs...and he has this other thing he does, which has nothing to do with the NCAA, and which brings him money. Bloom's argument all along has been that the money he gets through his skiing has no more to do with the NCAA than the money that another CU football player makes delivering pizzas, and that it should not make him ineligible. I think if you follow the NCAA's logic in establishing their rules, you have to come to the same conclusion.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:50 PM on September 01

Bloom's column was nice overall, but here's one more saying that cracking on Hnida was a bytch move, and the Willie Williams reference wasn't much better. (I guess it's easier to rip a player 2,500 miles away, as opposed to the felons in your own locker room.) More importantly, the people he should be going after are school presidents responsible for rules that the NCAA only enforces. Same people at Colorado who appealed for his eligibility -- similar to Mike Williams at USC -- are the same people who wrote the same dumb rules that led to his ineligibility. And sorry for Bloom and Williams, but the rules are as plain as day, hypocritical and heartless as they may be. And the collective loves this. People get fixated on the NCAA enforcement. USC and Colorado get pissed off. The rest of the schools go about their own business. USC and Colorado get over it and sell someone else's jersey. (The Matt Leinart jersey seemed popular at FedEx field last weekend.) So it goes until the public holds the presidents responsible for looking for someone other than themselves. It seems easier to squawk about the NCAA.

posted by jackhererra at 01:58 PM on September 01

Damn, what was I thinking. Pooooooor Jeremy. He is going to die poor and alone because of all this. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. Booo hoo. I threw that comment together while trying to get some work done. It doesn't make sense, but the jist of things is this... I have no sympathy for the well-off "student" athletes at most major universities. While the football and basketball teams get new stadiums and pretty new uniforms and just about anything else they want, there are real student athletes (and students) who don't. They work hard at their school work and at their part-time (or full-time) jobs. They struggle financially, and then they hopefully find a way to use their degree to better themselves and the world around them. What they don't get is the opportunity to whinge in an op ed while they await graduation to either a pro football "career" or their pciture on a Wheaties box for going down a snowy slope really fast. Had I time I would be more than happy to wax on about how effed up the NCAA is, and that I agree that the universities and the NCAA and the alumni etc get lots of money while most of the students get the shaft, but framed around Jeremy Bloom it is a waste of my time. The guy is an asshole SIMPLY because of the crap he pulled by mentioning Hnida the way he did. jackhererra is also correct, that it is not funny to be pointing out the splinter in Miami's eye when there is a log in his own teams'. (and I freaking HATE U of Miami)

posted by scully at 02:41 PM on September 01

Damn, what was I thinking. Pooooooor Jeremy. He is going to die poor and alone because of all this. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. Booo hoo. terrapin, I'm starting to think that you're deliberately misunderstanding the situation -- or maybe that your knowledge of it is confined to that one article. Bloom isn't "going to die poor and alone"; no one said that, least of all him. Do you actually know what his choices are in this situation, or are you just going to condemn him for not being some kind of idealized Horatio Alger character? He wants to play football because he likes playing football, not because he has any NFL dreams. He's a Colorado kid who grew up wanting to play for the Buffs. It isn't about losing scholarship money, it's about not being eligible to play football -- unless he gives up every dime he makes through skiing.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:13 PM on September 01

...btw, I didn't get the same read that you did on the reference to Katie Hnida, which I'll reproduce here: That response helped me to understand the value of a simplistic and concise answer to a question. If my coach, Gary Barnett, would have taken this approach when asked if Katie Hnida was a good football player, he never would have put himself in a position of conflict and would likely not have been placed on administrative leave by university president Elizabeth Hoffman. My interpretation of that was that there's nothing disparaging or critical of Katie Hnida in that comment. If anything, it is a knock on Barnett, and that Bloom is basically saying, "The question (about Hnida's ability) was irrelevant to the suit, so why'd Barnett have to run his mouth?" So, I think you oughta toss that particular objection to Bloom out the window.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:58 PM on September 01

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