University of Missouri Story And College Football
Once again Jason Gay proves why he is the only sports columnist I read.
I have been consistent about what I think is the downside to college athletes being treated as it they are mini-professionals. After all they are in college and still maturing. They should not be seen as nothing more than money-makers for any college or university. But since those who agree with me seem to be a minority it then makes sense to think of the players as having clout. The type of clout we saw this weekend in Missouri.
We’ve grown accustomed to the dollars and obsessiveness surrounding these games—the ridiculous coach-as-celebrity worship, the lucrative sponsorship arrangements, the spectacle of grown adults on TV shouting at each other all day over the successes and mistakes of young men still learning on the job. The polite illusion of amateurism has long been shattered; the spectacle has literally become a multibillion dollar industry. We can’t be OK with players being used to promote that spectacle and not OK with players turning around and using the spectacle for themselves. Likewise, we can’t endorse the notion of “student-athlete” and then ask athletes to remove themselves from campus life. We don’t get to say how the power of college sports can be deployed. (I would say hang on for athletes to start using their leverage to take a bigger piece of the financial pie, but that skewed system is already under siege.)