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Take it from a former Division I athlete: College sports are like Jim Crow

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by Ahab, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Moderator VIP Member

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    Need to know more about what that "50 to 60 hours" actually comprises; in looking at the UNC lawsuit data, that number looks on the extreme high end regardless:

    [​IMG]

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
     
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  2. lwg8tr

    lwg8tr GC Hall of Fame

    Not too get all THFSG but to today's Maoist media every rule imposed on a minority is "Jim Crow" and every person imposing such law is Adolph Hitler. It's really an excuse for thinking for the cucked sports writers today,
     
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  3. GCNumber7

    GCNumber7 GC Hall of Fame

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    I think it’s easy to say they have themselves to blame, but I don’t think most people understand the level of commitment that division 1 athletics require. Between live practice, weight lifting, and other team related activities you have hours and hours of daily commitments. During the season you have game/meets almost every weekend, travel prep, buses, planes, hotels. What you watch on TV is maybe 5-10% of their schedule.

    Add the pressure of competition and the fact that you are physically exhausted from practice most of the time, and you start to understand why athletes tend to pick athlete friendly classes and majors. And that’s just for regular, non-revenue generating sports. If you are a football or basketball player you also have media commitments and living your life in a fish bowl.

    You might say these kids should focus on academics over athletics. Sure, you can, but then you fall down the depth chart and are encouraged to transfer or lose your scholarship to make room for that ‘more dedicated’ freshman with the 2.0 GPA. I had to quit sports because I couldn’t balance the engineering school work load with practice. But I was fortunate enough to have parents that had the financial means to help fund the rest of my education. Yes, there are examples of kids that can both well, but they are rare. Just like some kids can bench 400 lbs and run a 4.3. Most of us can’t.

    Now, I’m grateful that at least part of my education was funded by an athletic scholarship, but again, I wasn’t bringing any money to the school. If I was a star football or basketball player, I’d be pretty pissed to see everyone around me making millions off my blood, sweat and tears while I can’t even use my own likeness for profit.

    But regardless of your personal feelings towards it, the current system is unsustainable. Coaches’ salaries increasing at a ludicrous rate, lavish facilities even at crappy programs, tv contract money, handlers, agents, hookers, yacht’s, etc. It’s all gonna pop soon, and what will replace it is anybody’s guess.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  4. GCNumber7

    GCNumber7 GC Hall of Fame

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    I was a non-revenue generating athlete in college and I wouldn’t have had any problems with the revenue generating athletes getting paid while I didn’t. And yes, we worked just as hard, but nobody paid money to watch us :)

    The guy digging ditches down the street works harder than me and makes a lot less money. Because I have a skill set that people are willing to pay more for.
     
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  5. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Moderator VIP Member

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    The implication in the article was that non-revenue generating athletes don't work as hard; I'm saying that at FLORIDA, that's not true.

    Whether or not some get paid and some don't is a different matter altogether, but let me ask you: How much more money are you willing to contribute to the revenue-generators' salaries? Because the funding is either going to come from fans or from sponsorships, and I'd rather it not come from sponsorships, we already have enough of those. Or should it just be a free for all, let the fans pay the athletes directly however they see fit?

    Does the same logic that you apply to guys digging ditches apply to college football players? If they're willing to work for what they get paid, then why change it, right? I'm on board with what you are suggesting, but that sort of goes against the grain of the article.

    Another thing that is not considered here is how much of this is on the parents before they even finish high school? If you are a parent, and you teach your children to focus on athletics over academics, what do you think is going to happen when you set them free? How many hours of practice and training for sports do you demand/tolerate of your children, and how does that compare with the practice and training of academics that is demanded/tolerated?

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
     
  6. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

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    The whole idea of comparing anything in college athletics to Jim Crow is just historically ignorant on a number of levels.
    There are definitely kids who are not being given their value and I have posted about it many times , but that isn’t cause for comparing kids getting a free education by choice with the opportunity to leave a team any time, with a systemic racial and societal evil that is among the worst of what our country has ever produced. The argument is invalidated almost before it starts.
     
