There are those who believe that the NCAA is an iniquitous organization.
It takes advantage, they say, of unpaid student/athletes while large-stomached coaches enjoy huge deals from sneaker companies and colleges make their fortunes.
It's the equivalent of slave labor, so the story goes.
Surely not. Surely one can see this as an organization of America's brightest minds anticipating every downturn and recession and insulating itself smartly by ensuring the wages of workers are kept far beneath the level of inflation.
Which is why I was unsurprised to see that the NCAA's enterprising spirit has come down vehemently on Taylor Moseley.
Moseley is a North Carolina State student who had the temerity, the sheer mind-numbing gall, to set up a Facebook page which, he hoped, would encourage a high school player named John Wall to come to his school.
What on earth could he have been thinking? Using the dubious scourge of social networking to perhaps make Mr. Wall feel he might enjoy life at mere NC State rather than at those plush basketball academies such as North Carolina or Duke? Had Mr. Moseley taken leave of his faculties?
Thankfully, N.C. State, mindful of the intelligent and forward-thinking paragons of the NCAA, whispered into Mr. Moseley's ear.
Yes, the school sent him a cease-and-desist letter. You see, the NCAA believes that Facebook pages such as these--and there are many of them, because what else are students supposed to do when the college basketball season has finished?--are an attempt to influence the recruit's choice of college.
Indeed. And please let's not quibble about Mr. Moseley's First Amendment Rights. This is college basketball we're talking about.
I am sure a Facebook page can be far more powerful than, say, $30,000 stuffed in a paper bag and sent to the recruit's parents. Or, perhaps, a job on the college's coaching staff for the recruit's high school mentor. Or a party organized on campus when the recruit is introduced to a lot of rather attractive girls who seem to find him endlessly fascinating. Or even a lovely silver Acura provided by a tumbler-tummied booster.
I am sure there are those who hope that Mr. Moseley decides one day to be a lawyer, a fine one. A lawyer who finally takes on the NCAA in one of those John Grisham courtroom scenes and asks this intrepid, forward-thinking organization to take a little look in its funhouse mirror.
Or perhaps, for now, he could just set up a Facebook page called "let's ban the NCAA." Presumably that wouldn't be a violation at all.