Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (2014) s02e06 Episode Script


1 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver S02E06 The NCAA Welcome, welcome, welcome to "Last Week Tonight.
" I'm John Oliver.
Thank you for being with us.
Just time for a quick recap of the week.
And, and we begin with Isis.
The Ebola of people.
They've had themselves a bit of an up-and-down week.
Because on one hand, they were mostly driven out of Tikrit in Iraq, but on the other hand, they gained a new ally.
Isis is expanding from the Middle East to new territories.
In west Africa the extremist group accepted a pledge of allegiance from Nigeria-based Boko Haram.
Yes, Boko Haram has apparently pledged allegiance to Isis.
And you can't deny they do go together like, like peanut butter and jelly.
Or, or more specifically, like diarrhea and spoiled monkfish.
But strangely, the merger was discussed this week in terms you'd normally associate with a more traditional type of acquisition.
The new alliance already evident online.
Boko Haram's Twitter account featuring a slick new look.
With the brand that they get with Islamic state, they can get more recruits, they can get more money, and they can get more media attention.
What Isis gets out of this, Charlie, is a major advance for their brand.
What? A major advance for their brand? You're talking about two terror organizations, not a merger between "Stragglr" and "The Daily Bounce.
" And yes, yes I made up the names of those two startups, but you get the point.
But, but the fight against Isis also got an unexpected recruit this week, because there was a benefit concert in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq featuring pretty much the last person you'd expect.
I'm kind of, you know, honored that this, this country has basically paid attention to Nelly, ha ha! Yes, yes.
Nelly performed a concert this week in Erbil.
And I'm glad he did.
Because if you've ever wondered, if Nelly was in an Islamic country, how would he be able to sing the lyrics to his most famous song, "it's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes, I'm getting so hot, I'm gonna take my clothes off"? Then then you now have an answer.
It's getting hot in here, so take off I am getting so hot I'm gonna It's getting hot in here so take off all your ladies.
I all out.
The, the problem is those edits really change the meaning of that song because now it's just a man complaining about the heat and proposing no solution whatsoever.
That, that's not sexy.
Move, Moving on now to Ireland, Europe's Boston.
Home of more red hair than Debra messing's shower drain.
But Ireland had an interesting 24 hours this week, following a bizarre court ruling.
The possession of a range of psychoactive drugs has been made legal temporarily following a ruling by the appeal court.
The ruling means possession of drugs including ecstasy, magic mushrooms, and so-called head shop drugs is currently legal.
Yes, multiple drugs were accidentally legalized in Ireland for a day.
Although, although I will say this if you were waiting for ecstasy to become legal before trying it, you are probably not the type of person who's going to really take to ecstasy.
You might want to stick with taking Nyquil and spinning around three times.
It's basically the same.
But the best detail in this whole story was the underlying case that prompted the ruling.
I'll let an Irish newscaster fill you in.
A case was brought here before the court of appeal this morning by a man prosecuted for possession with intent to supply the legal high "meow meow.
" Yes, there is a drug called "meow meow".
I'm guessing side effects include aloofness and a heightened interest in string.
"You gotta try meow meow, bro.
The laser shows incredible.
" And finally, finally this week, we turn to Brazil, where even the Amazon rain forest looks like it's gotten a wax.
Now, President Dilma Rousseff has spent the all week dealing with developments and a corruption scandal which threatens to undermine her entire government.
Brazil's supreme court has approved an investigation into some of the country's top politicians.
They are accused of taking bribes in exchange for lucrative oil contracts from the state-run oil company, Petrobras.
Now, now when they say "taking bribes," this isn't your standard "five grand in an envelope left under a bench," because Brazil's largest construction and engineering firms allegedly paid at least $800 million in bribes and other funds to secure contracts.
$800 million! You'd need an amazing construction firm just to build a bench large enough to hide that bribe underneath.
More, more than 30 members of Rousseff's ruling coalition are under investigation, so she took to the airwaves this week to try and calm people down.
You have every right to get irritated and be worried, but I ask for patience and understanding because this situation is transitory.
Is it? How is it transitory? Because unless you're about to flash the entire country with one of those memory-erasing sticks from "men in black," I don't think people are going to forget about this.
In fact, Brazilians weren't even listening to her speech.
For a pretty loud reason.
Her critics had organized a kind of pot-banging protest.
And I was in Sao Paolo, leaned out the window and it sounded like a football game.
People were banging their pots and honking their horns.