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  7. formerg8er

    formerg8er GC Hall of Fame

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    What a douche. This article and his opinion are river trash.
     
  8. og8trz

    og8trz VIP Member

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    The McNeely kid who scored on the fake FG against UGA was in pharmacy school, Tenn. had a QB who was in aeronautical engineering, Canyon Barry was in nuclear physics, we had a safety under SOS who is now a surgeon.

    It can be done, but it isn’t easy & requires time management skills. If athletes had to meet the same admission requirements as regular students this problem would vanish.

    We need to drop the charade of the “Student-Athlete.” If a coach graduates all 85 players with 4.0 GPAs, but goes 4-8, he gets fired.
     
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  9. og8trz

    og8trz VIP Member

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  10. GCNumber7

    GCNumber7 GC Hall of Fame

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    There seems to be enough money to continue to raise coaches salaries at an absurd rate every year. So I don’t think money is the problem. If schools have to pay their cash cow athletes, they will figure it out. How do I contribute? By paying my outrageous cable bill every month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  11. fierygator

    fierygator GC Hall of Fame

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    It’s actually quite simple really.
     
  12. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

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    I was at UF as a scholarship athlete in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track in the 80s. (Same sport as the writer.)
    So I'm also a Division I, p5 athlete, albeit from the 1980s. I was not NCAA champ, but I did ok.
    In addition to my experience, I coached in HS a current P5 athlete who is on a full ride today at an ACC school also in distance running.
    So I know a little about NCAA sports from an athlete's perspective.

    If I can speak to some of the points of the article...
    1) I was an Accounting major, my roommate (also on the UF teams) was an Aerospace Engineer major. The athlete I coached is an Engineering major. It can be done.
    2) Unlike other sports, our sports never stop. Cross-country in the fall, indoor track in the winter, outdoor track through the spring and into the summer. So it's inaccurate to say our sport takes less time than others. Between travel and practice all months of the school year, we had no breaks.
    3) GC #7 has it right- balancing the mental/ physical pressure of a sport and a tough major is daunting. But we did it. Others have too.
    4) It's completely false to say these athletes don't make $. My current athlete clears a few thousand each year.
    5) The author misses the crux of the problem as she completely exaggerates the particulars, but I agree there is an issue. It is this..From the time an athlete enters school, every voice he/she hears is about their sport. It would be VERY EASY to get lost in this and only concentrate on your sport. And many athletes do this.

    6) Once your eligibility is over, you have nothing from all your athletic efforts. There is a feeling of "Is that all" when you end your career.

    The first year after I graduated I kinda/sorta regretted my time as an athlete. It certainly hurt my grades, which hurt my employment prospects out of school. I thought I had made a mistake putting so much time/ effort/ energy into a sport that I did not continue past the age of 23. (Except as a hobby.)

    But as the years went by I could see how profitable those experiences were for me. While my grades suffered, I learned so much more about work ethic, handling pressure, working with others. The benefits were endless.
    And these benefits paid off in my career in a big way. And in other ways too. And then as a coach today.

    7) Being 50+ gives you perspective, and that's what this author misses. Let me explain.
    • I can see now that those 4 years were the best of my life.
    • The feeling of being able to do something better than 99.9% of the population was exhilarating.
    • Being flown to competitions all over the country, competing against the best athletes in the country, rubbing elbows with future Olympians, etc. was a priceless experience. (I knew 5 guys who ended up competing in the Olympics while at UF. Most of them teammates.)
    • And then finally competing, and winning, an SEC title as we did my senior year at UF is as precious to me as anything on earth- outside my children/grandchildren. It means that much to me today.
    • And to think I got paid for doing this- it took all I had to be a Gator but it was the best deal ever.

    Conclusion
    So are there things that are fixable- YES!!!
    But are NCAA athletics the best thing going? Absolutely.

    I'm so grateful I got to be a part of it- especially as a Gator.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  13. BobK89

    BobK89 GC Hall of Fame

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    Myron Rolle?
     
