Friday, February 8, 2013

"The Shame of College Sports"

I am currently reading an anthology, "The Best American Sportswriting 2012" (available a few weeks ago for $1.99 as a Kindle "Deal of the Day"!), and included was a story called "The Shame of College Sports" by Taylor Branch.  This is a very lengthy article that appeared in the August 2011 issue of The Atlantic.  While it is a long article, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of sports, and, particularly, college sports.  

It goes to great length exposing what a hypocritical and self-serving organization the NCAA is, how they have used the oxymoronic term student-athlete for their own selfish purposes, and how the very last people they care about and serve are all of the student-athletes themselves.  It may make you feel just a bit different whenever the NCAA airs all of those cloying commercials during the NCAA basketball tournament this coming March.

Check it out here:

1 comment:

  1. Amidst my travels back in 2011 I paged through an issue of Atlantic Monthly at an airport somewhere and came across this article. I bought the magazine and devoured it. It provided great historical insight and caused me to develop another sports mantra of which I have many. You know that one of my mantras is as follows: "From professional athletes I seek neither wisdon nor virtue and because of this I am rarely disappointed."

    After reading this article I developed another mantra that goes as follows: "College sports is the singular vice in my life that I know is fairly indecent perhaps even immoral, but one that I feel powerless to change. I have neither the authority, sincere interest or the will to do so." There you have it. My genuine feelings about college sports. It's got an evil side, but I LOVE it.

    In the instance cited in the article, the now infamous Penn State President Graham Spanier, a holier than thou type if there ever was one asked a simple question. A similar one however could have come from me or any number of us. I could have asked "Why should I be interested in college sports when I know it is essentially a King without any clothes?" And Vaccaro could have responded in kind as he did with Spanier: "You shouldn't sir, but you've already sold your soul and you won't stop yourself from buying what the colleges are selling." Amen! I am guilty as charged and so are the vast majority of men in the US. At least I admit it.