Let's talk about pimps.
That's what Alabama's Nick Saban called agents yesterday: Pimps.
Here's the thing: Many of them are -- or, at least, many of them act like that. Obviously, the worst ones are particularly bad.
Then again, many coaches are pimps -- or, at least, pimp-ish. So are many assistant coaches. So are many would-be coaches.
So are many boosters.
So are many high school coaches or AAU "coaches." So are many in the "recruiting industrial complex."
So are many "advisors." So are many family members.
So are many in sports media. Even fans are willing to be exploitative.
And so are many players.
Now, let's stipulate that players are the most vulnerable here -- although it's pretty hard to consider OJ Mayo "vulnerable." Plenty of players have a sixth sense: Entitlement.
But as a relatively new parent, I'm not willing to say that players' entitlement is natural; it is nurtured, by all those folks around them I just listed above.
The fact is that the entire system is built around exploitation -- exploiting players, yes, but ultimately exploiting consumers.
The daisy chain is convoluted, but our dollars as fans drive this process. And so underlying all of this is greed: Sometimes it's for money, sometimes it's for fame, sometimes it's for winning.
A long time ago, we all decided -- collectively -- that we didn't want to know how the sausage was made. Only that it was tasty.
Whether you are the NCAA, sports media, fans, coaches, whoever: It is disingenuous to be shocked -- shocked, I say! -- to find out that the social contract we signed came with some costs.
Want to crack down? First of all, you'll get some really bad situations as the tectonic plates shift. Second, you will change sports, and I'm not sure all fans want them changed in this way. Third, there will always be greed, and there will always be sleazy chicanery at the margins. To layer on yet another metaphor: It is dangerous to paint with an overly broad brush. That said:
We're all pimps, at one level or another.