By Christopher B. Daly
For a couple of years now, I have been urging the abolition of the NCAA. Not reform, but the outright dismantling of an organization that is deeply corrupt and brings no good to America’s college campuses.
In addition to the facts and arguments in previous posts, here is more evidence. Boston Globe Derrick Z. Jackson has been keeping track of how many big-time NCAA players actually get the one thing that going to college might do that would benefit them for the rest of their adult lives — getting a bachelor’s degree.
The sad fact is, most NCAA basketball players do not graduate with a diploma. Big-time college basketball operates pretty much as a minor league for the NBA with teams that just happen to be located on college campuses.
Here is Jackson’s latest report card on college graduation rates for the NCAA’s elite basketball players. Some lowlights:
–UCLA: 20% (for black players)
–Kentucky 60% (for black players)
In the classroom, those are failing grades.
By Christopher B. Daly
If you read only one article about Brazil as the country starts to host the World Cup, here is the one to read. It is written by one of my star former B.U. students, Matt Negrin (who would be my first choice in a pick-up game that involved reporting, initiative, imagination, and writing).
Matt is an intrepid explorer, as this piece amply demonstrates. (“Not killed” is a recurring theme. . .). He is also a graceful, often playful, writer. In this piece about play, I enjoyed his many references to the games of his own childhood (from the Sims to adult-driven, trophies-for-everyone American soccer). At
The beautiful game
the same time, he’s deadly serious about the life he is seeing in the favelas, and he brings a measure of respect and gravitas to people who don’t have much of either.
This piece is part of a bigger project Matt is working on — a book about the insanity of soccer fans worldwide. He has made stops in Asia and Europe (that I know of), and he is naturally in Brazil now for the Copa.
His work makes me happy to read, and it makes me optimistic about the future of storytelling.
[BTW, Matt’s Brazil piece was published (if that’s still the right word), by SB Nation. (They did a beautiful job on it, but I personally would like to see a much blacker typeface; if you are going to go long, you can’t ask people to read that faint gray type all day. Sheesh.) If you think “sports writing” is all about who won a game or about how some young millionaire’s groin feels, this is the piece for you. SB Nation (short for Sports Blog Nation) is part of the growing Vox Media online empire, and I hope they are making gobs of money. H/t to Glenn Stout for acquiring Matt’s piece.]
“That’s just the way it is”