Sunday, April 3, 2011

March Madness... Time for the athletic gravy train to end

This past week Ralph Nader again called for the cessation of all college athletic scholarships.  He's been doing this since the 70's.  I totally agree with him.  

By eliminating athletic scholarships we could, in a single swipe, both elevate education and end the free-ride, taxpayer gravy train for the National Football League and its partner in crime, the National Basketball Association.

Elevate education:  No longer would miscreants and thugs become role-model heroes and given a free-ride at taxpayer's expense.  These "students" would now be required to actually attend classes and pass tests to advance, just like everyone else.  Can't do it?  Get a job.  The major focus of universities will again be education, not some dopey athletic mascot leading around a pack of idiot fans most of whom didn't attend the university in the first place.

I have attended many small-college and inter-mural sports events that were just as much fun and exciting as the over-bloated monster that's become college athletics.  It's what "amateur" sports is supposed to be.

NFL & NBA gravy train:  The NFL and NBA are total tax-payer blood suckers.  We train their athletes for them, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars each, beginning in grade school.  We build their commercial palaces for them, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars each, so that they can then charge us exorbitant fees to enter them.  We even allow them to sell advertising on these public buildings and to keep the revenue.  And if we complain, why they will simply pick up their toys and move elsewhere leaving us holding the debt-bag.

I say good riddance.

There are plenty of examples of professional sports that do it the right way, the highest profiled being Major League Baseball and NASCAR.  For the most part, MLB teams build their own stadiums, they don't brow-beat taxpayers into doing it.  The same with NASCAR.  Professional baseball operates a minor league system where they discover and train their future stars at their own expense.  So does NASCAR.

It's way past time for blood-suckers like the NFL and NBA to be weaned from the taxpayer teat.

Don't get me wrong, I love sports.  What I don't love is the grotesque, gluttonous tax-sponge they've become.

You go Ralph.


  1. Maybe we should make the highest paid player 55k per year, the most expensive ticket 6 bucks with parking and everything else they make go back to the system that made the monster in the first place. Think how much tuition could come down.

  2. Punch... it is Sunday morning, afterall.

    WM... good idea.

  3. I'm with you, for me its funny to see some college thug being praised one minute for his Saturday morning touch down and that evening being arrested in Five Points after beating some guy half to death.

  4. Thanks for the education. I had no idea.

  5. Hey bro, I live in NEBRASKA, you have only hit the tip of the iceberg here. In Nebraska, it is not only big business, but it is a religion. And it goes on all year long.

    I am wid ya. It's not that I mind sports, but this shit is way out of hand.

    Good post.

  6. BB... I can only add, ditto.
    Andrew... See JJ's comment. He's right on.
    JJ... It ain't no different here in Gator country buddy. Of course no scholarships will never happen, but it should.

  7. My mom told me a long time ago that NASCAR took off during an NFL strike because folks were so disgusted at the very system you describe.

    Nice photos in the previous post. Looks like you boys had fun

  8. Someone needs to get up to Gainsville and beat a certain preachers ass.

  9. Having lived in Nebraska, I'll concur with jadedj. It's part of the religion. And it's part of American "civil religion." And that makes you an atheist. ;-) And now I live in Oklahoma, where Barry Switzer is still king.

    Have to say -- what really caught my eye was the Eisenhower quote on the cost of war. Amen.

  10. OMG, I'm so tickled to hear you say so! I've been bitching about college athletics for years and that's hardly a popular position in the South.

    There's been a bit of an information blitz on this lately. Tom Ashbrook on NPR did a feature for "On Point" today that was excellent. Between this slow swell of media attention to the money and tax angle and the--FINALLY!--exposure of permanent brain injury, maybe we can begin to get sports in perspective in this country. T'won't be easy, though.

    Good for you, compadre!

  11. Nance... Can't say why NASCAR took off but the sail was a fun day. Thanks.
    WM... the Muslims have put a $2.4mil bounty on his head. Methinks his days are numbered.
    Chip... Thanks for stopping by. As I said to JJ. down here in Gator country it ain't no different, maybe even worse.
    Nance... You and I will both be in our graves before there's any movement on that front. It would be easier to pass a public health bill.

  12. What WM says...Let's kick his sorry ass anyway.

  13. I agree in principle. I teach athletes and I tell you, most actually do their work and show up to class. Some have advisors who visit classes to make sure they aren't screwing up. Yesterday one of them came to talk to me about a football player in my class.

    But that is a marked improvement over years of arrogant athletes blowing off classes and daring professors to flunk them. Some of these kids can barely read, much less write a paper. I had one student who played defense: he averaged a concussion and/or muscle pull every 2 weeks. He came to my class in crutches. He couldn't do any of the work, and when I warned his coach that he was failing, it became MY fault--I wasn't giving him notice on the assignments, I changed the syllabus, I this, I that. I went off and told him he was using this kid as a punching bag; he didn't plan on helping him graduate as he was going to make sure he was disabled first, then dropped from the team. I had no idea I had exposed a sacred cow--just another big mouth day as usual.

  14. Where I'm at, the basketball players are the worse. I've had nothing but trouble. When I tried to flunk one who RICHLY deserved it, my boss got mad at me! She said I had no idea what I was about to expose her to--WTF? We didn't speak for months.

  15. I think you've about said it all Susan. There's so much money in college sports that it has corrupted the entire system.

  16. I think the reason I don't like sports is the obscene quantity of money that is poured into them. The university where I work, a public one, has frozen employees' wages since 2008. Meanwhile, there have been two multi-million dollar renovations to the football stadium in the last 2 years. The least the admins could do is give staff free tickets (so I could scalp mine!)

  17. Anyone know how many clarinets you could get in exchange for one tight end?

  18. Intelli... I hear you. When you are up close and personal like at Big Orange U it really is shocking how out of whack it is.

    Murr... This is a question of great debate. Tight-ass clarinetists for tight-end footballers. Hummmm.


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