Saturday, November 27, 2010

{Problems in Collegiate Sport}

            Although athletics in college has many beneficial aspects, there are also some shortcomings that need to be brought into the light. From lecture in KIN 347 we learned that student athletes at Texas have very dismal ratings in their Graduate Success Rates (GSR), Federal Gradation Rate (FGR), and their Academic Progress Rate (APR).  While some of this is accounted for because of athletes moving onto the professional level, for the vast majority of student athletes this is not the case. I understand that college athletes have packed schedules and often times have so much pressure being put on them, that adding school on top of that seems like too much, but the poor ratings of athletes graduation rates is a problem.  Something needs to be done about this problem with student-athletes academics.  I believe by maybe creating programs for athletes to work on their academics in the midst of all the chaos of games and practice will help them to have higher graduation rates. Things such as mandatory team study hours, or mid-semester check points on grades will encourage a better academic discipline and will hopefully solve this academic problem.
            I believe that the excess of revenue in the athletic department can also be problematic. While our coaches are doing a fantastic job at what they do, they are being grossly overpaid. I believe that a good solution to this problem would be to require a certain percentage of profits from the academic department to go straight back to the university. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

{Collegiate sport is undervalued by academia}

Myles Brand
From reading Myles Brand’s article, “The Role and Value of Intercollegiate Athletics in Universities,” I believe that while collegiate sport does have its shortcomings, it should not be discredited as not contributing anything to the academics of a University.  Why is ballet considered an art form and valued by people in the academic world, when the skills used in basketball or football are not given nearly as much academic credit? I think the academic society has put a negative connotation on collegiate sports and has therefore, failed to realize that student-athletes in a collegiate athletic program are no different than students in any performing arts program, in terms that they are all performing an art.  Athletes should receive academic credit for their practice in their sport, just like any other student at a university who receives credit for learning to master a skill. The traditional views of what should be considered “academic” and what should not need to be re-examined, because athletes, as well as other students in universities are not receiving the academic credit they deserve.

The sports industry is providing so many jobs for Americans and should not be discredited by those who think it is less "academic." Taking away sports in the college setting would not only hurt the athletes at schools, but would also harm the economy of the college city and even the state. Sports in college do much more good than bad, and should be respected by academia. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

{Athletic Scholarships Must Go?}

So I first read the Rod Gilmore's article, "College Players Deserve Pay for Play," then I read John R. Gerdy's article, "For True Reform Athletic Scholarships Must Go," and now I am completely stumped. I do not know which side of the issue I am on; whether to pay college athletes or not. Both author's made extremely well developed, thought out points that had good justification. In Gerdy's article he argued that by taking away athletic scholarships, much of the academic issues in athletes, and even society's unhealthy competitive nature and view of sports would be changed. He made a very valid argument that by awarded scholarships to athletes, we are basically paying them to play, and "hiring" and "firing" them which all constitute professional sport.

I believe that enacting these changes and only awarding need based scholarships for athletes would take serious negotiating and lots of time but could potentially change the face of the entire athletic world.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

{Paying Collegiate Football Players}

I thought that the article, "College football players deserve pay for play," by Rod Gilmore was very interesting, and it changed my views on the idea of paying collegiate players for playing. I first disagreed with paying players with money that belongs to a school program, but does make sense that football players deserve a portion of the tremendous income that is coming in from football programs, because they work really long hours, more than is even required, to prepare for games. Because of their practices, they do not have time to get jobs, which can be problematic because often their scholarships do not factor in the cost of living. This could be problematic, because if you pay football players, you will have to do the same for the rest of your athletic program, which could be very difficult. I really liked Gilmore's idea of putting some of the money earned from football programs toward trust funds for players after they graduate. I think this idea could be very useful, and help the players who do not go onto professional sports careers start their life after college.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

{Football and Dogfighting???}

I see where Malcolm Gladwell is coming from in his article, "Offensive Play," but I do think that some of the cases mentioned are very extreme. While football leagues can do a better job of monitoring the health of their players and even urging the players to retire if they have had too much brain damage, every sport has it's risks and these players know what they are getting into when playing football.  I do not think that isolating football only examining one sport is fair, because every sport has potential to harm athletes' health.  Some of the issues of depression among NFL players described in the article are not proven to be caused from football, so I did not think those points were valid arguments.  Football has valuable strategy tactics and is not morally degrading like dog-fighting. Dog fighting is rooted in violence and hatred while football is based on skill and strategy and ultimately, dog fighting and football are not even comparable.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

{Violence in sport is a problem... But there are solutions!}

While reading the article "Violence in Sport: Just Part of the Game?," I realized that violence doesn't have to be part of the game! Sports such as hockey and football have their violent components, but they do not have to be inherently violent.  In hockey much of the fighting only occurs out of the players frustration and aim to get an unfair advantage in the game. If the mindsets of these hockey players were changed to value the pursuit of excellence from the belief of winning at all costs, violence in hockey would not be nearly as big of a problem. I really liked the solution that Edmund Vaz proposed to solve the hockey problem, where he stated that referees should deduct points for breaking the rules and take into account the number of infarctions on teams when determining the winner of a game. This rule would force the players to value the rules of the game and strive for excellence in the skill of the game instead of trying to gain unfair advantages by harming their opponents.

In football I think solving the problem of violence is a much more difficult task.  There are already many rules in place that have consequences for unnecessary violence and the equipment in place is probably as safe as the manufacturers can make it. I think that some things in life just come with the territory and everything has it's risks. Driving, stress, fast food, and drinking all have their risks but they do not stop us from engaging in any of these activities.  

Boxing, on the other hand, is plain fighting, and I believe that it is pure violence. The object of the sport is to cause harm to the other person with blows, so I believe that by making it illegal until the age of 18, when a person can give their own consent to do it, we can let people choose whether or not they want to participate at their own discretion. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

{The Impact of Black Athletes Through History}

Jackie Robinson
First African American to play in MLB 
From reading the article, “Black Heroes in Sport: From Jack Johnson to Muhammad Ali”, by Joseph Dorinson, I have learned more than I ever knew about black athletes. These athletes mentioned in the article, all participated in non-team sports, where a black athlete faced less segregation at the time. It seemed very interesting to me how society would put so much pressure on these athletes to be not only professional in their sport but also leaders in the fight for their race. Their images were on display for all of America to see, so if they messed up it was not only against them but also against the whole Black American population.
Even though there was a lot of scrutiny and judgment against these athletes, these athletes were able to make tremendous strides for the black community.  They made it acceptable for black athletes to be household names, and it was one of the first times that African Americans were considered national heroes. Instances such as Jesse Owen’s four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and Joe Louis’s defeat of German boxer Max Schmeling in their second heavy weight fight in 1938 allowed these athletes to make statements for racial equality by proving themselves as competitive athletes who deserve just as many rights as anyone else.