140 Character Fanbases
They call it fifteen minutes of fame outside of social media. Inside it's 140 characters and go viral regardless of the truth or any fact base data upfront. Fanbases can turn on a fallen hero or a hero who decides to take their skills elsewhere. The courts have ruled that our student-athletes can now freely move on and they can exploit their talents financially as they wish. No, if's and's or but's. Just find a program that wants and needs you and off you go. Goodbye to your beloved school and friends and off to make a fortune. So what is wrong with that? To some fans, it's everything that is wrong with the new world of college sports. To others, it's extreme hate that follows and the loss of sleep that comes with it as they try to exploit their anger on those who are benefiting from someone who joined their program. Is this something we should be alarmed with? Should the NCAA challenge the ruling and face the wrath of the athletes and their families?
Social media allows fans to target anyone and any topic. The NIL and Transfer Portal are public enemy number one. Unless of course, you are the receiver of the star athlete. But even the programs that receive typically lose a player or two in the process as when one star comes another feels threatened by their presence and heads to their new destination. Sounds like professional sports in a way. Today we are just that. Students of all levels should be benefiting financially but it's not that simple. Those who choose to invest in NIL tend to do so at the top of the athletic pyramid, not the middle or the bottom. So those who are not at the top of their sport really don't have the same opportunity. But that's the way it works in the real world and this is where fans who are trying to understand this use hate tweets to try and bully or intimidate when in fact they are making their new enemy schools even more popular by attacking. SEO 101. Build more traffic and gain even more popularity.
Coaches are now sensing a changing Tide. Pun intended. Just last week Nick Saban attacked several who he believes are cheating. He later apologized or did he? The two accursed program coaches lashed back out which no one really does in the way we saw last week. But it happened. So now, the SEC real estate is in full play and coaches are accusing each other of, wait for it, cheating. Cheating that many have accused certain schools of for many years but the SEC and the NCAA look the other way so as not to upset the bank, ESPN.
So where does all of this end up? Where will the NCAA attempt to rein the Wild Wild West mentality of the TP and NIL? Can they do anything or are they sensing the courts would just tie them up for years and wasted millions of dollars. Oh, and what is the long-term impact on the athletes? Are they student-athletes anymore? Do we care? Should we care?