Monday, November 9, 2015

Opening a Pandora's Box

This is a political post.

I'm not sure what time the President of the University of Missouri resigned, but I can assure you that fifteen minutes after the announcement that at every university with a sizable athletic program that every campus activist, at least those that already weren't at the athletic dorms because setup looked promising, was headed that way. Every single we will overcome, we must protest, we need a safe space, we need more of program X, the university needs to divest, the the cafeteria is serving green jello and that's the color of money and I am triggered crusader one and all. And you thought the jocks beat out the nerds before? Man, talk about making someone the big man on campus.

I once tried to explain that this is why the President doesn't do everything he's legally allowed to by executive order. All it takes is one, and suddenly you have to have brought enough for everybody. And while this issue may be understandable if not fully justified, the next one may be controversial if not individually self serving and possibly destructive in the longer term. I'm fairly certain there is a political science major down there now explaining to the home team about the power they just found out they possess. At least I hope there is, because they should explain the downsides as well. At the bare minimum let's pray that someone remembers their Spiderman and invokes "with great power comes great responsibility." 

And by the way, the NCAA is in trouble and ain't even know it.

I can already see a protest before the big rivalry game to change school policy on admissions? Or before a bowl appearance to get appropriations for a particular subject? Imagine a threatened walkout before the national championship game to get fill in the blank?

What will play out in the next few months, or possibly even into the college basketball season has the possibility to change the entire idea of college and college athletics as we know it. I'm not even going to go into the NCAA rules involving paying athletes or side jobs, those are obvious. And if this does spill over into basketball season you might go to sleep and wake up to find your Alma mater has had to replace the board to get the team to suit up for the tourney. Think about the implications. It is possible that a particularly persuasive social justice movement may actually cause the implosion of a prominent program if the NCAA feels forced to revive the death penalty in response. 

One only hopes that college athletics have advanced enough that the players realize that only the most serious of subjects deserve this kind of attention and they shouldn't let themselves be manipulated into serving the interests of those who are only interested in them because of the potential power they possess. This was a particularly unique situation, or should be considered so, and thus repeats of this extreme should be rare and infrequent. This should be preached to the team, not necessarily by the coaching staff but by the players to themselves, and if possible to more even keeled of their fellow students.

Well, the box is open. Now let's see what happens. 

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