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January 2, 2012

Time for some second thoughts on college sports: giving up on college football and paying (football and basketball) athletes

Atlantic Yards Report

It's time for some second thoughts on big-time college sports, including the sport that feeds the NBA and the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.

In his year-end column for The Nation, 2011: The Year I Learned to Hate College Football, Dave Zirin wrote:

In a decade of sports writing, I’ve always used a very basic framework: don’t reject sports, reclaim it. In other words, no matter how greedy, hateful, or ugly sports become, you fight for it to change. No matter how many publicly funded stadiums or Redskin logos, or how much sexist doggerel is expectorated by the athletic industrial complex, you remember what you love about sports. You stand your ground and never forget the fun, fellowship and artistry these games have the potential to produce. That’s been my framework, until now.

...It’s not just because the bowl season has turned into an orgy of commercial branding that would shame a NASCAR event... It’s not the ugly use of football to sell the business of war...

This year I was broken by just how disgusting the institution of college football has become.

Zirin pointed to the scandals at Ohio State University and the University of Miami, where, as a result of the "hypocritical" system, athletes were slammed for extracting "modest compensation," then Penn State University "and the way the economic, social and cultural imperatives of big-time college football were put ahead of the safety and welfare of small children." Finally, Ohio State hired free agent head coach Urban Meyer for $24 million over six years.

link

Posted by steve at January 2, 2012 4:23 PM