Monday, November 17, 2003

College athletics, and the problems therein
Salon.com News | King Kaufman's Sports Daily
King Kaufman has a great perspective on the world of sports, and he's a wonderfully skilled writer. Today's column is especially worth reading if you are concerned about NCAA athletics, which I am. [This column requires a day pass to read, but it's well worth looking at a click-through ad.] My thoughts on sports have become increasingly negative, to the point where I've greatly deemphesized them in my life. I think that the NBA especially really needs to put together a quality developmental league for all those 17-20 year olds who really have no place going to college, but who need to develop before taking any realistic stab at the pro's. That alone would clean up college sports tremendously, because those kids that don't want to be in college (eg Maurice Clarett) could get paid a reasonable sum and not pretend to give a damn about Philosophy 101. The kids who still go to college would be slightly more genuine students for not having chosen minor league hoops. This seems to work in baseball and hockey just fine, and despite the popularity of those sports in our society, they don't seem to be rotten spots on college campuses. Football is a little trickier. There are places in this country where Saturday football is part of the fabric of life. Columbus, Lincoln, Ann Arbor, & South Bend come to mind. These places are too invested to just walk away. The stadiums are bigger than any NFL stadiums. (like the 20 biggest football stadiums in the country are at schools.) If I come up with any solutions, I'll post them here.

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