Jumping The Shark In College Athlethics

In my daily scan of the Greensboro Area colleges, I noted that UNC-G Womens Softball will be available on the Web via SPARTAN ALL-ACCESS for ONLY $14.95. In looking further, I discovered that for ONLY $49.95, you can watch all UNC-G Athletics.

I discovered that High Point University is part of the same scam – charging $69.95 for the full season. (I was told at Wednesday’s HPU vs UNC-A game that the Pay-Per-View deal was a requirement of the Conference; good chance UNC-G has the same issue.)

On the GOOD SIDE, Greensboro College, Guilford College Athletics are available for FREE.

Here’s the deal, these are amateur athletes in a learning environment. The facilities exist to offer games for FREE on the Internet (Ustream.TV, Stickam.com), students wanting careers in broadcasting would jump at the chance to get experience broadcasting college sports. Equipment costs are minimal, anybody can do it. Broadcast your kindergarten dodgeball if you want. It is seriously that easy!

The larger schools, they are in the alumni shake-down business. They shill their athletes for alumni and advertising dollars. If the athletes and their parents are smart – they take the ride, get the education and come out winners. But, if they aren’t, you don’t see the schools following up.

When I go to the larger schools websites, it reminds me of NASCAR – every inch of space is utilized for ads. There’s really nothing wrong with that; but how effective is an ad when it is plastered in a mosaic of ads? We like ads here; but there are limits of design taste.