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"I find the notion that you can justify exploiting and maiming athletes because that raises money for the school they are attending to be a slightly appalling notion."The problem with this thesis is that the athletes very much want to play. Given that, are they being exploited?
I really like Gladwell. But, if he were consistent, the Canadian Gladwell would need to include the Canadian official religion...hockey.
Just because they want to play doesn't exclude the possibility if abuse.
This guy is out of touch or not very bright.
The last bastion of real reality TV is under assault as not ethical...like what else is ethical in the show business world: Hollywood moguls, the Networks honchos, Political Campaigns, Walt Disney World executives, The UN IPCC pretenders, The WWF wrestler imitators?Why its the one sport that dares to remain real that must be brought down a notch by the Masters of Shaming.
Many college athletes are exploited, some are exploiters. There is virtually no exploitation in the one major sport that has a minor league system. College baseball has almost no scandals. That's because they have a choice. Athletes can go to college if they're academically inclined, or go to the minors if not. Football and bball players don't have that choice.
Lyle, Galdwell is brighter than anyone commenting here.
Last I heard, about a week ago, Univ. of Fl put more money into their athletic program and eliminated the Computer Science department to save money! How is that?! I am still scratching my head over that and the department is quite large and has some good names.
Original Mike nails it. I played college ball and know a truckload of guys that did as well. Nobody feels exploited. You're doing what you truly want to do, you're getting "paid" for it in terms of a free ride and free room and board, you're having a blast doing it, and there's that ever-tantalizing prospect of a pro scout noticing your ability.Kids working in Chinese sweatshops are being exploited. College athletes are not.
Nowhere near the atrocity of the cost/benefit decline of tuition. Which hurts a lot more students.If we care about students, and right and wrong, lets get serious, and ignore the squirrels for a minute.
"Just because they want to play doesn't exclude the possibility if abuse."Agreed, but I don't buy the argument that the system, per se, is exploitative.
"Galdwell is brighter than anyone commenting here."That's certainly one explanation. And, since we're all working together here to understand, he must be brighter than all of us combined into the super Althouse hillbilly brain.I live down in the Id neighborhood, but some of you uppities in Superego estates might know what he's talking about.
He's a journalist! He knows things!
Where I went, varsity athletics was how you got out of compulsory phys. ed.On the other hand, it gets you twice the alumnus junk mail.
An old canard of college professors is the amount the head football coach makes per year is higher than the salaries of the President and 10 professors put together. So what? the Football program makes money it costs plus donations that together pay all the expense and build free facilities too. And then the TV appearances of the football team causes enrollment to triple compared to schools with no football programs.The President and the Professors like football fine. Complaining is an act to get sympathy.
Maybe the University of Forida's decision to eliminate ths CS department (since rescinded) had something to do with these three guys and mercy killing:UF Programming TeamShame on me. Shame. Shame. Shame.
Football breeds school spirit, but only so far. The jocks are gods, but it has to rankle when they get away with stuff nobody else is allowed to.Also, a lot of kids who need to get out and do something physical every day are lucky if they do a minimal gym class. A program where everybody gets some playing time and have some fun doing it doesn't exist in most cases.The goal isn't physical education, it's the coach keeping his job.
Galdwell is brighter than anyone commenting hereUm, really?Gladwell: Well, boxing and horseracing didn't end. They have persisted, just in vastly less popular forms than before. They have gone into slow and irreversible decline. I suspect that the same will happen with football. It's going to wither as the supply of talent slowly dries up. I heard on ESPN Michael Wilbon—who is one of the most influential sports journalists in the country—say that he will not let his kids play pro football. If Wilbon won't, who will?Wilbon makes more than $2 million a year. So his kids are like, different than other kids.Further, Wilbon is "influential" to blacks like Gladwell.So pardon me for not pretending Gladwell is "bright"
Alcohol kills and maims far more than football. Cars do was well. Lets ban those as well.Gladwell might be an intelligent man...but he is providing a laughable opinion here. Being a nerd myself, it is distressing watching bigger nerds trying to lord over people.You ran track? Can you guess what PAYS for track these days?