Fuera! Fuera, Dilma! That's actually, that's actually a real form of protest called "Panelaco," which has been in south America for years and off Broadway for decades.
It's so entrenched, it's even taken place on the floor of Brazil's legislature.
Mi homenaje al pueblo brasileño! Now, I love everything about that, but the best detail there is the sign language interpreter.
Even he is banging invisible pots in disgust! And if you think the Brazilians are overreacting to this story, there's one more thing you should know about Rousseff's involvement in this scandal.
President Rousseff chaired the board of Petrobras for seven years when much of the corruption is believed to have taken place.
She's been cleared of any involvement in the scheme.
How has she been cleared? She chaired the board of Petrobras while the bribes were There's only one way to handle this.
And now this.
And now, newscasters who don't know about you.
I don't know about you guys but I've always heard that you're not supposed to fight fire with fire.
I don't know about you guys but I need a good kisser.
I don't know about you but I lived in the 1980's and the 1990's and the 2000's.
I don't know about you but it turns out I've been abusing a drug.
I don't know about you Chuck but I ate lot of Hot dog, growing up I don't know about you but when I think of flirting talk it's not of the racist nature.
I don't know about you but I don't need lactation service.
Moving on.
Our main story tonight concerns the fact that one of America's most sacred annual traditions is upon us.
Everything comes down to this oh, my goodness! Bring the noise.
As good as it gets.
March is on.
Holy shit! Yes, march is on! Fuck you, February! And April, I'll see you in hell! It's march o'clock, assholes! The, The first round, the first round of march madness, the year's biggest college tournament, starts on Tuesday and the entire nation will be watching.
Which means big, big money.
March madness now brings in over a billion dollars in TV ad revenue.
A billion dollars! That's more than the super bowl.
It's almost more than the entire NFL postseason, combined.
And that might seem like a lot, until you consider the number of ads they manage to pack in.
Sponsored by Lexus.
AT&T at the half is presented by AT&T.
Our game is brought to you in HDTV by HP Coke Zero presents real fans of NCAA march madness.
Pretty soon, the only thing left to sponsor will be the sponsorships themselves.
"And now, Pepsi presents a Geico look at Nabisco's "Toyota moment of the game" , brought to you by taco bell!" Because, because you should know everything about this tournament is branded.
Even the famous moment where players cut down the net.
Werner ladder proud to donate to the general scholarship fund of every school in this year's final four.
Werner, the official ladder of the NCAA basketball championships.
Are you kidding me? A Werner ladder? As a ladder enthusiast, I can tell you right now, Werners are pure shit.
Unless you want a broken back.
Then, by all means, go with Werner.
You'd be better off slapping on a pair of stilts and trying to balance on a yoga ball.
I'm a Dewalt man, of course.
I'm not a ladder idiot.
Seriously, there is nothing inherently wrong with a sporting tournament making huge amounts of money.
But there is something slightly troubling about a billion-dollar sports enterprise where the athletes are not paid a penny.
Because they aren't.
And as the head of the NCAA, Mark Emmert will tell you, they don't want that to change.
There's not even a salary to debate.
They're not employees, they're students.
The fact is, they're not employees.
They're student athletes.
I can't say often enough, obviously, that student athletes are students.
They are not employees.
The only other people who say "they're not employees" that much are people who run illegal sweatshops out of their basements.
"Oh they're not employees! It's a summer camp where they make the same t-shirt, over and over again, thousands of times.
" It, it's summer fun year round.
And the problem is, when you don't pay people, there are consequences.
One of the players who climbed the sponsored ladder last year was Shabazz Napier, who happened to let slip a startling fact after one of the games.
You know, sometimes I gonna say there's hungry nights where i don't.
I'm not able to eat and.
but I still gotta play up to my you know capabilities.
There are hungry nights that I go to bed and I'm starving.
That's insane.
Hunger games should take place annually in a Dystopian future, not every march sponsored by Coca-Cola on CBS.
The NCAA insists that student athletes cannot be paid because they are amateurs.
And though they've slightly softened their rules on food, among other things, in the last year, they still exercise a ridiculous amount of control over players.
Before they're allowed to compete, athletes have to sign this form saying that they are amateurs they give up any compensation for playing and promise to abide by all the rules in this 440-page manual.
A 400-odd page manual of rules.
The only other thing that has that many finicky little rules would be a sex party at Wes Anderson's house.
