Monday, September 28, 2009
Political Correctness: College Sports as a Litmus Test
I and most others who use the term "politically correct" probably have different definitions. For me it is a default term that allows me to escape using "left" or liberal because the groups I am referring to are neither. It is more or less a way to capture the anti-intellectualism of some faculty for whom the agenda is more important than truth and legitimate scholarship. The causes are usually about race, gender, sexual orientation and, for a much smaller group,class and poverty.
I have heard little about it lately but when the PCs are looking for a an example of racial injustice they skip right over college football and basketball. The true economic exploitation of mostly African American athletes could not be more clearer. A now-dated survey but the money made by a University from a good to superior athlete at $500,000 and this was before today's TV contracts and mass sales of player related merchandise. The NCAA argues that it cannot pay players because it would endanger parity and the attractiveness of the product. That is a joke. If the NCAA were actually interested in parity, just announce a budget limit for all schools in each division. Let them spend it how they like, including on players.
What worries me most is where the money goes that is made on the back of toiling young men in the middle of summer and into the fall. Here my facts are fuzzy but I think some may go to already wealthy coaches, and some to support sports where the fan interest is so low that the sports could not exist without the forced subsidization from the players. These subsidized sports are probably for men and women but increasingly I wonder if it goes to women's sports. My school has a beautiful softball field and a brand spanking new women's lacrosse field. I go to the games and enjoy them but I seem to notice very few African Americans. I then put women's softball and women's lacrosse into google looking for photos of teams around the US. I was very hard pressed to find a black face among all the smiling faces.
Now I am wondering. Is it possible that the NCAA system of college football and basketball slavery is actually done, in part, so middle and upper class white kids can play in nice stadia with fancy uniforms? If so, how much has really changed?
The exploitation part of this I am sure of. The redistribution part I am not sure of. In any case,where are the PC's on this? If this does not raise their ire, then they are what I have always thought they are.