Because it's been said before and, like the arguments against ObamaCare, was ignored:Cultism breeds spirituality and fundraising. But, I suspect, cultism breeds spirituality and fundraising largely for cultism.In any case, I find the notion that you can justify exploiting and confusing believers because that raises money for the cult they are attending to be a slightly appalling notion.Yeah, I'll be here all week.Also:Ann Romney Awkwardly Describes Mitt as ‘Wild & Crazy Man Just Waiting to Come Out’After you elect him, people. After you elect him,...
Gladwell is bright and he's done some great and interesting work. He just isn't the all that that spinelli seems to think.College football has much to recommend it and there's much to fault with it as well. Frankly, I don't know how an honest accounting would come out, but I do know every discussion I've seen on the subject turns mostly on whether the speaker likes football.
I heard on ESPN Michael Wilbon—who is one of the most influential sports journalists in the country—say that he will not let his kids play pro football. If Wilbon won't, who will?Oh, and I must add that Gladwell must have apparently missed the recent NFL draft where young men were scene rushing to the stage either with big smiles or tears of joy, after often being hugged by their parents and siblings.Further, I would love to know how Wilbon plans to "not let" grown adults play a sport if they so choose.
USC, which is private, has a football program that supports all the other intercollegiate sports, including the Title IX travesties that are driving men's college sports out of existence at state schools, like UCLA which has closed crew and wrestling.
The goal isn't physical education, it's the coach keeping his job.The goal is revenue for the college.
Right, Malcolm, because they're gladiators dragged into the arena without their consent who must fight to the death.Remember when William Bennett was called a right-wing moralist who wants us all to play by "his" rules after he wrote The Book of Virtues?
"Ann Romney Awkwardly Describes Mitt as ‘Wild & Crazy Man Just Waiting to Come Out’After you elect him, people. After you elect him,..."So, you believe her?Mitt, the 65 year old Mormon, who has a lifetime of public behavior to examine, is suddenly gonna go wild?There is a future Monica Lewinsky out there plotting her path to fame right now.
ndspinelli said...Lyle, Galdwell is brighter than anyone commenting here.Which you have concluded via empirical methods about as sound as Gladwell's.He's glib and facile for sure. Smart? I guess, since he's getting a lot of mileage out of his schtick. But he probably seems very bright to you.
Further, I would love to know how Wilbon plans to "not let" grown adults play a sport if they so choose.Wilbon is also a tedious bag of goo. If his kids take after him, I doubt there is much need to worry about their athletic exploits.
If Gladwell wants to create a market for lower tier paid football where players are compensated, he is free to do so.To expect an amateur athletic association to pay players based on the revenue the program generates is quite another story.Gladwell, like many pro "pay them" allegorists, dramatically under value the built in promotion that college programs generate that cost the players nothing at all.
"There is virtually no exploitation in the one major sport that has a minor league system. College baseball has almost no scandals."There is no money in college baseball. For the Division A factories, football and basketball pay for baseball and other sports.My stepdaughter coached crew at UW. Now, she was exploited: lousy pay, terrible hours, no security, little respect except from her students. So she was exploited? She enjoyed the good parts, learned from the experience and moved on.Nearly everyone gets exploited at one time or another. Most of us aren''t made slaves. We can choose not to participate, though at a cost. We can choose to learn and move on.There are people in our society who are exploited and have no way out. College football players are not in this group.
bagoh20,So, you believe her?You know I don't engage in belief, but - based on the evidence you're choosing to ignore - I know what she says is true as well as I know my own name. Mark my words, buddy:"Garbage in/Garbage out" only results in more garbage.And just so I can't be accused of highjacking the thread, a football analogy:The Right has now got the ball, and we're running down the field, but unfortunately it's to the wrong goal line,....
ndspinelli: Gladwell might be brighter than anyone commenting here (I doubt it, though I doubt he's actually stupider than the average, either).But if we modify what Lyle said to "foolish" rather than "not very bright" we might well be close to truth.Wisdom is perhaps rarer than "brightness" these days, less celebrated, and most importantly not even remotely correlated with it.
