Blaber’s Blabberings: Shabazz Napier, NCAA Plantation, Mets Empty Promises

“I don’t feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving…” Shabazz Napier

Shabazz NapierEL BARIO, BRONX – Today’s article was supposed to be about all the prospects and players the Mets have hyped whom have turned out to be busts over the last decade. However, your truly, Sports Deacon Blaber, felt the need to make room on my Bully Pulpit to exfoliate the plantation system that is the NCAA. In essence, you have one farm system working poorly and one working well… but doing so in an incredibly unjust fashion!

Shabazz Napier is the star guard of the newly-crowned NCAA Basketball Champions – the University of Connecticut Huskies. Sha-Naps shocked the world (or mainly those with their heads firmly in the sand) when he lashed out at the NCAA not once, but twice in post-game interviews. First, he spoke of the team’s hunger after being banned for 2 years due to academic violations by the NCAA. In the second, he spoke of the physical hunger he fights as on a daily basis.

As I mentioned previously, these kids are not allowed to have jobs so they cannot supplement their income and the coaching staff and administration is not allowed to help them by even buying them lunch or dinner. So after a rough evening of practice this kid has to go back to his dorm room and study and ramen noodles, if he even has that. And then the next day he is expected to eat just enough at the pre-game meal and then go play basketball and make the school look good. Although this story has been spun into an epic tale, the story of Chris Webber complaining that he had to return a fish sandwich after ordering two because he only had money for one and then walking home and seeing his jersey sell in the school bookstore for 60 dollars is the only thing that comes to mind. Now I could put my foot really in but I am would be an amateur compared to the professional that is Jon Stewart, Just watch this piece by The Daily Show:

In case you are too lazy to watch the video, understand these key figures about the NCAA plantation system. In 40 of the 50 states, the highest paid state employee is a college coach of either football or basketball. CBS and TNT bought the rights to aid the NCAA Tournament for 10 years in 2010 for 10.8 Billion (with a B) dollars. Mind you this money is completely separate from the money the NCAA receives from the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX to air bowl games. The sports conferences themselves like the ACC and Big East have their own arrangements with these television networks for regular season games. The Big 10 and the PAC 10 have their own networks now. This has cause traditional college rivalries like Texas v Texas A & M to end as well doomed the previous incarnation of the Big East because schools are joining athletic conferences that can offer more TV rights money and turning their back on tradition. Yet they are quick to turn to tradition and the history and value of amateur athletics as to the reason why the kids can’t be paid, put the plantation can make as much money as it seeks. The fact that the majority of players are black and I am using plantation references is not lost on me, one bit. Yup, the Deacon said it.

mets ownersChanging gears… I wanted to put together a line-up failed Mets prospects over the last decade. Not just blaming Sandy Alderson; because the Wilpons and others were/are complicit. They have a penchant of trading a young player as soon as he gets good for more bums or a “solid” veteran. As the list looked light on just prospects, I added all-round busts to the group. Here is my list:

Catcher: Travis d’Arnaud – This is who we traded RA Dickey for.
1B: Ike Davis – All this hype for a kid born into the game, just to be a bum.
2B: Kazuo Matsui – We sign a Japanese shortstop and then move him to second because Jose Reyes won’t move and the whole affair was a disaster.
3B: Ty Wigginton – Tough call because he was only traded because they had to make room for the anointed one, David Wright, but for a guy keeping the seat warm, they could have had a quality veteran rather than him.
SS: Jose Reyes – This may anger many. Batting title or not, this guy along with David Wright, was supposed to be part of a Mets Core Two (half of the Yankees Core Four). In the end he just never lived up to the billing and once Omar Minaya left, Reyes never seemed the same.
LF: Jason Bay – The Canuck Thunder was just horrible. He must have left his all his ability back in Canada because Mets fans just kept wondering why we signed this guy.
CF: Carlos Beltran – He just edged out Mike Cameron because he got signed on the back of a good ALCS and went on to steadily decline in his time at the Mets, not to mention the mole and holding his bat while taking a season-ending, dream-crushing, admiration of Adam Wainright’s curves.
RF: Shawn Green – The mets must have been the only team to believe this guy was going to be a quality starting major league out fielder.
Starting Pitcher: Víctor Zambrano – Loads of starting pitchers, including Ollie Perez. However, the deal to bring him over and get rid of Scott Kazmir, still gives Mets fans agita!
Relief Pitcher: Fransisco Rodriguez – The man known as K-Rod quickly melted under the bright lights of NYC. Having fits about pitching in non-save situations and having fights with his Father-in-Law.
Manager: Art Howe – This ain’t Oakland, you hippie. Not tough enough on the punks that infested his roster.

That is it for now, feel free to comment below and come back tomorrow for the one and only, Cheesy Bruin.

P.s… If you want to read more of my ramblings as a Rugby Guy, you can find them on and our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp and @JunoirBlaber, respectively

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About Junoir Blaber 551 Articles
Junoir Blaber is from Ghana but was transplanted to the Bronx as a young lion chaser. Blaber is the Sports Rain Man, and is a featured contributor on MTM's global partner, Rugby Wrap Up. The name "Junoir" [June-noire] is his cool African name. (Or is that a possible prevarication?) He is Manute Bol's [alleged] nephew and his teams are the Mets, Jets, Knicks & NY Rangers... oh, and Manchester United. Yes, he knows soccer. [Vomit sounds]. P.s... He has webbed toes and can be followed on Twitter here: @JunoirBlaber