Revenge of the Gladiators … and

Revenge of Gladiators
January17/ 2023
BL Rimshots

January 17, 2023

A heckuva lot to cover today.  And pretty much all of it WILL be on your final exam.


Revenge of The Gladiators …

It was 4-5 years ago that I first suggested that College FB / MBB had a developing issue that it might want to devote some attention to … or not.    Remember, I titled it Gladiators & Spectators … 

Two entities with nothing in common but Saturday Afternoons in the Fall.

Rome found itself facing a similar issue around 60 BC and neglected to try to resolve it.  That ended up quite messy with 10,000s of gladiators/slaves executed by crucifixion along the Appian Way.  “I Am Spartacus”.

In the ensuing five or so years since my “Hey ya might oughta …” suggestion, nothing was done and now we have NILThe Transfer Portal …. and form letter texts saying …

I’ll never forget all my warrior brothers at (insert name of Power5 school).  I love you all and all the great coaches and loyal fans … but, I’m goin’ somewhere where they think I’m as good as my home boyz say I am.” 

“I’m Outta Here… so long suckas.”

Excuse me but I find those texts just a bit disingenuous.  Whoever writes those for these kids needs to tweak’em a bit.

I really have no issue with giving a semi-literate 18 y/o $1,000,000 to play football or basketball.  It ain’t like I was going to get that money if he didn’t.  Not a him-or-me situation.  Besides, within a few months 95% of that $$$ will be recirculated into the economy.

There actually WAS a time when a logical solution existed for the NIL “compensation” issue.  That window is nailed shut forever.


Either … (1) All “the big time college sports schools” had to do was ADMIT that semi-literate 18 y/os – with 5th grade reading comprehension – were incapable of college-level academic classwork.  Provide them GED courses to compensate for their neglectful K-12 experiences and offer Community College marketable trade skills training for careers other than professional sports.  … OR

(2) Stop recruiting youngsters with 5th grade reading comprehension to pretend to be “students” in order to play football or basketball.   Eliminate “eligibility majoring” and faux classes.

What those kids were receiving was the equivalent of giving beads and trinkets to the Indians for Manhatten. … useless considering their circumstances.

Neither alternative seemed acceptable to the powers that be. So ….

Those afore-mentioned youngsters received Nothing of Substantive Value in exchange for their athletic endeavors … i.e. So let’s give’em $1,000,000 instead.

VOILA … We have NIL.


OK … on to The Transfer Portal …

NOTE:  Not much “bothers me” any more about “sports” unless I count “fishing” in which case “treble hooks” REALLY bother me.  Sam Hartman transferring to Notre Dame and the UVA QB coming to NCSU “bothers” me.   Can’t say why and I’m not assigning blame … I just don’t like it.

Maybe it’s no different than Buzz Peterson coaching for State and Jim Donnan coaching Carolina.  Just bothers me. Oh well …

Playing college football IS A JOB.  PERIOD.  In my “job” in the luxury hotel bizness, I “transferred” via executive headhunters three times … from Westin to Fairmont to Hyatt to Sheraton.  Is that any different?  I saw advancement opportunities … higher salaries … more desirable locations … etc.

Same perspective that a 4-star back-up QB holding a clipboard sees … or a 3rd string WR … or … or.

Those among you who are Harumphing about “Loyalty blah blah …” did you ever leave Job A for Job B?  Were you disloyal to dear ol’ Job A?  No difference.


I am in regular contact with individuals involved with both Duke and UNCCH’s “NIL collectives”.   Last week in an extended phone conversation in my local Harris-Teeter parking lot, the UNCCH guy lamented …

BobLee, this NIL business is like getting in bed with the freakin’ mob.  When they asked me for $50,000 to build the silly IPF that was for a one-time permanent facility … sort of the same with the pimped-out locker rooms.  This NIL is a never-ending scam.

$50,000,000 every freakin’ year for some 18 y/o kids who “might” be good enough to play… and “might” stick around 2-3 years maybe?  And all I might get out of it “maybe” is ridiculous “braggin’ rights” from the guys in my golf foursome.  That’s stupid.”

I replied, smiling, “How long you been reading my columns … ten years at least?  Have ANY of my warnings gotten thru that hard head of yours.” 

“OK, I know.  If I told my wife I was doing this NIL crap, she’d say I had lost my mind.  She’d be right.   I’ll let the billionaire fat cats play this ponzi scheme.”

“Tell her BobLee says Hi…”


We’ll talk more about NIL and The Portal in the months to come.  For now just understand IT IS HERE TO STAY … THE GOOD OLD DAYS ARE OVER!   If you don’t like it, there’s always Premier League Soccer … or Fishing.


Another Fine Christian Gentleman Leaves Us …

We lost another “good one” last week.  Long time Duke Track Coach Al Buehler passed away at 92.   I got to know Coach Buehler for several years a dozen years ago.  As fine a Christian gentleman as I’ve known and I’m privileged to have know quite a few.

Coach and I bonded over a love of “the old hymns”.  He researched their origins and gave them new meaning.  A mighty fine fellow who joins kindred spirits Albert Long, Danny Lotz and Clyde King “when the roll is called up yonder”.

Speaking of “the old hymns” … son-in-law Priest Danny is using a 3-piece Jim Hendrix “cover band” at All Souls Anglican Church in Richmond.  Aaarrrggghhh.


Major Changes on Yea Olde Website …

I could wait for you to notice but by then you will missed A LOT of really insightful mini-commentaries.  I can’t do that to all you buddies and babes,

As you know I Do Facebook. My only social media involvement.  I’ve been an active poster for several years with approaching the maximum allowed 5,000 loyal followers.  I have decided to kick it into Overdrive.

Effective late last week …. our SaidWHAT page is gone / replaced by BobLee on Facebook.   

Each of my Facebook commentaries will be reposted on this website on that page.  Find it up yonder on top … or that Logo Link at the top of the right column that says BobLee On Facebook.

These are 200-300 word mini-rants of the socio-cultural variety.  Although there are several sports related if that is all you can handle.

You DO NOT have to sign up for Facebook to see / read them.   Just like these columns by much shorter.  And you can comment on them just like you do here.

There are 10 or so already there with more added daily as the Muse of Smart Alecks inspires me.

Can my poison keyboard Save America?  Ya never know.   Check it out




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