"Guests are required to wear lingerie of only a prewar, Andalusian vintage.
" "Fellatio may only be accompanied by music from The Kinks and early Cat Stevens.
" "And condoms shall be found nestled inside a small diorama of the sinking of the Lusitania.
" "Now everybody fuck.
" And, and look, the NCAA rule book is not just for show, as a new Mexico player discovered a few years back.
A discount on a hotel ballroom is the impermissible benefit and NCAA minor violation that caused Jamal Fenton to be suspended That's right.
He was suspended for unwittingly receiving a $250 discount on a ballroom for his 21st birthday party.
And by the way, a discounted ballroom.
Are we absolutely sure he was turning 21 and not celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary with his lovely wife, Marion? Because that would make more sense.
But, but the point is, some rule enforcements go from the petty to the downright heartless.
The late Rick Majerus when he was at Utah had one of his players who lost one of his parents, and he took him to lunch before putting him on a plane to send him home and the NCAA said that was a violation.
Because you can't give an athlete something you don't give another student.
Oh sure I get that.
If you show one player basic human decency then you have to show "everyone" basic human decency.
And nobody wants that.
And, and to be fair, to be fair here.
The NCAA claim that while student athletes are not being paid, they are being compensated with something incredibly valuable we provide them with remarkable opportunities to get an education at the finest universities on earth that's American universities and colleges.
Yes, athletes are paid in "an education.
" The only currency more difficult to spend than Bitcoin.
And, and look, a four-year education is undeniably valuable.
Assuming that one, you don't get hurt and lose your scholarship which can happen.
And two, that you have time to study.
Because if you're a student athlete playing top-level basketball or football, that can be difficult.
Listen to current NFL player Richard Sherman reminisce about his college days.
You wake up in the morning, you have weights at this time.
Then after weights you go to class and after class, you go, you go maybe try to grab you a quick bite to eat.
Then after you get your quick bite to eat, you go straight to meetings and after meetings, you've got practice and after practice, you've got to try to get all the work done you had throughout the day.
I would love for a regular student to, to have a student athlete's schedule, during the season, for just one quarter or one semester, and, and show me how you'll balance that.
He's right.
Paying top college athletes with an education is sort of like telling a full-time nurse, "there's no salary for this job.
We're just going to be giving you free trumpet lessons.
Which you'll be too busy to do.
But if you don't learn to play the trumpet, you're fired.
Does that sound fair?" I think that sounds fair.
And the education athletes do get is sometimes insultingly watered down.
Last year, an investigation revealed that the university of north Carolina had, for years, held fraudulent, so-called "paper" classes that boosted athletes' grades.
Football and basketball players, they would be enrolled, steered to and enrolled in a paper class in African-American studies.
So we can have a football player who in the spring might have a G.
Of 1.
4 but in the summertime we put him in three paper classes, and we get a, a, a-minus.
And lo and behold, he is academically eligible to play football in the fall.
And that's how the system worked.
Ok, lets not pretend there isn't something offensive about an African-American studies course being an easy major at that school.
"Here, just take this class investigating the social, political and cultural complexities inherent to the black American experience.
It'll be a fucking breeze!" Phoning , phone the thing in And it gets worse.
It gets worse because many student athletes at U.
Also left with an unusual language credit.
What language did you study? Swahili.
- Swahili? - Yes.
- Has that come in handy since you graduated? - No.
Not at all.
- What language did you take? - I took Swahili.
- Swahili? - Yes.
- Do you speak Swahili, a little bit? - As of right now, no.
Encouraging black student athletes to take bullshit Swahili courses is the kind of institutional prejudice which might well turn up in one of their African-American studies courses.
So, let's recap.
Student athletes don't get paid and sometimes don't even get educated.
But what they do get is the chance to learn from coaches who will take them under their wing and provide them with life lessons and valuable guidance.
Fuck you! And fuck me and fuck everybody.
That is fucking bullshit.
Now, now that, that is inspirational.
Someone should rea.
someone shoul really put that on a cat poster.
And, and while, while this mistreatment is happening it's a good poster.
It will lift your spirits.
While this mistreatment is happening, huge money is being made.
And not just while they're students.
Because sometimes the NCAA makes money off players years afterwards.
Case in point a few years ago, the NCAA proudly licensed this video game a game whose selling point was authenticity.
The crowd, the noise, the cheerleaders.
The intensity of the game.
The passion of the game.
It's all about authenticity.
