‘South Park’ destroys the NCAA

If you watch the Comedy Central show “South Park” or have ever seen it, you’re probably familiar with the brilliance of the writers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and their ability to always tie current events into the plot of a bunch of 9-year-olds living their daily, ridiculous lives.

In yesterday’s episode, and you’ll have to roll with me on this one, the kids decide to start the “Crack Baby Athletic Association,” or CBAA for short. They decide to start a basketball league for crack babies (where they fight over a basketball filled with crack — I never said this would be normal or socially acceptable) so they can profit off the league and not have to pay the “athletes.”

Since I’ve never talked about a tv show on my sports blog, there has to be a tie-in or I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Oh, how there’s a tie-in.

So Eric Cartman goes to visit with the president at the University of Colorado to learn more about how he can continue to maximize profit without having to dole out money for the players. Below is what plays out, and you’ll just have to see for yourself (they’re re-airing the episode tonight at 10 p.m.):

Just, wow.

The episode is filled with references to the NCAA, the entity that came up with the idea of free employment for their student-ath-o-letes. And frankly, I’m starting to come around on the idea of paying the players.

Let’s be honest — everyone thinks the athletes in the major sports are the ones who deserve to be paid. They’re putting their careers on the line at a greater rate than someone on the tennis or lacrosse team, and they’re setting millions of dollars aside to play at the college level (mostly because they have to, due to age restrictions at the pro level).

But if you pay the football and men’s basketball players, you deal with lawsuits and questions about why women aren’t paid for their sports as well. This is only the beginning of the problems, but I think some steps in the right direction are being made. For example, the Big Ten Conference is considering expansion of the monetary allowances they give players.

Under the proposal, everyday expenses a player accrues (look at all these big words coming out of my brain right now) during his career at a Big Ten school would be the responsibility of the school, not the student. That’s a good start, but I think they should go a little further in this proposal.

How about giving the kid a share of the pie for his likeness? It seems fair, and would go a long way to get these kids through college with a little bit of spending money.

Start by giving a player 10 percent of all his merchandise they sell. Specifically, jerseys. If AJ Green’s No. 8 jersey at UGA made $100,000 for the school in sales, he should get $10,000 of that profit.

How exactly would this cripple the school? If you think about it, there’d even be an added incentive for the kid to perform better on the field/court — if he has a big game, more fans will go buy his jersey and he will end up with more money in his pocket.

I still don’t see any reason to pay them for their time on the field, and I don’t think all athletes should be paid, but football players are literally putting their necks on the line for our entertainment on Saturdays.

Maybe it’s time we sweetened the pot for them a little.