Players are left out of March Madness money

UCLA on top of the world one minute, then down in the dumps and sent packing the next. USC proving the Pac-10 tournament wasn’t a fluke. The Cowboys of Oklahoma State and the Volunteers of Tennessee trading last-minute haymakers like Ali against Frazier, their final round, their final fight.

This is a beautiful time of year. Sit back, breathe in March Madness, enjoy.
Just don’t get bamboozled, for there is more to this heart-thumping event — America’s two-week Spring Hoops Fling — than what shows. My advice: Love every minute of the slick production, the colors, the gloss. But don’t forget, you’re watching a charade.
The NCAA trumps itself up as guardian of the lofty ideal of amateurism. How sweet.

“But this is only amateur for the college athlete, and for some of them, amateurism is a stretch,” said Randy Grant, who recently co-authored “The Economics of Intercollegiate Sports” and is an economics professor at Oregon’s Linfield College.