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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Solution

The NCAA has a terrible problem facing it. How does it justify the enormous amount of money their football and basketball programs haul in while the players who make these sporting events possible must resort to cheating to bring in a few extra bucks? The totality of TV money these days being distributed to athletic departments is astonishing. If this is not an example of inequity, I don't know what is. I'm not talking about the past, although that kind of inequality existed in the "old days," but not nearly as egregious. This is clearly a contemporary problem and needs to be solved in a contemporary manner, which means it must be solved by economics.

My wife has figured the problem out, and the NCAA should seriously consider her solution. It is fair for players and for universities.

Here's how it works: For every year that a scholarship basketball (male) and football player remains scholastically eligible and playing on the team, a certain percentage of money (to be decided by the an independent economic advisor) would be placed in his personal account, earning interest at (to be decided by an independent economic advisor). At the end of four [or five] years, upon graduation, the full sum of that account less interest would be paid to the player. If the player left school early, as is the case often in basketball, the accrued amount of money would remain in his account until that player graduates. The player could draw upon his account to pay for any college classes he needs to take towards earning his degree.  Upon graduating, any remaining money would be given to the player. If a player does not get his diploma, within ten years (it could be fewer years) of the date he left college to turn pro/tryout for the pros, the money in his account would be forfeited back to the university's athletic department. Players who left college for other reasons, (family problems, medical reasons) but have played a full year on the team would be able to draw on whatever they have accrued for that year, but only toward paying for college classes.

This is a simple and honest way to be fair to both university and athlete.

Just so we don't take our football too seriously, here's a funny football prose poem.

Football    by Louis Jenkins

I take the snap form center, fake to the right, fade back...
I've got protection. I've got a receiver open down field...
What the hell is this? This isn't a football, it's a shoe, a man's
brown leather oxford. A cousin to a football maybe, the same
skin, but not the same, a thing made for the earth, not the air.
I realize that this is a world where anything is possible and I
understand, also, that one often has to make do with what one
has. I have eaten pancakes, for instance, with that clear corn
syrup on them because there was no maple syrup and they
weren't very good. Well, anyway, this is different. (My man
downfield is waving his arms.) One has certain responsibili
ties, one has to make choices. this isn't right and I'm not go-
ing to throw it.

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