There's typically no requirement to finish college however. It's relatively common for athletes to move up to the pros and skip the last years of their academics.
The US's system is mostly due to history, but the current structure continues because it is worth an extraordinary amount of money. The schools with top athletic teams bring in revenues of 100 million or more. The governing body for college athletics generally prohibits significant payments to the athletes themselves, so all that income goes to coaches and other staff, as well as supporting businesses. College coaches are usually the highest paid people on campus. This continues to be a bitter political topic, because many people see it as unfair that college athletes are generating so much money for everyone but themselves. The other side points out that allowing paid recruitment and player endorsement/advertising would have a corrupting effect as well as make it difficult for smaller schools to be competitive.
As far as I know, our system is unique, and that's probably because we were televising college athletics earlier and more heavily than other nations.
It's not just that it's televised, it's that sports are tied to schools and colleges at all. Netherland has tons of youth sports, but all in indepdent, often volunteer-run clubs. For many sports (football and hockey at least) there's a youth league for every two-year age group, and after the last one, when you're 18, you move to the adult leagues. Those are generally amateur leagues, but professional football clubs have their own youth programs (playing in the same leagues) and recruit from all clubs in the vicinity (not to mention rival clubs and foreign countries).
 And here I mean the football where a round ball is played with the foot, rather than American Football; and the hockey that's played on a field, rather than ice hockey.
Not only that, in most states they are the highest paid of all public employees: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672861/infographic-whos-your-st...
A typical public sector job, particularly a university job, is almost the closest thing you can get to lifetime assured employment (most often at a salary that's not great, but with very good benefits and enormous amounts of paid time off).
Coaches though are much more accountable for their performance. If they don't win games, they get fired.
Edit: also it's only the head coaches of elite revenue-generating football and basketball programs that are very highly paid. The coaches of non-revenue sports have much more modest salaries.
From a marketing perspective, college sports are a minor league that comes with a built-in fanbase, the students & alumni at the universities (especially large universities). The top end of college sports teams are essentially the NFL's and NBA's minor league outfits, but compare how many fans and attention a Texas, Michigan, USC, Stanford, etc. game gets (in either football or basketball) to what a minor-league baseball team gets...
That is simply not at all how it works here. You of course have sports education in school, but it is not competitive and you can't choose either.
Most of the money goes to the university itself.
Here's my theory:
It all starts with Harvard and Yale wanting a leg up on each other in their football rivalry, which dates back to 1875. Professional football did not start in the US until many years later. Football, and to some degree basketball and other sports, came to represent a very serious way for colleges to express rivalries with each other.
Seriously: "After The Game of 1894, which came to be known as the "Hampden Park Bloodbath" and about which newspapers reported seven players carried off the field "in dying condition," the two schools broke off all official contact including athletic competition for two years."
As such, each institution became hell-bent on defeating the other at football, which led to the relaxing of academic standards to admit superior athletes. Things have spiraled out of control from there. Many schools now face very serious pressure from alumni and other donors who demand athletic success. Recruiting top high school athletes is an extremely shady business, as both schools and athletes have a lot at stake.
Harvard, Yale, and the other Ivy League schools today do not do this to the extent that some others do and have policies against awarding scholarships based on athletics-- they are small and elite institutions that can't get away with admitting students who literally cannot read. But even the schools with these policies admit athletes who would probably not get in based on their academics alone.
College sports is all about money. Consider this map:
Why are the mostly highly paid "public servants" in most states athletic coaches? Because the public universities make huge amounts of money from sports: the TV licensing deals, the ticket sales, the merchandising.
The players get paid nothing -- at most they get their tuition waived.
That's not why.
The coaches are paid a ton because were they to quit, they could be paid a ton somewhere else.
Why would they be paid a ton somewhere else?
Because other colleges want to win!
Why do they want to win?
Because without their football team, schools like Alabama and Texas and USC and and and would have ZERO credibility.
If football left it would definitely hurt these two schools. However, they have a LOT of academic credibility aside from athletics.
