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Dr. FLK

Imagine How Studly College BBall Could Be:

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Dwight Howard would be a senior. Chris Paul could be a senior. Can you imagine what those two guys would be doing to the NCAA right now?

(EDIT: CP3 might be gone this year, right? Either way...you get my point!)

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In a perfect world, kids would be required to stay in school for all 4 years. Unfortunately, it'll never happen. It would be really awesome if it did though. The level of competition in college basketball would be amazing.

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In a perfect world, kids would be required to stay in school for all 4 years. Unfortunately, it'll never happen. It would be really awesome if it did though. The level of competition in college basketball would be amazing.

I agree with you in the context of college basketball, but overall disagree. If you think about it, there is no natural link between higher education and athletics. IMO, it is ridiculous to force kids to go to college who don't want to be there. It's almost as ridiculous as accepting someone like Vince Young and pretending that he is a student.

P.S. I am admittedly a hypocrite on this issue because I am still a big college sports fan.

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I think there should just be an athletics degree for most schools and be done with it.

Athletes are training for a job just like business majors, or engineering majors, or music majors, or anyone else.

The hypocrisy here comes from schools and the NCAA, and to a lesser extent the fans and media, refusing to admit and embrace that fact, and instead making short- and hind-sighted attempts to prevent the unpreventable.

Do you think anyone questions the academic integrity of Harvard's computer science department because Bill Gates left school early?

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I think there should just be an athletics degree for most schools and be done with it.

Athletes are training for a job just like business majors, or engineering majors, or music majors, or anyone else.

The hypocrisy here comes from schools and the NCAA, and to a lesser extent the fans and media, refusing to admit and embrace that fact, and instead making short- and hind-sighted attempts to prevent the unpreventable.

Do you think anyone questions the academic integrity of Harvard's computer science department because Bill Gates left school early?

Actually, I do question Harvard's computer science department... because it is universally acknowledged as pretty crappy. Then again, it's probably tough to garner a good reputation in CS when you are right next to MIT. Regardless of my nitpick, great points all around.

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I too love college athletics, but my idea of a perfect world is one where the only athletes on campus are the ones interested in getting an education and the rest of the players their age, regardless of the talent, are playing professionally in minor leagues or majors if they are good enough. Imagine a world where college athletics is there purely for the enjoyment of the students who are attending the college.

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I too love college athletics, but my idea of a perfect world is one where the only athletes on campus are the ones interested in getting an education and the rest of the players their age, regardless of the talent, are playing professionally in minor leagues or majors if they are good enough. Imagine a world where college athletics is there purely for the enjoyment of the students who are attending the college.

As you acknowledge, it would probably be a world where college athletics aren't popular to a mainstream audience. Then athletic departments would likely start hemorrhaging money, causing colleges to cut back on athletic teams and programs.

Plus, when the team quality is bad enough, it is hard to watch or care. For example, Penn football has a really crappy turnout despite a great facility at Franklin Field and a pretty good historical athletic tradition. Even though I still go to the games, I have to admit it can be hard to watch when they are hardly more exciting than high school games.

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I agree with you in the context of college basketball, but overall disagree. If you think about it, there is no natural link between higher education and athletics. IMO, it is ridiculous to force kids to go to college who don't want to be there. It's almost as ridiculous as accepting someone like Vince Young and pretending that he is a student.

P.S. I am admittedly a hypocrite on this issue because I am still a big college sports fan.

I'd argue that there is a link between higher education and athletics. A ton of players that went pro from high school really could have used the maturity that they would gain in college. Also, for a lot of these guys, basketball is their ticket to a higher education. Plus, I'd assume that players that graduated or went to some college are more likely to be active in the community than guys right out of high school who are all about themselves.

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I'd argue that there is a link between higher education and athletics. A ton of players that went pro from high school really could have used the maturity that they would gain in college. Also, for a lot of these guys, basketball is their ticket to a higher education. Plus, I'd assume that players that graduated or went to some college are more likely to be active in the community than guys right out of high school who are all about themselves.

