17 September 2011

On The Backs of Others

The US is the only country whose institutions of higher learning host high-revenue sporting events. Major NCAA sports in the US comprise a cesspool of unseemly capitalism.

An archaic rationalization for these unseemly collegiate enterprises is the delusional sentimentality of Roman poet Juvenal's classical ideal of
Mens sana in corpore sano—a sound mind in a sound body.
In Atlantic article The Shame of College Sports, Taylor Branch writes,
Corporations and universities enriching themselves on the backs of uncompensated young men, whose status as “student-athletes” deprives them of the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution—is to catch an unmistakable whiff of the plantation.
Student-athletes are given lottery tickets with a chance to make millions. NCAA athletes at major universities are not slaves. If collegiate athletes don't find donating their time to the university sports enterprise to their liking, they are free to leave their sport and leave their studies behind — albeit to join the long lines of the unemployed.

Branch also writes,
The tragedy at the heart of college sports is not that some college athletes are getting paid, but that more of them are not.
Mens sana in corpore sano is a noble ideal, but let's cut the shit. Corporations enrich themselves using free labor. Student-athletes should be paid a suitably proportional wage via a collective bargaining agreement between the university and the athlete.

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