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  14. 62gator

    62gator GC Hall of Fame

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    Coaches are working in their chosen profession, many labored for years working their way through the ranks at different levels. Just like every profession, their compensation is determined by the market. Are their salaries rising at an alarming rate, yes I would agree with that. It's absurd! The never ending out of control massive arms race is alarming, it's what may eventually cripple college football, imho. Pay for play will be the other death knell. I personally hope it never happens.

    fwiw, cut the cable/sat cord. I did over 4yrs ago, one of the best things I've ever done. I haven't missed anything and I have been able to watch every football game I want to see on alternative avenues. Nearly everything on "cable" is nothing but mind pollution, pure crap.
     
  15. sflagator

    sflagator Premium Member Trusted GC Insider

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    Reading this thread I’m getting the feeling most people here don’t know, and have possibly not had a recent conversation with, a college football player. There are a lot of tired tropes in here (the no male role model one is particularly silly and kind of racist) too.

    I’m not going to convince anyone but I’d offer two points: first just because someone enjoys what they are doing and gets a benefit from it, that doesn’t make it equitable. Second, just because someone is living your fantasy, that doesn’t mean it’s a good situation.
     
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  16. sflagator

    sflagator Premium Member Trusted GC Insider

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    Myron Rolle has a legit genius level IQ - most of us do not.
     
  17. BobK89

    BobK89 GC Hall of Fame

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    Not disagreeing. I thought he was the Rhodes Scholar who was looking go to to med school
     
  18. sflagator

    sflagator Premium Member Trusted GC Insider

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    They should get paid more too
     
  19. SeabudGator

    SeabudGator GC Hall of Fame

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    Everybody talks about "markets" but what about the contrived college sports business market? Kids cannot get their worth until they go to school for some prescribed period of time even though they would get hired by the pros (no, this is not med school where some minimum education matters - you think the NFL requires some level of literacy!!!).

    The comparison to Jim Crow is ridiculous, but that does not make the unbalanced system any less fair. Colleges have turned revenue making sports into businesses. From WesGators chart, football players spend 43 hours/week on football - and less than 5% will go pro. Too much money in the system for this not to get legally challenged.

    Couple points. I am not addressing non-revenue sports where, largely, students understand that the sport is a path to another career. That is fine. Also, almost every example given in this thread is of a player who works is a non-scholarship, non-starter athlete. Yes, the rare exception like Myron Rolle exists, but that does not address the bigger picture. Actually, my biggest issues here are:
    - medical insurance for injuries suffered. These kids should have some type of disability policy. The SMU kid that got paralyzed playing and got no help is shameful given the money in the system.
    - admission of kids that have NO business at the university. We spend huge resources getting and keeping kids eligible while many smart, deserving kids get little assistance to go to college.

    In any event, not that big a deal for two reasons. First, they system will crumble under the weight of its hypocrisy. You simply can't continue paying ridiculous salaries to coaches and administrators and artificially limit options for people in the market. Dropping the charade of student athlete in revenue producing sports would be a fair start.
     
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  20. oleg8r

    oleg8r Junior

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    I don't know what the point is, and don't really care. My grandson, runs cross country and track. He is out there almost every day of the year running somewhere between 10 and 15 miles, for a 1/3 scholarship. In the off seasons, and during school breaks, he is also working. His twin sister is playing Div III soccer--no scholarship. I don't know how her practice time, and off-season conditioning compare, but during her 16 game season, and during the off-season she is also working at least one job.
    There are no tutors; no training table; no charter flights; and no pro prospects for these kids. They work their fannies off and compete for the love of the sport. No one should sell them short. (By the way, their schools do not get rich off of football revenue.)

    Any kid who does not want to play any sport for the love of the game--and to get a free education, with benefits-- is free to go to work; or like some of us, join up and earn your degree through sweat equity. Uncle Sam has some interesting programs.

    The issue of coach's compensation is a different matter, and irrelevant to the question of whether college athletics should be turned into minor league pro sports.
     
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