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Should we privatize big-time college athletics?

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2432 discussionsCC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,924 Senior Member
edited March 2009 in Athletic Recruits
"Academics or athletics?...Athletes are exploited; admission standards corrupted and taxpayer resources diverted. The NCAA...recently [gave] an OK for colleges to contact prospects in grammar school!" Opinion piece.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/401257_sportsonline25.html
edited March 2009
68 replies
Post edited by Dave_Berry on
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Replies to: Should we privatize big-time college athletics?

  • 'rentof2'rentof2 4274 replies53 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,327 Senior Member
    There is a basketball player at Duke who comes from our area. This is a low population part of the world and we only very rarely have high school athletes recruited to big league, high-profile DI teams. So although we're about as far as you can get from Duke, the local evening news always covers the Duke basketball team with special focus on the hometown hero. This guy will definitely have a pro career after college.

    A few months ago when he was back home to visit his family during a break, he did an in-studio interview with one of the local TV anchors. He was asked how he balances athletics and academics, and he said "I went to Duke to play basketball, and I don't let anything interfere with that." Then the anchor (still laboring under the obvious misperception that there was any academics involved) asked about his classes. The player says, "Well, there is this art studio class I found that I like. It's fun working with clay and stuff. But the coaches are really good about keeping everyone's focus where it should be, on playing basketball." Anyway, the interview went on like that and didn't really hit its stride until the local anchor stopped asking about anything academic and just asked about athletics.

    I wasn't surprised so much, but the baldness of the kid's answers left me a little dumbfounded. I don't have any problem with a talented athlete like that giving his focus solely to basketball, but what that has to do with the "university" part of Duke University, I don't know. It's clear it's just a farm team for the pros. Why don't they just do it like baseball and call it what it is?
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  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 2385 replies96 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,481 Senior Member
    Kyle Singler? You are right. He was unusually blunt in that TV interview. Sounds like he missed one of his media relations classes. The surprise here -- based only on its national academic reputation -- is that it's Duke we're talking about.
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  • BigGBigG 3729 replies156 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,885 Senior Member
    Duke does it like it does it because it is a private entity and can do pretty much as it pleases. If Duke University wants to make urban forestry the focus of the University, then they can do that.

    The real question is ; Why do mid-level state schools maintain programs that run in the red decade after decade?

    Big state schools conduct atheletic programs to make money and they do.
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  • MaMooseMaMoose 262 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 263 Junior Member
    I have wondered why football and basketball couldn't have a dual-track system like baseball does. If a young player isn't interested in college, he can enter the farm system (minor leagues); if the player does want to pursue both his sport and a college education, then he can play college ball on scholarship.

    Yes, this would dilute the quality of play at the college level, but it would impact all schools similarly... plus it seems plenty of school are able to maintain fierce fan loyalty even in the absence of Division IA play.
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  • gadadgadad 7471 replies301 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,772 Senior Member
    The NCAA didn't give permission to contact prospects in grammar school. Since coaches had started the practice of making contact with pre-high school athletes, the NCAA extended its regulations to cover pre-high school communications. This spin is comparable to the argument that sex education initiatives have OK'd premarital sex when they promote the use of condoms among young people who are already sexually active.
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  • icfireballicfireball 308 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 317 Member
    College athletics is as much a gateway for personal development and career opportunities as college academics is. Certain people are academically talented and they will go into careers where they utilize their academic skills. Some people who are athletically talented and will earn a livelihood by going pro in sports. It should also be noted that the vast majority of collegiate athletes go pro in something other than sports, evidence that athletes aren't just in college for sports.

    More importantly, in my opinion, consider the benefits athletics has on the collegiate institution. People say that a lot of money is spent on sports, which is undoubtedly true, but what isn't usually considered is the positive correlation between a school's athletics team and school identity and loyalty. The influence of an alumni's loyalty with regard to their contributions to their school is obvious and incalculable.
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  • hops_scouthops_scout 3853 replies50 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,903 Senior Member
    Why do mid-level state schools maintain programs that run in the red decade after decade?