The way our system works, I agree that there is a link between higher education and athletics. But I'd argue that there is no natural link between the two when you stop and think about it. Why should colleges serve as essentially the minor leagues of basketball and football? I can't really come up with a solid argument to support that seemingly nonsensical relationship.

I'd argue that the guys that go pro out of high school lack maturity (if that's even the case) only because they are younger. I doubt that the coddling, lack of responsibility, and star treatment they would have received at college would in itself have made them more mature. It is true that for some people, basketball is a ticket to a higher education. However, those people are generally not the ones who want to go pro, and certainly not the ones who are talented enough to go pro out of high school. As for your last point, I honestly don't see the logic in the association between going to college and community activism.

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As you acknowledge, it would probably be a world where college athletics aren't popular to a mainstream audience. Then athletic departments would likely start hemorrhaging money, causing colleges to cut back on athletic teams and programs.

Plus, when the team quality is bad enough, it is hard to watch or care. For example, Penn football has a really crappy turnout despite a great facility at Franklin Field and a pretty good historical athletic tradition. Even though I still go to the games, I have to admit it can be hard to watch when they are hardly more exciting than high school games.

I would argue that who cares if it doesn't get much of an audience or make money? It should be a venue for students to enjoy themselves and participate in an activity they enjoy while in school. The departments would have to downsize to avoid bleeding money, but would not have to break even. I doubt most student activities on campus break even.

The real question is what is the point of college athletics? Is it a money maker, both in terms of sales and alumni support, or is it an activity for your students to enjoy while they are in school? If the answer is (A), you have the system you have now where the schools are beholden to the hypocrisy.

I know this will not change, but my alternative plan is for colleges to just sponsor semi-pro teams. "Hire" 13 guys between the ages of 18 and, say, 23, and have them play basketball representing the school. Heck, even throw in free tuition if they are interested. But don't require they go to school if it is only going to be for show.

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The way our system works, I agree that there is a link between higher education and athletics. But I'd argue that there is no natural link between the two when you stop and think about it. Why should colleges serve as essentially the minor leagues of basketball and football? I can't really come up with a solid argument to support that seemingly nonsensical relationship.

Colleges serve as the "minor leagues" for a thousand other types of job, too.

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The way our system works, I agree that there is a link between higher education and athletics. But I'd argue that there is no natural link between the two when you stop and think about it. Why should colleges serve as essentially the minor leagues of basketball and football? I can't really come up with a solid argument to support that seemingly nonsensical relationship.

Agree 100%. And funny how no one says the protege cellist who gets hired by the symphony at the age of 18 should have stayed in school to gain maturity. Frankly, thinking back to my college days I can't remember many friends to were mature after four years of college. :)

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I would argue that who cares if it doesn't get much of an audience or make money? It should be a venue for students to enjoy themselves and participate in an activity they enjoy while in school. The departments would have to downsize to avoid bleeding money, but would not have to break even. I doubt most student activities on campus break even.

The real question is what is the point of college athletics? Is it a money maker, both in terms of sales and alumni support, or is it an activity for your students to enjoy while they are in school? If the answer is (A), you have the system you have now where the schools are beholden to the hypocrisy.

I know this will not change, but my alternative plan is for colleges to just sponsor semi-pro teams. "Hire" 13 guys between the ages of 18 and, say, 23, and have them play basketball representing the school. Heck, even throw in free tuition if they are interested. But don't require they go to school if it is only going to be for show.

I agree with you, the current system is hypocritical. I really like your last idea about the semi-pro teams because otherwise, the quality of play would likely be too low to actually provide students with enjoyment.

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Yeah to be clear I don't really mean have it for the enjoyment of the spectator, I mean have it for the enjoyment of the student athlete. I would much rather my college field an athletic team made up of 13 guys who want to be businessmen, architects, lawyers OR professional basketball players here or in Europe and who are interested in an education to help them get to whatever that goal, than a team made up of 13 guys who don’t care about the education but are much more entertaining to watch play basketball.

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Colleges serve as the "minor leagues" for a thousand other types of job, too.

But usually those are jobs that require education or higher-order thinking. GeorgiaBird's example of a cellist is a good one, IMO.

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