FIFA, the governing body of international soccer announced last week that “we’re not REAL bad”! Their news release tells us all that we need to know. It states, “There were no major acts of corruption in awarding the 2018 and 2022 World cups to Russia and Qatar.” No MAJOR acts of corruption.
I guess we should pass the champagne and give a few pats on the back to the FIFA folks. They are only a “little bit” corrupt! Voltaire once offered that corruption is “an evil that grows respectable with age.” FIFA certainly qualifies. Remember, a number of FIFA officials have been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in a widespread racketeering case that is ongoing.
FIFA created their own Ethics Committee, headed by Michael Garcia to investigate themselves. Kind of like appointing the Fox to investigate the chickenhouse! Mr. Garcia’s committee came up with the statement that they found “no MAJOR acts of corruption.” Unlike the Democratic party in the U.S., Mr. Garcia and his committee found that the Russians did not try to influence the selection of Russia as the host for the 2018 World Cup.
Is there some kind of world-wide conspiracy to blame the Russians for everything? Yes for the Democrats, no for FIFA.
Mama, take that cell phone away from your kids and give them a basketball. That’s where the money is! Going into Firecracker Day there have been new contracts worth a mind-boggling $l.255 billion agreed to already this summer for NBA players, led by the startling total of $201 million that Golden State will pass on to Stephen Curry for shooting those three-balls!
You don’t even have to be a star to make ten million or so a year. Names most of us have never heard of are banking ten to twenty million a year and not producing a whole lot for their remuneration.
This spending spree actually started in earnest last year and two of the biggest spenders, the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers, had the poorest records this past season. Not surprisingly, both teams are under different management this summer.
Remember Mama, they are paying more for three-point shooters instead of big centers so, we all have a chance!
The University of Kansas, meeting the ever-increasing spending war in college athletics head on, has announced a $300 million spending program to update old Memorial Stadium. The aging structure does seat 50,000 but I bet they still add to the seating capability even though it has been only half full for most games these past few years.
Will fancy new digs bring out more paying fans? Perhaps a few but nowhere near as many as a winning team would produce. Kansas has a chance of a better team this fall to prove that they can make a statement in Power Five sports on the football field.
Does all of this portend that Kansas is positioning itself in a better place for another round of conference realignment? Positioning the Jayhawks to make sure they are not left out of any power moves? It might not be the only reason for a $300 million spending spree but it sure is one of the reasons.
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.