Maybe he was out of ideas for anti-BCS screeds this week, or maybe he got tired of writing that college athletes ought to get paid. Or maybe this idea only seems extraordinarly bizarre to a handful of us. But Dan Wetzel has an idea about how to make the Little League World Series even better: Pay players.
What started humbly in bucolic South Williamsport, Pa., is now a marriage between the $38.1-billion Walt Disney Company (ESPN) and the "not-for-profit" Little League Baseball Inc. ($72.9 million in assets in fiscal 2009).
This argument shows that Wetzel either doesn't understand or is willfully ignorant of what "not-for-profit" means. Having a great deal of revenue or even clearing a lot of Wetzel calls "profits" (they're not) does not make an entity for-profit. Take a look at the Red Cross budget sometime.
Among Wetzel's other reasons for paying players? Because Ashley Tisdale gets paid. Really. And as for the potential NCAA ramifications -- which, yes, exist --
Since when should the NCAA get to be the final arbiter on this? Make them conform, not the other way around.
Because two qualities everyone associates with the NCAA are flexibility and a willingness to adapt to real-world practicalities. (This isn't to say that NCAA rules should apply here, just that the possibility of having them changed are at best remote.)
At least now, Johnny won't have as his main concern the fact that his nationally-televised error in the bottom of the ninth sent his team home before the final game of the Little League World Series. His main concern will be that he just cost all of his teammates $750 each. Builds character.