The level of authenticity that we went to was extremely deep.
To be honest, I thought the only people that obsessed with how "authentic" something was like that the people from San Diego talking about Mexican food.
I get it, Kendall, but there are avocados everywhere now.
Ok? We've all got them now.
In fact, their game was so authentic, it created a bit of an awkward moment for Ed O'Bannon, a former UCLA star player who currently works at a car dealership in Las Vegas.
I was with a friend and he said that his son had a video game with me in it.
Hey, you want to go and check it out? I said yeah, of course.
Left handed, height, weight, skin color, everything.
Bald headed.
It was Yeah, it was, it was me for sure.
I'm thinking to myself, "wow, they got me on a video game.
" And while this kid was playing, he almost whispers it in my ear.
It was like, "you know, the crazy thing about this is you didn't get paid.
" Ok, First of all, I don't know who that kid was, but that's a dick move.
"Hey, Ed? Ed? Pretty crazy how you got nothing for this, right, Ed? Must be pretty humiliating, right, Ed? About you not getting any money for this, Ed? Ed? Pretty annoying, right, Ed? Are you annoyed, Ed? Are you annoyed right now, Ed? Is it annoying to you, Ed? They actually, they actually don't make that game anymore in part because Ed O'Bannon sued the NCAA over their rules on compensating athletes and won.
The NCAA is currently appealing that decision, which would allow players to be paid.
Partly because as they often claim schools could barely afford it.
14 schools out of the 1,100 last year actually had positive cash flow out of intercollegiate athletics.
It's anything but a money-making proposition for universities and colleges.
We have sports for exactly the same reason Mariah Carey has an acting career.
God, god knows it's not to make a profit.
It's for the love of the game, ok? That's the principle.
Now, he's not, he's not wrong that many departments barely break even.
Although that's a little misleading.
Because for the schools that generate most of the money, those losses are sometimes by design.
Profits are what's left when you account for expenses.
They can come up with an awful lot of expenses, an awful lot of salaries, they find a ton of ways to spend, a ton of money.
That's true.
In keeping with their non profit status, some schools spend money to make it look like they're not making too much money.
It's like when your rich friend buys Diesel jeans that already have holes in them.
"Come on, Brayden, we all know you can afford to have warm knees.
You're not fooling anyone, B! And when, and when rich schools do this to move money around, not-so-rich school end up getting into an arms race to compete.
It's one of the reasons why the 10 largest football stadiums in the country belong to colleges.
In fact, the university of Michigan has claimed that, on game days, their stadium is"the fourth-largest city in the state of Michigan.
" And incidentally, also the one with the fewest rusted-out auto plants now run by raccoons, so, you know.
They're doing their best.
But, but stadiums are just the beginning.
Alabama made an MTV cribs-style video showing off their ludicrously opulent football facilities.
One of, really, the best features, I think, of the locker room is the hydrotherapy area.
We have in here a hot tub and a cold tub, and really I use the term "tub," but really, they're pools.
Ok, I never thought I'd say this, but Alabama, stop showing off your ostentatious wealth.
Ok? And, and the crazy thing is, it, it's not just buildings that schools spend money on.
Mississippi state coach Dan Mullen was just given a raise, pushing his salary to $4 million a year.
$7 million a year for the next eight years, that's Alabama's coach Nick Saban's new deal.
The university of Kentucky announced a $52 million, seven-year contract extension with head basketball coach John Calipari.
Now, now before you get too shocked, remember America has a long, proud history of paying aging white men unconscionable amounts of money for screaming at people.
So there's precedent, I'm saying there's precedent there.
But all this makes it even harder to swallow when some coaches like Clemson's Dabo Swinney, a man who makes over $3 million a year insists that his players not get paid.
As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that's where you lose me.
I'll go do something else, because, you know, there's enough entitlement in this world as it is.
Wait, wait, wait.
If you find that infuriating, you might like to know that "Dabo Swinney" is an anagram for "soybean wind.
" Which, which I think is fitting because he seems as pleasant as an edamame fart.
And, The fact and it's a fact that his name's an anagram for "soybean wind" is not relevant in this discussion, but I thought it's worth mentioning, because it feels like something he'd be annoyed by and would not want people to know on a wild basis.
Hashtag #soybeanwind.
And by the way, the logical point is Swinney has trademarked his name for use on shirts.
Because he's allowed to do that.
The NCAA manual explicitly states coaches are free to pursue "endorsement or consultation contracts.
