I just read a column on Grio about the racism of college athletics. No, not for using young black men. No, not for not getting them that fat NBA contract or NFL signing bonus. For using their images in a video game without compensating them. This is what is advocated as advancement for blacks?
How about getting the NCAA to graduate a few more of its players rather than tossing them aside after their eligibility expires?
The last I checked, these are supposed to be educational institutions. What are these universities doing to help these young men (almost always from impoverished backgrounds) graduate with degrees and succeed in society? Graduation rates are well below even 30% in many major schools – they should be ashamed of such pathetic figures. Yet, they're not, and nobody calls them on it.
The happy few will go on to NFL and NBA careers (and most of those won’t make the ‘star’ level money), but what about the rest?
These men are tossed away like useless rags once their eligibility is over, while universities rake in millions. Even the best sports careers last but a few precious years, and for many of these men, they don’t happen at all. Injury and the next rookie in line will end their livelihood, and then what? For many of these young men, the answer to that question is a sorry one indeed.
And where does all that money go?
It seems few of the high visibility schools give a damn about these young men and do nothing to help them, and the NCAA, for all its hollow preaching, is even worse. I love sports as much as the next guy does, but is the cost in young lives worth it? Maurice Clarett (or fill in the name of the latest former NCAA star you’ve recently read about being arrested) could be the poster boy for this failed system; what are schools doing to prevent more like him? Sadly, not a whole hell of a lot.
I realize there is some degree of personal responsibility on their part, but how can we expect much when so many of these boys are coddled through a system that now ranks even high-school teams on a national basis, and players are allowed to slide through with no emphasis on education?
School should be about learning, not sports. Sport has its place and its value, but not at the price these young men pay in the long term.
How about getting the NCAA to graduate a few more of its players rather than tossing them aside after their eligibility expires? And how about the NAACP ceasing to tacitly support such a disgrace?