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Should we privatize big-time college athletics?

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Replies to: Should we privatize big-time college athletics?

  • robb817robb817 Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    I am not sure what kind of colleges he was referring to, but that is not even close to being true.
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Registered User Posts: 1,975 Senior Member
    My biggest beef with Div I athletics in state funded schools is the influx of foreign students taking slots away from American students. This happens a lot in basketball and non-revenue sports, not so much in football. It really irks me to see, for instance, Polish nationals fencing at Penn State's elite program, when American kids, whose parents salaries pay the taxes which fund the college, can't make it on the team because they are not international champions, only state or even local champs.

    A long time homeschooling family, we don't think sports belong in schools at any level, grammar, middle or high school.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Registered User Posts: 24,693 Senior Member
    fencersmother, I think athletic programs get most (if not all) of their funding from their revenue sports (Football and Basketball) and from alumni support. I am fairly certain Alumni are more concerned with winning championships than with ensuring that US citizens are given preference in making the team. Furthermore, coaches' services are retained for winning games, so I would hope that, for the sake of self-preservation, they will recruit the best players possible.

    Finally, the difference in tuition costs between out-of-staters/international and in-statersis probably greater than the amount tax-payers pay toward college education budgets in their lifetime. Many public universities today rely as much on OOS tuition than on state funding.

    This said, I agree that athletes have to be held to a much, much, much higher standard. No legitimate college graduation, no professional career. Simple as that. Athletes (as well as musicians, models and actors) are big time role models. They should be held at a higher standard.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 39,294 Super Moderator
    "A long time homeschooling family, we don't think sports belong in schools at any level, grammar, middle or high school."

    Wow, that's a strong statement. Until I had an athletically-gifted child, I might have agreed with you. But now that my son has been running long distance for 5 years, I really disagree. He has been on the varsity XC and track teams since his first semester of high school. The discipline and SMARTS he has learned from running is almost indescribable. He will pull an all-nighter in AP Biology and tell me the next day, "Mom, that was NOTHING compared to doing my 10-mile run yesterday." Right now he is running at a national meet in New York City. Earlier today his team came in 11th in the 4xmile relay. A team from a small school in Maine! He'll get back late tomorrow night, and hit his studies hard the next day. Oh, yeah, and he passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on Thursday.

    I know a LOT of kids (boys in particular) who benefit greatly from being on teams. Teachers have told me that they LOVE having long-distance runners in their classes, because they work so hard.

    I'm glad homeschooling is working for you. Please understand, though, that school sports are vital for a lot of kids.

    So you have a child who is a fencer? Are you just saying that kids shouldn't play sports associated with their school, but a club is OK? I don't think I understand.
  • MaMooseMaMoose Registered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    I don't understand why Mr. Kravitz thinks the solution is to mix minor-league players and scholar-athletes on the same (college) teams.

    For the revenue-generating sports (i.e., typically football and men's basketball), it should be viable for the professionals (NFL, NBA) to support a minor league system. Then, a young athlete in those sports could choose to play either college or minor league ball. This dual-track system seems to work pretty well for baseball.

    What am I missing here? Yes, the quality of college play would be diluted since many of the talented players would opt for the minors (i.e., those for whom college is pretty much a farce). But would the college fans stop supporting the team and/or donating to the university? I mean, Harvard and Yale seem to do all right.
  • bessiebessie Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    Why would we make football and basketball players choose between their extra curricular activities and going to college? Will we then insist that all actors choose between college and auditioning for off broadway plays? And anyone in student government should choose between college and interning for their local senator? My child plays a revenue sport and he will not be a professional athlete. He will need his college degree just like 99.5% of all kids who play football or basketball in college.
  • hops_scouthops_scout Registered User Posts: 3,903 Senior Member
    This dual-track system seems to work pretty well for baseball.

    Oh yeah, it works real well. You must not know too much about the details of minor league baseball.. the very small salaries, the living conditions, the spring training w/o a paycheck, etc.

    I can only imagine what it would be like if football or basketball added anything near what baseball has. Football has had the NFL Europe and basketball has the D League. Not quite the same, but those were/are "minor leagues" for their respective sport.
  • MaMooseMaMoose Registered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    I certainly wouldn't argue that minor league baseball is a glamorous life, but I did think it offered a viable path to the major league for talented players who aren't college material.

    I don't know how viable it is for a 17-year-old American kid to go play football in Europe... do/did they use NFL Europe for that or for players that got "bumped down" from pro teams and hoped to get bumped back up?

    Yeah, the salaries for minor league are pretty bad... I found these from back in 2004:
    Class AAA--First year: $2,150/month, after first year no less than $2,150/month
    Class AA-First year: $1,500/month, after first year no less than $1,500/month
    Class A (full season)--First year: $1,050/month, after first year no
    less than $1,050/month

    But still... I'm not convinced that a minor league system is worse that making college ball the only viable pathway to the pros. Would anyone say that a young actor HAS to go to college? A young musician or painter?

    I trust your better judgment regarding the current minor league system, hops_scout, but is the college-only solution really better?
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