Ok...So I have gotten tons of calls wanting to know what had me so ticked off after the meeting last weekend in Atlanta. Honestly, there were SEVERAL things that made my blood pressure go up like a coach from the bench telling me to "Bear Down".
The big one though was this $100 fee from the NCAA.
Ok, let's just get one thing straight. I have always been a big proponent of putting the BEST umpires on the field for the post season. The games mean more, and I don't think it is a time to bring someone along just because it is "his turn."
That being said, this whole thing of paying for the playoffs has me totally PISSED!!!
They can call it what they want to...and you as an umpire can believe what they tell you...but the bottom line is if you don't pay the money you aren't considered for the playoffs.
However, they present it in such a way that it doesn't really make it clear whether or not it includes conference tournaments. It doesn't.
In other words, if you are NOT in line for a regional or a super regional...paying the money is a total waste. PERIOD.
I don't begrudge anyone for paying the money...if you are in the rotation for regionals by all means pay. I'll trade $100 for the big paycheck you will earn for regionals.
But if you think you are going to pay the NCAA $100...and it is going to give you an inside track, then I have a hypnosis treatment that will make you get EVERY single pitch correct in EVERY single plate job you work for the rest of your life.
And if you think the NCAA is going to actually use that money they collect to improve the program for umpires...buy two of my hypnosis treatments.
If you haven't gone to your meeting yet...listen carefully how they present it that you REALLY need to pay the fee. They are very vague about what you get...they even run a lovely young lady up there to talk about the process--all hoping for one thing--that you don't start bitching about WHY.
I'm not going to a regional...(in fact, after starting this blog I am pretty sure I will never EVER be considered). So I am not paying the money. For what?? A spiral-bound rule book and a $20 gift certificate to Honig's?? No thanks. I have a rule book. And I already get a discount from my CBUA membership.
Has anyone even stopped to think about how many new spots have come up for the regionals in the past few years?? I didn't think so. And your $100 isn't going to get you any closer.
How big of a money maker is this for the NCAA?? Consider this. I have found out from pretty reliable sources that over 1000 mens and 1000 womens NCAA basketball officials paid their $100 for the CHANCE at getting a post season assignment. The CHANCE mind you. That is over $200,000 that the NCAA collected from these people for 96 openings in the mens division and the same 96 in the womens division.
Ahhhh...the rich (NCAA) get richer. On the backs of the people that they really don't care that much about in the first place. Officials.
And trust me I know that there will be over 1000 baseball guys that will pony up also...SUCKERS.
There is only one word that truly describes this fleecing of the officials. EXTORTION.
But Scott, if I don't pay the money then I can't take the test. If I don't take the test, I can't qualify.
I don't care. It is extortion and I refuse to be a part of it.
My thought is that the NCAA is trying to run the supervisors out of business. Guys like Rich Fetchiet and Tony Thompson have BLED to make our jobs better. No one at the NCAA is doing that. I'll bet my money on Rich and Tony...(oops...I said BET didn't I?)
And baseball guys...let me throw this out there for you as food for thought. Basketball officials make a HELL of a lot more money than we do for officiating our games. Why do they get off paying the same money that we do when their game checks are for much more money than ours? Just asking.
So if you want to drink the Kool-Aid and think that you are going to improve your chances of working the playoffs if you pay the money...feel free and write the check. Call me in May to let me know how that $100 check worked out for you.