Rush has predicted that there will be an attempt to ban football in this country.. not in the near future.. they need to lay down some groundwork first..Harts and minds.
Cries of "exploitation" come when a player is paralyzed.Retired pro football players suffering from dementia and a variety of ortho ailments have made this issue a cottage industry. College players don't have the tenure to make claims, but they'll be coming.
Yes, just as when I received an academic scholarship and the school was able to use my scores and grades in fundraising efforts and draw other bright students. I was used.Plus, it's not enough that unpaid interns are abused, getting a full ride to play a sport, you would probably otherwise play, and be worshipped and adored by millions is awful, I am sure. Probably only the ugly girls will date you too. Just a terrible life.
Gladwell's larger point is that if you do not proportionally get a cut of the pie, despite agreeing to the terms, you are being exploited. I guess he wrote this to correspond with May Day? Sorry, take that nonsense back to Canada, or the USSR.
Athletic revenues may rise and fall based on a sport's success, but alumni donations are largely detached from how well a University's sports programs do.Examples: Harvard. Stanford.
I disagree w/ Gladwell and gave a concrete example of hypocrisy by ommisssion[hockey]. I think this was a dumb statement, but he is obviously, whether you like him or agree w/ him, very bright. He's brighter than myself and I'm secure enough to admit it.The other unstated hypocrisy/insecurity by Gladwell on this topic is that he is a huge baseball fan. And, since baseball fans are insecure about how football has really become our national pasttime, that may also be a bias on his part. Sorry for being substantive and secure in my comments. I'll try to be insecure and shoot from the hip next time.
An out of the box and counterintuitive subject floated out by some former players, including Troy Aikman, a victim of concussions, is to eliminate helmets. Defensive players will think 3 times before sticking their head into a player. And, if they do, they'll be the concussion victim, not the target of the hit.
Maybe Gladwell is right. I love college football and played football in high school. On defense I played everywhere on the defensive line, finally ending up at middle linebacker. On offense I played tight end. It is a great game to play but the risk of getting serious injury is too high. IIRC, most people don't really have the capability to properly assess risk before the age of about 25. This means that probably most of these college players are not really competently evaluating the risk vs reward of playing college football.Big time college football is basically a professional sport except the kids are not being properly compensated while the big time college coaches are making millions of bucks per year. Why should universities field professional football teams filled with players who could not qualify academically if they did not play football?For sure the sport has to be made safer.
Steven Koch, The answer to your quesation is because the NFL is complicit by not having a minor league system as baseball does..same w/ the NBA. Geez!!
Steve Koch, good post but let me add to the safety enhancements that have been made: better helmets and pads, no chopblocking, no hands to the head, no leading with your helmet, no blocks in the back, no clothesline or horse-collar tackles, no contact with receivers beyond 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, no hits out of bounds, and no excessive force per personal foul infractions.So they've done a lot already. More to do, especially in regards to concussions.As to Gladwell, maiming isn't the goal of the game. It happens occasionally, but as someone noted above, it happens lots of places. Even gymnastics. To live in the cozy, risk-free world of Gladwell...
ndspinelli said..."Steven Koch, The answer to your quesation is because the NFL is complicit by not having a minor league system as baseball does..same w/ the NBA. Geez!!"The NFL not having a minor league creates a market opportunity but does not mean universities should field professional football teams.
"Maiming isn't the goal of the game"It isn't the only goal but there is a reason so many QBs wear flak jackets (i.e. because tacklers try to knock good QBs out of the game). When you see a tackler pick up a QB and drive the QB's shoulder into the ground, the tackler is trying to separate the QB's shoulder.Definitely coaches will game plan to hit a good opposing player as much as possible to reduce his effectiveness.The game has changed over the years in that big hits (even at the cost of increased missed tackles) are really stressed, because big hits can cause a fumble and cause more bodily damage.Most injuries are not intentional but the human body was not made to be repeatedly hit that hard. It is very common for ex football players to have bad knees, for example.It is very common for coaches to encourage players to play hurt rather than recuperating their injuries fully before resuming play. Winning is everything. Older fans that used to play football reconnect with their playing days by watching football. It is natural that we love to watch college football. We should also encourage efforts to protect those young players, even if they don't yet fully realize the need for more protection.