" And players are acutely aware of this discrepancy.
Here's former university of Michigan basketball star Jalen Rose.
The revenue stream for coaches people underestimate.
You get paid from the school, you get paid from camps, you get paid from apparel company, have a TV deal, you have your radio show.
That's five revenue streams for the coach.
So when I come into practice and I miss a couple of shots and I dribble off my foot and coach says "Jalen, what's going on with you?" What's going on with me? My mother's lights are about to get cut off, that's my problem.
That makes sense, sometimes it's must be tough to focus on your lights-out shooting when your mother's lights are literally going out.
And if you're thinking, "well, they'll all get rich when they become professional athletes," that's true in a fractional number of cases.
Because less than 2% of college basketball and football players go pro.
So if you're an athlete who dreams of being a viking or a wizard, you probably have about the same chance of becoming an actual viking or an actual wizard.
And, and all of this assumes that they've managed to stay healthy because if they get injured, a whole host of other problems can emerge.
Fun fact The very first executive director of the NCAA stated he crafted the term "student athlete" in the 1950's, explicitly to avoid workers' comp for injured athletes.
And 60 years later, that term is still working.
Kyle Hardrick was so good that Oklahoma offered him a basketball scholarship in ninth grade.
But after a knee injury during practice his freshman year, he lost his scholarship.
And with medical bills piling up, he couldn't afford to stay in school.
If it was workmans' comp, my son would've been taken care of for the rest of his life.
He would have been able to finish his college.
To be fair, he was promised an education, and he got one.
A first-class education in how little schools sometimes give a shit about their student-athletes.
This whole system seems fundamentally flawed.
And yet the NCAA constantly insists there is no way athletes can be paid, even a nominal amount, because the notion of converting a student to a paid employee is something that is utterly antithetical to the whole principle of intercollegiate athletics.
It completely changes the entire notion of what college sports is all about.
You know what? I think he might be right.
If college sports is all about exploiting people then yes, paying athletes would absolutely change the entire notion of what college sports are all about.
And look, no, no one is saying that they need to be paid millions or hundred of thousands or the same amount, or even that every school needs to pay every athlete.
But to pay everyone zero when the kid selling their jersey at the campus bookstore gets $10 an hour seems a little bit strange.
And if it truly is all about the romance of amateurism, that's fine.
Give up the sponsorships and the TV deals, stop paying the coaches, and have teams run by an asthmatic anthropology professor with a whistle.
But if you're going to change nothing, at least be honest about the business you're engaged in.
Feel free to bring back your video games, but in the spirit of authenticity, that's seems to matter so much to you make them a little more accurate.
Rated E for exploitative.
New from LWT Sports March sadness 2015 The most authentic college basketball game of all time.
Because any game can give you the excitement of college athletics but that's only about 2% of your week.
For the first time, you'll get to experience the other 98%.
What are you, a fucking idiot? I'm going to fucking kill you.
You pass like a fucking pussy! You get to enjoy all the fun of being screamed at by a middle-aged millionaire while living in constant fear of losing your scholarship, breeding from a career-ending injury, accidentally accepting a free lunch when you're hungry or directly profit in any way for the value of your work.
Because making moneys utterly antithetical to the whole principle of collegiate athletics.
But don't take it from us.
Take it from the unwilling star of NCAA basketball 2009, Ed O'Bannon.
This game is in every bit as fucked up as the real thing.
You can create your own player Join our extatic student athletes experience Because our game puts just as much emphasis on an education as a real NCAA division one school does.
Are you ready for your Swahili exam? Congratulations, student, you speak Swahili.
Now, back to the gym.
It's the most authentic college game of all time.
As another unpaid star of NCAA basketball 2009, Jalen Rose will attest yeah, that's pretty much what it's like.
And this year, if you play LWT'S NCAA march sadness, you can play in two new modes.
Coach mode, which consist mostly in screaming at 18-year-olds.
Assholes! Assholes! I'm gonna kill all of you this time, infernal assholes or you can choose school administrator mode, where your only job is figuring out how somehow remain a nonprofit.
You want a stadium across from your stadium? How about a rocket ship? But be careful.
Because if you use a penny of that money to pay your players Game over.
The point is, no matter which mode you choose, you're guaranteed all the joy of top-level college athletics.
March sadness 2015.
It's in the shame.
This game is some bullshit.
That's our show.
Thank you so much for watching.
See you next week.
Good night!
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