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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:College(-Aged) Athletes Should Be Paid

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"Never," is my reply to the following question, which serves as the title of an editorial from the Charlotte Observer: "When will NCAA be done exploiting athletes?" That is why the NCAA must ultimately be done away with. The immoral and impractical notion that money is evil -- generally or from athletic competition particularly -- will always lead to riding the backs of the productive. Those with consciences will be usually be suckered into supporting such a setup and those without will gleefully take advantage of them, the indifferent, and any less-powerful wanna-bes, too. The good and bad news from the piece follow below, within the concluding paragraph:

An expectant mother roots for Ajax FC, renowned for its youth development program. (Image via Pixabay.)
The current FBI investigation that led to Friday's revelations should prompt an overdue, clear-eyed assessment of all that is broken in college basketball -- and football. The NCAA needs to reassess all its rules and scrap those that hurt student-athletes. The details will be complicated, but athletes responsible for generating massive revenue need to be compensated in some way, beyond their scholarships. Instead they are targets of a federal probe while the real beneficiaries -- the NCAA and its member schools -- sit back and count their dough.
The good news is that we are now speaking openly of compensating college-aged athletes. The bad is that we continue doing so on the unimaginative premise that they must play for college teams. Fortunately, we have the counterexamples of European soccer abroad and Pacific Pro Football at home to help people see that there are far better ways -- morally and practically -- to foster young athletes. The (American) football development league starts play this summer.

It's about time!

-- CAV

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A while back I heard someone on NPR talk about how we got here.  I haven't researched this; maybe someone who has can give us more solid information.  According to what I heard, when land grant colleges were created, they had a lot more places than they could fill with an appeal based on academics, so they needed another appeal to fill those places.  They used athletics, creating the close association between higher education and athletics in America that looks strange to other countries.  I didn't hear the person on NPR mention the issue of government meddling creating distortions, of which this would be an obvious example.  

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This article from 4 years ago is eye opening:

Perpetuating the Lie



Rick Telander had seen enough. It was the late 1980s, and Telander, a Sports Illustrated writer, had been covering the college football beat. Which really meant covering criminal behavior. Narrow-minded coaches. Slimy boosters. Sanctimonious administrators. Brutality on the field, and the economic exploitation of players off of it. What seemed like a total lack of ethics or morality. At one point, Telander found himself on the phone with his editor, all but ready to quit, filled with loathing and disgust.

The Hundred Yard Lie was born.



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