Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A precedent for the NCAA to ponder

In the movie The Blind Side, just as it looks like there will be a happy ending for the formerly homeless high school student Michael Oher--who has been offered a scholarship to the University of Mississippi--a polished middle class lawyer rains on his parade. She tells him, during an interrogation, that the NCAA is worried that his case might set a precedent.

Welcome to Hollywood, where, as Dorothy Parker once said, there's enough room for all the industry's sincerity, along with three caraway seeds, in a flea's navel;
In the moments following Florida State's blowout win over Clemson in October, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher attributed the victory to teamwork—and to something rather unusual.
Players "understand the importance of what the guy next to them is doing. We learned that last night in a film called 'Lone Survivor,'" Mr. Fisher told a packed room of reporters. "I'm gonna tell you something, y'all are in for something coming up."
Mr. Fisher said the players were quoting lines from the film during the 51-14 romp of the No. 3 team in the country. "You talk about eye-opening, life-changing," he said. Within hours, Twitter screens and FSU fan message boards filled up with discussions about the comments.
Scenes like this have played out in locker rooms and coaches offices' across America, where the film, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch and opens nationwide Jan. 10, has found a secret weapon: football players.
In the last four months, the film's producers have enjoyed a wave of positive word-of-mouth after employing a rare form of target-marketing. The filmmakers have screened the film for teams .... 
Some of which are subject to NCAA sanctions if they give anything of value to student athletes. Now, taking something of value from them, without compensation of course....

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