Without the notoriety and prestige granted by their athletic programs, no one would respect their academics.
For a recent example, witness the transformation of USC from a joke of a school (academically) to a somewhat respected, some might even say moderately prestigious (!!) university. A transformation which coincided 100% with their successful football program.
The great team builds recognition. It builds respect. You graduated from a school which is a football powerhouse, people respect you. Even if you graduated decades before they rose to football prominence. Even if you never cared about football. People want to be affiliated with success, thus they want to be affiliated with you.
I think you mean "promising athletes". I guarantee colleges do not care how these young people perform as students.
There were players in the past who have gone straight from HS before the rule was in place. Most notable, Lebron James.
Some universities, such as UNC and Virginia Tech, have seen massive profits by selling merchandise thanks to these sports teams, and have made sports a higher priority than the actual academics. Now younger people are choosing to attend universities based on their sports team rather than the academics.
Anyone who disrupts this big business of college sports can expect to feel massive backlash from the university and the crazed fans of the sports teams.
They get paid more than even their most valuable professors!
Good professors hold chairs which are paid by endowments. So maybe a few million $ a year in donations. Good coaches can make a few million $ on a good weekend. If they make it to the bowls, 10-20 million $.
But in what universe could this be a good thing? What does sports do for the development of mankind? It distracts, it is just "panem et circensis" and it is nothing more than a big business.
So the people trying to teach people the ability to better the world have to "fight for the scraps" while others reap the benefits of telling youngsters to run faster, kick harder or throw better?
It's also the original "reality" programming, unscripted and unpredictable, with a constant stream of life-stories and morality-plays, which can be covered as 'news' relatively cheaply. It's not just 'bread and circuses', but actual moral instruction: modern constantly-refreshed mythology, always available for casual discussion with acquaintances and strangers.
The strong linkage with US higher-education isn't strictly logical, but tradition and economic symbiosis has entrenched the relationship. The large-audience collegiate sports help market and fund entire college communities, providing a focal point for common entertainment-outings, loyalty-displays, reunions, fundraising. In its absence, people might be relatively more parochially-aligned with just their hometowns, or faiths, or social class, or careers.
So, you have maybe 30 player learning those things while trying to get into paid adult league and the rest of students being fans learning essentially nothing.
I do think competition is a healthy and necessary trait for individual development. Meanwhile, education holds the potential of freedom from subjugation for all humans... The balance is disturbed.
Likewise, sports are fun! But if you need further justification, their play teaches us valuable physical and social skills - teamwork, graciousness, poise, coordination, fitness, and so on - that even if you aren't entertained by a particular sport, surely you can see its potential value in other dimensions.
I guess my point is that not all human education is intellectual. It is experiential, and it is physical, and social, and moral, too.
It's also more difficult to follow than say soccer to people not intimately familiar with the game.
You've never read from people who genuinely frame things in a dismal light? I've read a lot from people that view a lot of social interaction as exactly "subjugation". The simplest example is materialism and acquiring status symbols. Some take it further to more intimate group dynamics. Does this mean that other people are trash that you should just avoid? No, and most people plain need social interaction in order to stay sane. But it can be a useful frame-of-reference sometimes, if only for the philosophical value.
> but I'd have to disagree strongly. Sports might be seen as some kind of ritualized conflict, I guess, but then how is that different than any other kind of gameplay?
Indeed. Some people think of any kind of structured competition as a sport, so all of what you said still applies. Playing videogames competitively, for example (e-sports).
> But so what?
Yes, why ever look further than the surface? Because it's sometimes valuable to look at seemingly innoucous (or not - hooligans) phenomenoms and trying to look behind the most apparent dynamics. Sports is a fun pasttime for some/most people, with some competiveness, but perhaps not enough to cause any harm at all. It is also an incredibly socially accepted - heralded even - way of channeling some of the more anti-social human traits. If I'm feeling jealous, I feel that there's something wrong with me. If I feel spiteful, I feel that there's something wrong with me. If I feel like physically dominating someone else, against their will? Just pick up some of the more physically demanding sports and be worshipped as a hero. Coax it in some fake humility and "sportsmanship", and you've got a show for the whole family. That's funny to me.
