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11-09-2011, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MayDay View Post
No, just the sports that already serve as de facto minor/developmental leagues for pro sports. Such as Division 1 college football. I know that your average college swimmer or wrestler or runner is not going to become a professional athlete. Those people really are student-athletes in the true sense of the word. I'm not concerned about them.

I'm aware that these football and basketball programs serve as huge money-makers for some of these schools. That's part of the problem. The fact that they pull in so much money has made them a corrupting influence on higher education. In some of these places, it seems like the university exists mainly for its football program, and that's just wrong. It's also wrong that the players, whose labor pulls in all these millions of dollars, aren't paid a dime for it.
If you're going in that direction, why not examine the role university research departments play in developing the next generation weapons system or blockbuster pill for the pharmaceutical industry? The money at stake here far exceeds whatever cash a sports program might bring in. Does anyone clamor for cash payments to some overworked chemistry or engineering student?

The notion of the university as some kind of autonomous bastion of higher learning is rooted more in fantasy than fact; most upper echelon schools -- especially the division one schools -- are money making corporations more interested in the next multi-million grant/endowment than producing critical thinkers. The sports program is simply a tool toward this end, rather than the end itself.

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