> Last I heard, about a week ago, Univ. of Fl put more money into their athletic program and eliminated the Computer Science department to save money! How is that?! Not so fast. The athletic department had its budget increased. That's not the same as "the university put more money into".The athletic department had its budget increased because it raised more money - university athletics is self-supporting. The CS department, not so much.
It is very common for ex football players to have bad knees, for example.It's also very common for ex-catchers. And ice skaters. And hockey golies. And...Most people get through little league football, high school football, and college football without major injury.
> "It is very common for ex football players to have bad knees, for example.">>> "It's also very common for ex-catchers. And ice skaters. And hockey golies. And..."And human beings. The knees are very poorly "designed". I have significant knee problems, all without any scholarship at all.
Scott M said:"It's also very common for ex-catchers. And ice skaters. And hockey golies. And..."The discussion is about football, specifically college football. Widening the discussion to other sports reduces the focus on college football. The two most interesting questions are "why should colleges field professional football teams" and "why should we accept the tremendous number of serious injuries in college football".Scott said:"Most people get through little league football, high school football, and college football without major injury."Define major injury. Even if your statement is true, it doesn't mean much because it would be true if 49.9% of those players sustained major injury. So while still being a true statement, that would be a completely unacceptable situation, right? You agree that there are too many serious injuries in college football, right?
Nitpick all you want, Herr Koch, but trying to bolster your point by bringing up bad knees was a weak argument because a vast array of things also cause bad knees.
My retort to the intelligent design thesis has always been: "Oh, yeah? Explain the human knee."
Scott M said..."Nitpick all you want, Herr Koch, but trying to bolster your point by bringing up bad knees was a weak argument because a vast array of things also cause bad knees.""Nitpick..., Herr Koch"? Haha, you seem to be losing your cool, that is funny. Playing big time football hugely increases the probability of serious knee injury. I bring it up because injuring knees is such an obvious, intrinsic problem in football. There is no question that playing college football is dangerous. The question is what to do about it. One could argue that football builds character so much that the accompanying health risks are worth it. That would be an honest argument (though I would not necessarily agree with it). One has to be either uninformed or dishonest to claim that playing college football does not pose a serious risk of significant injury.
To reduce risk of knee injury, you could require that all tackles and blocks are above the waist. Makes it tough for little players but it would cut down on knee injuries.
Original Mike hit it on the head first try. My son gets $29,800 per year of his tuition, books and room and board paid in return foro playing football, which he loves. Pretty damn good deal in my book.How much would he have to be exploited by McDonalds or money lenders to get that kind of money? Football, and other sports, are a good deal for the athletes.What is it with people that want everybody to be a pussy? You can make the argument we're all exploited by someone. It's a fair exchange of labor in my book, but some dipshit wants to rain on every parade.
Haha, you seem to be losing your cool, that is funny. What's funny is that you have no idea what me losing my cool seems like and, thus, have no basis for comparison that could see me from cool to lost cool. The comment was sardonic at worst, sarcasm at best.: "Oh, yeah? Explain the human knee."Or toenails, for that matter.
Steve said:"Haha, you seem to be losing your cool, that is funny." Scott said:"What's funny is that you have no idea what me losing my cool seems like and, thus, have no basis for comparison that could see me from cool to lost cool. The comment was sardonic at worst, sarcasm at best."I quoted your remark (about Herr Koch nitpicking) that was the basis for my observation. We are just discussing football in the off season, no big deal.
ndspinelli said... Many college athletes are exploited, some are exploiters. There is virtually no exploitation in the one major sport that has a minor league system. College baseball has almost no scandals. That's because they have a choice. Athletes can go to college if they're academically inclined, or go to the minors if not. Football and bball players don't have that choice.That's just bullshit without a single reason of why your bullshit made any sense. Justify your argument. Fuck, at least state a reason instead of coming up with an unfounded conclusion. Clearly Malcolm has never played the game and I seriously doubt he could endure 1 minute of hell week even on a high school campus, much less you. That being said, no one is forcing any single player to play the game. They play because they choose to, because they enjoy it. It's a spectator sport and for him to compare college football to the NFL is just stupid beyond words.
