The NCAA’s annual March Madness college basketball tournament starts Tuesday, which means the organization is putting its head above the parapet, so to speak.
And John Oliver took a serious shot at the NCAA Sunday night on Last Week Tonight.
“There is nothing inherently wrong with a sporting tournament making huge amounts of money,” he said after revealing that that March Madness will net more than $1 billion for the NCAA. “But there is something slightly troubling about a $1 billion sports enterprise where the athletes are not paid a penny.”
Oliver argues that college basketball players are trapped in a catch-22 with the NCAA: They’re not paid because they’re considered amateurs by the organization, and the organization doesn’t pay them because it considers them amateurs.
“If it truly is all about the romance of amateurism, that’s fine,” Oliver finished, “Give up the sponsorships and the TV deals, stop paying the coaches and have the teams run by an asthmatic anthropology professor with a whistle.”
After that, we have John Oliver as our No. 1 seed.