The Daily Show took on the NCAA and won. Aasif Mandvi took the plunge into the tidal wave of problems that surround the NCAA these days. And the collegiate sports governing body wouldn’t even comment on Mandvi’s story. Focusing on the singing wrestler Joel Bauman and the loss of eligibility, Mandvi states that, “NCAA rules say athletes can’t profit by using their own name, in a song, that they wrote that has nothing to do with sports.” Bauman has 10 percent scholarship, which was taken away from him because of the song.
“Yes, this type of profiteering would sully the NCAA’s image as stewards of amateur athletics. After all, their mission is to protect college sports from the corrosive influences of commercialism and to uphold the ideal of the student athlete, who simply plays for the love of the sport,” says Mandvi while images of NCAA merchandise are shown.
Mandvi then talks to Ed O’Bannon, who is famously suing the NCAA for the illegal use of his likeness in a college basketball video game. He and Bauman’s interviews – along with the basic “no comment” from the NCAA themselves – did not paint a favorable picture of such an “upstanding institution.”
It’s obviously facetious, it is the Daily Show, after all. But Mandvi and the Daily Show always illuminate the actual pressing issues of the stories that they cover. The NCAA has a PR problem, and an infrastructure problem, and a personnel problem, and an overall rule and compliance and enforcement problem. But other than those problems, they’re doing great.