Archive for the ‘NCAA’ category

Missouri Post Ferguson

November 10, 2015

The past few days have witnessed a surprising drama on the campus of the University of Missouri. Briefly, a large portion of the student body lead by the men’s football team demanded the resignation of the University President (or else the football team would not play in its next game). Game cancelation would come with a $1 million penalty for Missouri. Yesterday the President resigned along with the Chancellor. Hmmm.

News reports indicate the protests were about discrimination and the apparent lack of concern exhibited by the University to combat the alleged discriminatory or racist incidents. Like Ferguson, African American students claimed the otherwise “white” institution did not care about “blackness”. Hmmm.

In the upcoming days and weeks more information will come forward and a more coherent picture should emerge. Discrimination and racism are denounced in all major universities including Missouri. One question about Missouri will be what de facto policies (or lack of policies) existed to cause the student body to rise up and demand the President’s resignation.

While that story develops there are three big yellow (which may later turn red) flags to consider.

Student leaders cited several recent incidents where the President did not personally address the concerns and complaints of “some” African American students. For these students lack of a President’s statement translated into a lack of interest or concern. It is not hard to see the perceived connection between no concern and unacceptability as President.

Most university President’s are hired and retained by how well they do in “growing the university” and even more importantly, how much outside funding the University and its endowment funds attract. In other words, the President’s job is tied to money.

Sports reputation, academic recognition, and a growing student population are all marked as signs of a successful President but normally at Universities the size of Missouri, the operations of these programs are overseen by others.

Does this incident mark a change in university President’s remit?

The NCAA and all other Division 1 “big time” football and basketball programs do not need to drink any coffee today. The Missouri incident has gotten their attention. Student athletes can unite, refuse to play unless certain demands are met, and bring Universities to their knees.

The current money making juggernaut called the NCAA could be out of business in weeks if the “student athletes” on Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, and Baylor said “pay us or we won’t play”. Hmmm.

Lastly and the most difficult is the quandary over what have the University of Missouri African American students just won? Will they be free of further discrimination or racist motivated slights? Will these students be more prepared to enter the greater work place and win in the work place with superior problem solving, steadier emotional IQ, and harder work than their competition? Will the resignation in someway set these protester on a path to success in life?

Every road has forks where one can take one path at the expense of not talking the other. The University of Missouri, like all other schools of higher learning is standing at a fork.  Will they recognize that universities should be about learning? Sports are nice, beautiful campuses are a plus, and charismatic university Presidents are well received. Without preparing the student to survive, thrive, and succeed in real life, the University has failed. Let’s hope the University of Missouri makes the most of this situation and that other universities and organizations adjust before they meet their “protestors”.

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Sports Hypocrisy In Plain Sight

February 22, 2015

Kurt Busch has joined the list of professional athletes who have been penalized for the good of the whole. Similarly to Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson and Baltimore’s Ray Rice, Busch was suspended on the basis of abuse charges by his former girl friend. The Nascar organization stepped forward and said Busch’s behavior was out of bounds and an indefinite suspension was in order. Hmmm.

This is the same Nascar that weekly features 200 mile per hour racing where kissing the leading cars rear bumper (and spinning it out of control) seems almost manufactured for fan entertainment. So whose behavior is more dangerous?

The answer most likely is “who cares”. The Nascar organization’s response is motivated to prevent the world of “PC speak” from disparaging the racing organization’s image and in some way hurting TV revenues.

It’s all about money. What say Adrian and Ray?

The NCAA has just as huge an hypocrisy coming towards center stage right now. In the world of “student athletes”, the University of Kentucky’s mens basketball team is a scandal waiting to happen. Kentucky has figured out a way to recruit a freshman championship quality team year after year.  Kentucky is forced to recruit a new squad each year because their champion players all elect to go to the NBA following one year at Kentucky.

So what’s the pending scandal?

Does anyone think that these student athletes attend any meaningful classes? How many of these students even complete their freshman year? And who cares?

The real scandal of pro-football, pro-racing, and the top level of amateur level NCAA is that they have found ways to generate huge earnings by providing the spectator a riveting and exciting sport products, and sometimes those ways are incompatible with either the world around them.

Spousal abuse is adherent to be sure, but there are laws and a criminal process to prosecute abusers. The NCAA is quick to punish even the slightest benefit that may go to an athlete, even those who come from the poorest of homes. While the NCAA is raking in dollars, it seems to have no problem looking the other way when Kentucky fields an entirely new crop of outstanding athletes each year.

Kentucky appears to makes no effort to guide these students on an academic path.

Sooner or later, the PC police will pounce upon this academically inconsistent behavior and make the University and its coach, John Caliper the villains. Unlike Rice, Peterson, and Busch, there is no criminal process to make judgement on Kentucky. There is only the court of business profits to weigh in on Kentucky’s propriety.