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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

The Daily Show puts NCAA amateurism rules in its satirical crosshairs

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Of all the assaults on the NCAA from various media outlets over the years, one of the most persuasive ones came via a cartoon.

In May 2011, South Park dusted off its powerful satirical guns and took aim at the notion of amateurism in college athletics. Eric Cartman, dressed as a 19th-century Southern plantation owner, visits the president of the University of Colorado to find out how the school is able to get away with not paying its "sla ... stu-dent ath-o-letes."

Another infamous TV show put the NCAA in its crosshairs on Thursday night, and while the Daily Show's segment wasn't quite as funny or memorable as that South Park scene, it was equally effective in making a point.

One of the guests was Joel Bauman, a University of Minnesota wrestler who lost his eligibility for the remainder of the season because he made a song and performed under his own name and identified himself as a Minnesota wrestler. The other guest was ex-UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon, whose legal battle with the NCAA could lead to a sea change for how athletes receive compensation.

As is typically the case on the Daily Show, the interviewer shed light on the absurdity of certain NCAA stances via a series of amusing yet pertinent questions addressed to Bauman and O'Bannon. Surely there would have been more fireworks had an NCAA official agreed to be interviewed on air but the organization opted to release a statement instead.

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