Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Confllicts of interest-- Take II: college football

Heisman Candidate Michael Bush's Injury Reminds Many That College Athletes Should be Paid, says Professor:
"“It makes no sense that half of the players come from poverty, and their starving families get almost nothing in return,” says Watkins, who was a recent guest on ESPN’s “Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith”.

Bush, the star running back at The University of Louisville, broke his leg in the team’s first game against The University of Kentucky. Bush was expected to be a high draft pick had he left for the NFL last year, and he was also considered by experts to be a strong candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Dr. Watkins, a Louisville native and graduate of The University of Kentucky, knows the experience of the college athlete all too well. He has taught at The University of Kentucky, The Ohio State University and now Syracuse University, all of whom have major athletics programs. “The NCAA has signed an 11 billion dollar TV rights deal for the NCAA tournament alone,” says Watkins, who wrote a scientific study last year calculating the economic value of the black male athlete to the NCAA. “Athletes take the greatest risk, they are distracted from their educations to play sports, and they get almost none of the rewards.”
To make matters worse, often when athletes do decide to turn pro early, they are seen as somehow unethical and making a short-term decision by foregoing their college education. This of course is an image that college's have every reason to maintain.

The only thing that makes this slightly better is that it looks like the surgery went well and he does have a $2million insurance policy on a career ending injury.

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