Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why I Cry Myself to Sleep Every Night

A few days ago, I began to get a lot of traffic from a Digg thread about college bowl game predictions. Angrybulldog posted a link to an old post of mine entitled "Understanding the Auburn 'Directed Readings' Scandal." Then, UofMStoner (his mama must be so proud of that screen name) wrote in a response:
Auburn is only guilty of SACS violations if anything. Having a teacher teach 300
classes is not the problem of the NCAA Athletics...

Well, as long as schools are only academically corrupt, and don't allow that corruption to taint their sports, all is right with the world. What makes this even worse is that UofMStoner knows what SACS is, yet still his weed-addled mind can't grasp that he's got it bass-ackwards -- and none of the later posters points this out.

And THAT's why I cry myself to sleep every night.


  1. Personally, I love college athletics, but the professionalization of athletic competition and talent at the college level creates a split motivation for what are supposed to be academic institutions.

    Football, and basketball, can bring large amounts of money to a University, more if the teams are talented and win a lot of games. In fact, the financial motivation has led to the proliferation of meaningless (but profitable) bowl games and the creation of a "National Championship" game. Gone is the motivation of student athlete as "well rounded" student, the current environment is college as minor leagues which raise money for the schools but forbid the athletes to profit from their labor.

    Do the athletes get a free education? Unless they are taking direct readings at Auburn (War Eagle!), the answer is sort of. They get the classes, sure, but how many future professors/lawyers/chemical engineers are in the Athletic program at a major university? Few, if any, largely because of the talent level required to play at a major insitution. Football at USC (Fight On!) fills the Olympic Stadium and their baseball games have better attendance than the Florida Marlins. For the schools the athletes are pros, in the fans and money they bring, without any of the financial responsibilities/benefits that real pros receive.

    I don't know how to resolve the tension, but he way the NCAA handles it isn't the best method. They are working on an ancient model, that of "pure amateurs" which is a ridiculously unrealistic model. Current college athletes suffer the same tensions that Prefontaine suffered, they risk career ending injury everytime they play but they aren't receiving the paychecks (or signing bonuses, etc.) of a pro.

    Does this mean colleges should be allowed to pay students? I don't know, and I don't think so, but it does mean that the money making incentive that the university has undermines the academic purposes of the institution writ large.

    An aimless rant, I know, but it is an aimlessly managed subject. Maybe we should remove the financial incentives for the colleges by making them have to give the money they make from athletics to the local k12 school districts, thus probably creating "talent farms." Who knows?

  2. great post ....blogger.i really love your post because it make me feel good and has already made my day..but i will like to tell you about motivation of student in another dimension.All the same ...keep the good work up...Dr. babs

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