Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If you're a big college sports fan...

...then you probably shouldn't read Joe Nocera in the New York Times or Melinda Henneberger in the Washington Post. (You may get disillusioned.)

Nocera has been criticizing the NCAA and its treatment of athletes for some time now. In his column today, he laments the role of big money in college sports:

The annual IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, held last week in Midtown Manhattan, is the kind of meeting where football games are routinely described as “product,” television networks are “distribution channels,” and rooting for State U. is an example of “brand loyalty.” The university presidents, conference commissioners, athletic directors and corporate marketers who attend spend very little time mouthing the usual pieties about how the “student-athlete” comes first. Rather, they gather each year to talk bluntly about making money.

Henneberger, for her part, is a Notre Dame alumna who is uncomfortable with the way her alma mater has handled some recent sex scandals. From her piece, "Why I won't be cheering for old Notre Dame" (her emphasis):

What’s really surprising me are those who believe as I do that two players on the team have committed serious criminal acts – sexual assault in one case, and rape in another — but assumed that I’d support the team anyway, just as they are.

“Aren’t you just a little bit excited?” one asked the other day. There are plenty of good guys on the team, too, I’m repeatedly told. And oh, that Manti Te'o is inspiring. I don’t doubt it. But as a thought exercise, how many predators would have to be on the team before you’d no longer feel like cheering?

On second thought, if you're a big college sports fan, maybe you should read these two reporters. 

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