To preserve an outdated notion of ‘amateurism’

On the same day that Reggie Bush was informed he would be stripped of the 2005 Heisman Trophy, the agent for a Turkish club basketball team claims that he paid Kentucky recruit Enes Kanter more than $100,000.

The NCAA is still investigating top college football programs for reported player involvement with agents, and the ultra-successful recruiter in the middle of numerous allegations at North Carolina has resigned.

One of the top wide receivers in college football is being investigated for allegedly selling one of his game jerseys — something his university is allowed to do with impunity. Quelle scandal!

Update: He’s now been suspended four games for the offense.

Who, or what, is being hurt here? The NCAA’s status as overlord of amateur athletics, despite the millions that Bush, Marvin Austin, A.J. Green and other “amateur” athletes make for their universities and the college sports industry.

Yet this news is delivered with all the breathlessness of disclosures about criminal activity. The media sanctimony over Bush is especially rich, with journalists and news organizations part of that same college sports industry.

ESPN.com’s Jemelle Hill sums up these distorted ideals quite correctly.

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