I empathize with Gophers coach Richard Pitino. And I think he's wrong. After fans at Williams Arena booed his team on Monday night during a lackluster victory over Drake, Pitino criticized those who booed, saying they weren't helping his team.
It's natural and right for Pitino to defend his players. But his mind-set demonstrates the illogic at the heart of major college sports.
Major colleges want their revenue sports to produce tens of millions of dollars. They pay their athletic director and most prominent coaches millions of dollars. They have turned revenue sports into an incredibly visible business. Then they ask us to lay off the players, because this is amateur sports.
Either admit you're trying to profit off student-athletes and understand those paying the freight will hold you accountable, or stick to intramurals. Don't hide behind the amateur status of athletes who actually should be paid for producing revenue for a major company.