NCAA Grabs More Control of Ticket Resales

Group says moves are for the fans; critics see similarities with pros
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 11:58 AM CDT
Members of the Georgia basketball team react when their NCAA tournament bracket position is announced following their 66-57 win over Arkansas in the 2008 Southeastern Conference tournament.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The NCAA is stepping up its efforts to rake in more money from March Madness by striking deals with online sites that resell tickets and travel packages at hefty profits, the Los Angeles Times reports. By sanctioning such deals, the NCAA says it can guard against unscrupulous gouging, but critics say the nonprofit overseer of college sports is running its business just like the pros.

"The NCAA says it adheres strongly to its amateur ideal, but it seems to be operating precisely, exactly the same way that the major professional sports enterprises are," said one expert. Just about every aspect of March Madness has turned into a cash cow for the NCAA—from TV revenue to its tightly regulated ticket lottery—a fact not reflected in the relatively modest face value of tickets.