It's hard saving people who don't want to be saved.
Methadras, Obviously you are ignorant about professional vs. college sports and incapable of understanding the basic concepts I discussed. However, the level of your ignorance tells me to not even try to educate you about minor league baseball vs. college sports. Can I offer you some cookies or a light snack while you play tic tac toe?
Steve Koch, I'll grant you the knee injuries in college football. I'll posit there are just as many in basketball, which isn't a contact sport like football. Seriously, every other night on ESPN you hear about some big star's ACL being blown out. So knee injuries seem to occur regardless of whether one is getting hit or not. Just the normal football and basketball motions of cutting, starting/stopping quickly, and jumping do enough damage.As someone who waited tables while playing sports at a small college (while getting an engineering degree), I don't have much sympathy for big college scholarship athletes who kind of are getting paid just to work out, practice and play while taking in some classes on the side. I agree that there are probably 10 guys on a big-name team who will go pro, but that leaves about 80 other guys on the roster who should be kissing the dean full on the lips for getting $30K+ a year to play football and get a degree.
Methadras, I was an average high school football player[2 year varsity football starter @ offensive tackle and special teams] and an all star baseball player[pitcher/3rd and 1st]. I coached baseball from little league to American Legion for 30 years. However, what I was saying is pretty basic for someone who has been walking upright for a generation or two. Have your grandkids write to me on the subject, if you've been permitted to procreate.
As C. S. Lewis wrote, many of us are born to be slaves, but none of us are born to be masters. So, what should we do?
Has Gladwell had more than 5 minutes of fun in his entire life? Really? If so, I'm assuming he was playing tiddlywinks when it occurred.Yes, the NCAA expolits student athletes for their own gain. Their rules are abusive and wrong. But banning the game itself is the last way to fix the problems that exist with college sports.
The problem with this thesis is that the athletes very much want to play. Given that, are they being exploited?Hm. That argument never seems to work with the local conservatives when applied to drugs, prostitution, or pornography.
Exploited? Right. Harvard and Yale Kids were literally killing each other in the 1900s playing football and pro football didn't even exist.Dummies seem to think people watch College football because of star X. Nope, people watch Star X because he's playing college football.Let's go back to exploiting REAL students playing for their college.
The real reason sportwriters attack college football is jealousy. They're jealous some Coach or AD makes 3 times their salary. And the coach or AD isn't even Gay and/or Liberal!So, they whine about "exploitation".
ndspinelli wrote: I really like Gladwell. But, if he were consistent, the Canadian Gladwell would need to include the Canadian official religion...hockey.Lyle wrote: This guy is out of touch or not very bright.I think Gladwell combines being bright with being gullible.But I think he's right on this one.The question isn't really whether or not folks want to volunteer for a high-contact, high-injury avocation. As Gladwell points out, rugby and boxing haven't gone away. The question is whether the economic incentives will stay in place to make it more than a voluntary activity.There's also a fair amount of research that demonstrates that football doesn't make money for most schools -- even those that get on TV or make it to bowl games.I'm a huge sports fan, but the way the NCAA has become a minor league farm system for the NFL and NBA is sickening. It's not good for the athletes and it's not good for the universities. The rules about "amateur status" that enrich coaches at the expense of unpaid students are a disgrace.The professional farm system is one more thing baseball has right.ndspinelli wrote College baseball has almost no scandals. That's because they have a choice. Athletes can go to college if they're academically inclined, or go to the minors if not. Football and bball players don't have that choice.Exactly right.
