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The Student-Athlete Business

College athletics are supposed to be for amateurs, but these games literally make millions for their schools.  BYU receives approximately $5 million per year just so ESPN can televise their football games.  Coaches of amateur college athletes can make millions.  Many of “student-athletes are unprepared for college, and recruited for their athletic ability, not their academic ability.  Why do we require athletes to be students?  Should we be paying college athletes?  Should they even go to school at all?  Dr. Darron Smith of the University of Memphis has some interesting opinions on this topic.

If you look at college athletics, it’s a business model.  They need workers, these players are workers.  If they graduate, great!  Fantastic!  But if they don’t, great!  Let’s get the next chump.  It’s a business, and business has to have employees and so let’s pay them.  I’m all for that.  I’m all for unionization.  Why not?  By the time a football player is 20 years old, they’re already having signs of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a chronic brain injury.)

If universities recruit troubled athletes, what are their responsibilities?  And should colleges be recruiting students with police records?

These guys probably had a mood disorder, probably had anger problems, probably was ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder.)  ADD can cause significant impulsivity, significant anger issues, fly off the handle, not knowing how to cope with the vicissitudes of life.  These young men have seen things that their more privileged counterparts have not seen and faced, so yeah they come with trauma.

The university should be prepared for that, should have crisis management ready for when these young men.

In this episode, we’re going to look at college athletics in general.  In our next episode, we’ll look more closely at how does BYU handles its student-athletes, especially black athletes.  What is your opinion on college athletics?

The Student-Athlete Business


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