12-Year-Olds Shut Out Thanks To UW-Madison Football Program


I read with amazement a news story today concerning young and eager kids who want a first job experience while having the chance  to see a college football game.  A game, it was noted, that most of the kids would not be able to see otherwise due to economic reasons.

I can not but help think that with all the’ wise men and women’ who make up the UW sports administration that there was not some way to make sure that young and eager faces were not able to continue selling pop and peanuts.  Shame on the UW for making a cold-hearted call!

Somewhere along the line college sports started to be big business, and let me add to the growing list of others who know it does not make for a good look.

Shane Ryan hawked Cokes in the cheap seats of Camp Randall Stadium during  Wisconsin Badgers football games last season, an exhausting but thrilling first  job for the 12-year-old.

When the Badgers kick off their season on Saturday, there will be no Cokes —  and no Ryan. The university’s new vendor, Learfield Levy Foodservice LLC, will  sell exclusively soft drinks from the Dr  Pepper Snapple Group and has stopped a decades-long practice of hiring local  middle-schoolers and high schoolers to sell them in the stands.

The change means a program that provided a first job for generations of  Madison teens — and a way into football games that would otherwise be out of  reach financially — is over.

Be at least 12 years old. Pick up a work permit from your school for $10.  Wear the yellow top issued to you. Show up for at least six games a year. Arrive  two hours early.

Hawk with a smile.

The pay was commission-based with tips — top earners brought home a bit more  than $100 a game — and it came with the added bonus of watching games inside the  bowl once the sellling was done in the fourth quarter.

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