That argument never seems to work with the local conservatives when applied to drugs, prostitution, or pornography.You say that wile Obama's doubling down on the War on Drugs and Pat Robertson is calling for the legalization of marijuana. Left wing feminists are the strongest opponents of prostitution and porno.Just making it up as you go along and the truth be dammed, showing your own bias and bigotry. Heh.
Without college football, other college sports, as we know them, would mostly vanish.Room, board, books and tuition are tremendous benefits to all scholarship athletes. And yet, 'rewards' for risk and excellence are strictly capped.If a someone studying music writes/sings a hit song and makes a bunch of money, is their scholarship status ended? If someone studying science or engineering wins a valuable patent, is their scholarship status revoked? If someone's a star athlete and paid for being recognized as such, is his/her scholarship status ended? You betcha'.College athletics is the last bastion of 'amateurism'. Even the Olympics moved on. Is there any greater example of 'spreading the wealth around' than pay equity for the all-American football player and the back-up on the women's bowling team?Back to college football. You want to clean it up, do this:Make all team-members meet actual requirements for admission.Change rules in football to limit substitution. People who weigh more than 250 lbs will be obsolete overnight.And, in all sports, college champions should be decided by playoffs. During the (shortened) regular season, teams should play in their regional leagues (save money and time demands on athletes)- is there anything more obscene than what the NCAA/BCS system has done to college football? San Diego State, Boise State and TCU in the Big East Conference??? It's a fucking tragedy.
You say that wile Obama's doubling down on the War on DrugsRelevance, please?and Pat Robertson is calling for the legalization of marijuana.I said "with the local conservatives". Does Robertson post here?Left wing feminists are the strongest opponents of prostitution and porno.That manages to be simultaneously false and irrelevant to my comment. Kudos.
It seems a lot of people just don't get it. Who watches College hockey or baseball? Who watches the women's lacrosse? Almost Nobody.Yet, athlete/students play all these sports AND will play these sports no matter how many people watch or whether they get scholarships.Get rid of football scholarships and students will still want to play college football and people will want to watch it - because they want to watch THEIR COLLEGE TEAM.It isn't exploitation. Sorry, take your self-righteous, left wing crap somewhere else.
@rcocean -- I think what Gladwell is talking about is the gradual deinstitutionalization of football over time. The number of injuries, the lawsuits related to head injuries, the generally venal and corrupt behavior of the NCAA, all will make major college football increasingly expensive and less appealing to university administrations.It is an economic and cultural shift Gladwell is talking about, not a ban. He is being predictive not prescriptive.The comparison to rugby and boxing is instructive. Lots of colleges have rugby club teams. Athletes who want to play rugby can play rugby.Lots of athletes participate in boxing. But boxing does not command national audiences anymore. It's become a niche sport.In my own opinion I suspect Gladwell's prediction will only play out on the margins -- schools not in the south and not with strong football traditions will be more likely to blink. But I do predict that the rules of the game will continue to evolve away from the smash-mouth football of our recent past (this is already happening).Twenty years from now there may be so many rules about how to tackle without hurting someone that today's game will be as foreign to future fans as the one played in leather helmets by 155 lb. linemen is to us.
Me: "The problem with this thesis is that the athletes very much want to play. Given that, are they being exploited?"Rev "Hm. That argument never seems to work with the local conservatives when applied to drugs, prostitution, or pornography."Me: Works for me.
"Who watches College hockey?"Quite a few people up north. You wouldn't know it, however, because it's rarely on the national sports networks.
Relevance, please?Are you asking yourself. You brought up drugs, sex and rock n roll.For Althouse, local is the entire nation.Please show me NOW's position on prostitution and porno.Just making it up as you go along and acting all snotty about it.
I think that any way to breed school spirit should be in a good way that is great for everyone. I think if the football team does fundraising then it should go to that team.
I totally agree that school spirit really does come a lot from football games. Everyone loves to go and be at the football games! It makes it so the whole school can come together and cheer for the same thing!
I think that it's so important to have good school spirit attitude, otherwise there wont be much competition and things wont be as fun.
school spirit can really just make everything a lot more exciting.
Yeah football does get a lot of school spirit. It is a very popular thing for the majority of the high school students.
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