    Why do schools have drama departments and bands? Do ANY of them ever make a profit for the University?

    If we are going to privatize one non-academic part of a University, we gotta privatize the other stuff too..
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  • BigGBigG 3729 replies156 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,885 Senior Member
    Good point hops_scout. Eliminate program after program and eventually everything is gone, the ultimate cost saving. Just grant degrees for a small fee.
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  • NerdyUSCgurlNerdyUSCgurl 331 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 362 Member
    See and the irony of this is time and time again, these star athletes like the football players and basketball players get all this special treatment but yet still complain and act ungrateful to everything. They still complain and whine about everything. How much can you whine about when you're getting a free education and on top of that everything you can possibly have too!! I truly don't understand this... not only that but they seem to get into the biggest trouble too which I don't get.... This truly saddens me when people like this have everything they have but want more talk about being ungrateful...
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  • hops_scouthops_scout 3853 replies50 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,903 Senior Member
    NerdyUSCgurl, you apparently do not understand what the lives of those athletes are like. Especially at a school like yours (I'm guessing USC is either Southern Cal or South Carolina). Heck, even at small directional school where both teams are pretty bad, athletics pretty well control their lives.

    And I'll bet they don't get in as much trouble has you think. It is just that when they do, it gets magnified. If any other student were to do those things, it doesn't even get mentioned.
    Just grant degrees for a small fee.

    Problem is what degrees are you going to be granting? Mine couldn't be and either could my roommate's if we were to do away with those "extra" programs.
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  • gadadgadad 7471 replies301 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,772 Senior Member
    ". . . these star athletes like the football players and basketball players get all this special treatment but yet still complain and act ungrateful to everything."

    Who complains and acts ungrateful? I'm sure there are some out there who do, just as there are certainly some ungrateful academic scholarship recipients, but you're making a case that this is the norm rather than the exception? Frankly, no particularly prominent cases of ungratefulness come to mind for me. On the contrary, most of the scholarship athletes I've known and with whom I'm familiar are passionately loyal to their schools and express appreciation whenever they have an audience. If your perspective is only USC, it's important to note that USC is probably a very atypical college athletic setting - USC's athletic program (especially football, in the absence of a Los Angeles NFL team) is very connected to the Hollywood scene and may tend to draw some especially large egos.

    As far as Kyle Singler, I'd guess that his response would be about the same as ones that you'd receive from many students in BFA Theatre programs who are planning on heading for Broadway auditions once they finish their college training.
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  • ModadunnModadunn 6178 replies85 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,263 Senior Member
    I'm sure there are some out there who do, just as there are certainly some ungrateful academic scholarship recipients...

    I know plenty of academics who are in school getting their masters or phd on full rides and LOATHE being a teaching assistant let alone teaching a class. There are self serving people wherever you go.
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  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell 2279 replies15 discussionsUser Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    Big state schools conduct atheletic programs to make money and they do.

    I used to have a link showing the most major conference athletic programs lost money. IIRC, it was less than 10 schools that made more than $1 million in profit in 2006, even after alumni donations, meanwhile there were over 100 teams in D-I that lost more than $1 million.

    And even the teams that made money had to collect $100 per student in student athletic fees.
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  • ISPstudentISPstudent 1 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I was wondering what prestige university’s (preferably an Ivy) has a designer program. I’m interested in clothes designing, and I would like to research about the university and see what I need to do to get into it.

    If you would help that would be great :)
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  • 3togo3togo 5218 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited February 2009
    Duke does it like it does it because it is a private entity and can do pretty much as it pleases.
    This is far from true ... at least if they are playing by NCAA rules. By NCAA rules student athletes need to meet a minimum number of courses, meet a minimum GPA, and be making progress towards gradutation to stay eligible to play sports. These standards are not incredibly difficult. However someone can not show up at Duke and take only basket weaving and wine tasting in the fall and then play hoops during the winter. I have no doubt athletes are steered to easier majors and courses ... and that at some schools grades are altered ... however they do need to do some minimum of school work to be eligible to play.
    edited February 2009
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