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Dr. FLK

Imagine How Studly College BBall Could Be:

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Why restrict them in college? If I'm a mass communications major and have the opportunity to work for a major newspaper, I can.

I would take some of the money made by the schools and give it to the athletes who play, just like any other student that gets a job, on- or off-campus.

I think we actually agree on most of the major ideological points, but I just have a more radical solution.

I personally believe that there should be minor leagues for basketball and football, and that the players in those leagues should have the freedom to do whatever they want, including taking college courses if they so choose.

If we wanted to keep the system similar to what it is now, colleges could sponsor the minor league teams so that they play their home games in the facilities on campus and make a deal to somehow split the revenues. They could also set up a program so that the athletes can choose to take classes for free. But overall the colleges and teams would be separate entities, so athletes wouldn't be forced to take classes (or pretend to take classes) or enroll in the university. That would allow universities to avoid the self-deluded hypocrisy of accepting certain "student-athletes," while at the same time giving athletes more freedom to do what they want and possibly make money outside of the insane NCAA regulations.

Essentially, the idea that the NBA can force kids to go to college for a year seems absurd to me.

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This all can be boiled down to a question of whether the school should be beholden to the athletic department, or the other way around. Truth is schools large and small are beholden and in many ways afraid of the athletic department and addicted to the revenue it provides, and look the other way on a lot of things.

To use one example, and BTerp I don't use this to pick on your school. At various points in my life I have drank with Gary Williams and gone to church with the Fridge, and I think the world of both men. But a few years ago (not going to say football or basketball or say who it involved) there was a situation with a recruit where the recruit got into a fight with students over a girl and the student ended up in the hospital and the recruit in jail. An assistant coach showed up at the jail with an offer... I have the bail money, but I also have a letter of intent. Now, how do you feel about our school? The recruit signed and had a great career.

No matter how much you love sports, and no matter how much you enjoy pulling for your teams, it has to get you a bit that things like that are happening and guys like that are representing your degree and your long-term reputation in the workplace.

And I don't for a minute mean to say that it only happens in big schools. My school was no where near BCS. And even there the lax team and basketball team got their own dorms and locker rooms and flew to games, while sports like crew and golf, which were NCAA participants and not just clubs, had to hold teeshirt sales and other fund raisers just to pay for the equipment they needed to compete. The school's answer was simple: We give our money to the ones who bring in more than they cost. And that is a respectable answer. But understand that the second that is your policy, you are in it for the money and not for the student experience. And at that moment from that policy you start down the slope of being beholden to the athletic department.

Really the only answer is to divorce athletics from the school. And we all know there is too much cash on the line for that to happen, so it is a moot discussion.

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I personally believe that there should be minor leagues for basketball and football, and that the players in those leagues should have the freedom to do whatever they want, including taking college courses if they so choose.

Well said. It always strikes me as funny when folks talk about the horrors of a bigger NBA development league or minor league system. The horror is that suddenly the only kids in college registered as students are the ones who actually want to be in college getting an education. I can think of worse horrors than that.

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This all can be boiled down to a question of whether the school should be beholden to the athletic department, or the other way around. Truth is schools large and small are beholden and in many ways afraid of the athletic department and addicted to the revenue it provides, and look the other way on a lot of things.

To use one example, and BTerp I don't use this to pick on your school. At various points in my life I have drank with Gary Williams and gone to church with the Fridge, and I think the world of both men. But a few years ago (not going to say football or basketball or say who it involved) there was a situation with a recruit where the recruit got into a fight with students over a girl and the student ended up in the hospital and the recruit in jail. An assistant coach showed up at the jail with an offer... I have the bail money, but I also have a letter of intent. Now, how do you feel about our school? The recruit signed and had a great career.

Gist? (Just based on the timeline and the "great career", nothing more, so I expect to be completely wrong.)

No matter how much you love sports, and no matter how much you enjoy pulling for your teams, it has to get you a bit that things like that are happening and guys like that are representing your degree and your long-term reputation in the workplace.

And I don't for a minute mean to say that it only happens in big schools. My school was no where near BCS. And even there the lax team and basketball team got their own dorms and locker rooms and flew to games, while sports like crew and golf, which were NCAA participants and not just clubs, had to hold teeshirt sales and other fund raisers just to pay for the equipment they needed to compete. The school's answer was simple: We give our money to the ones who bring in more than they cost. And that is a respectable answer. But understand that the second that is your policy, you are in it for the money and not for the student experience. And at that moment from that policy you start down the slope of being beholden to the athletic department.

Really the only answer is to divorce athletics from the school. And we all know there is too much cash on the line for that to happen, so it is a moot discussion.

Exactly. Athletics brings in SO much money to the schools; even if it stays within and solely finances the athletic department, it frees up money to be used elsewhere, plus brings in both donors and new students.

No matter what the schools' "missions" might be, or whether they are private or public, profit or non-profit, they are all trying to get as much money as they can. Anything that will help them at that goal will be used, especially athletics.

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