Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

Len Bias was a star basketball player for the University of Maryland, and second overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft. He was a young man with a bright future and seemingly endless potential, ready to become a premiere player in the league.  Unfortunately, he spent more time in front of lines on a mirror than taking practice shots at the free throw line, so he’s dead now.  He never played a game for the Celtics. And though his story is a sad case, it’s a prime example of a basic fact that we’d rather ignore as a society, namely, that young, rich and famous is a combination nearly as deadly as old, broke and Ethiopian.  Amazingly, only one thing has changed since Bias’ day. Kids are certainly still morons, and we’ll always worship sports figures like gods, but professional paychecks have grown exponentially since the 1980s. Now there is even a push to begin compensating student-athletes in college.

Apparently, not being tens of thousands of dollars in debt from school loans, like most of their peers, isn’t sufficient. These all-stars want what’s coming to them, damn it! Especially if that includes enough royalties to lease a Maybach they can go barhopping in while they play fast and loose with the meaning of a solid yellow line. Anyone who attended a university where the sports teams were even just mediocre can probably speak to the obnoxious behavior of the most insignificant of third-string, weak-side linebackers. You start kicking out paychecks or stipends to young men (let’s be honest, we’re talking about guys) with type A personalities, who already crash frat keggers like it’s a finger-fucking freshman free for all, you’re begging for trouble. Entitling those with an over-inflated sense of entitlement to an allowance and expecting no negative consequences is like buying a toddler a pony every week and then acting surprised when the tot grows up to be a complete asshole…also the toddler can bench 325. These are kids as well. You almost (almost) can’t blame them.

This isn’t to suggest that some guys wouldn’t need and use the money for legitimate purposes. Plenty of families can’t afford to send their children to school and still can’t afford daily living costs once school is paid for, so they claim to need financial assistance. Fine. We’ll give you that, but rather than specifically “financial,” let’s just offer assistance. You need groceries? Here’s a check made out to Sam’s Club, don’t spend it all on Doritos. Rent’s due? Give us your landlord’s address.  Car broke down? We got a deal with the tech school up the street. See how many problems we solved without anyone buying an eight ball?