Some atheletes will get a bad rap when they are obviously being cocky and showing off. But being the best and feeling like the best was the goal all along!
It seems to me, in my uneducated opinion, that while humans are social creatures, they are too tribal to be altruistic on the larger, macro level. People are divided by nationality, culture, ethnicity and so on. Team sports? Yet another tribe for people to belong to, and to antagonize other teams from (sometimes in a more friendly manner than others ;) ). There is a lot of social dynamics when it comes to football supporters.
Sports isn't the only thing that is disturbing to me, at some level. Violent video games are really fun, but the implications are disturbing. Yet, from what I've read, people who play these games are less violent, perhaps because they (we!) get a way to channel our violent streak. (Which is also a disturbing thought.) Maybe it's the same for sports? Many more than me have been disturbed by the implications of violent video games (I haven't been disturbed by the violence - I'm too used to it), but practically no one things of any kind of sports as being anti-social.
But yeah. So what?
> Likewise, sports are fun! But if you need further justification, their play teaches us valuable physical and social skills - teamwork, graciousness, poise, coordination, fitness, and so on - that even if you aren't entertained by a particular sport, surely you can see its potential value in other dimensions.
Take any sport to a higher and higher level, and it will always distill down to one thing - being the best (that's what you are left with with the top athletes at the top). That's inherently a comparative quality, and than you are left with the only choice of "subjugating" your opponents. A high-level athlete will think nothing of sacrificing fitness, physical health etc. for being the best. Is this necessarily that applicable to most practicioners of a sport? No, but it is the top athletes who are basically worshipped, they're not simply people who have taken a "fun pasttime" and gone full-geekery on it - they are, in some circles, viewed as the ultimate expression of that sport. Not as, "geeze, man, get a life".
Some consider chess a sport.
There you have it. I tend to disagree. I see this as one of humanities problems. These unquestioned ideologies.
I believe, that competition should only be with one self. I try to get better. Better then yesterday, last week, last year, last try. But I do not try, to rise above my pears in comparison to them. To feel better, by looking at everybody I leave behind from above.
The only one I try to beat am I. I try to do everything, to be a better person, every single day. I am still learning - and will hopefully do that for the rest of my days. I am human, I am fallible.
But my past performance is my personal yardstick. Not your performance, or anybody's. I do not need your example, as a motivation.
Sure you do. There is nothing in the universe more important than money. Simply get past your belief that the American university system is about anything noble and realize it is just another money making scheme.
The education part is just a cover to keep the illusion alive. If you focus you can learn there, but you simply need to realize your worth to the school is as a paying fan. If you want it to be anything else, you're on your own to figure that out.
No. I don't. I do not understand, cannot grasp any such concept of "money is everything" or such concepts of state, borders and so on. I am a human. I have fellow humans. Some of them are nice. Most of them are idiots. These are my categories, in which I view the word.
There is no such thing as homophobia, islamophobia, money makes the world go round, or any other of these so called "normal" ideologies. No such thing as "this god" or that deity.
So no, I really do not have the ability, to understand these concepts. I can analyze them rationally, I can look at them, like sitting in a lab, examining them, but I can never understand these concepts on a basis of experience or to see things from the concepts's perspective...
That was, what I was trying to convey...
Well honestly there is nothing like a good football team to bring in funding for schools. That causes schools to focus highly on sports because at the end of the day they just want as much money as possible. It's really sad actually.
Most good professors aren't in endowed chairs. Something like 1/3rd of the professors at the best schools are endowed. A state school like the University of Illinois has about 10-20%.
Nor do most of the professors bring in money through endowments and gifts. Much more is brought in through grants, like through the NIH and NSF, and from state funding. (That's a general statement. There are many exceptions.)
There's also tech transfer agreements. Consider this quote, about taxol synthesis developed at Florida State:
> In 1996, Florida State University was the envy of the tech-transfer world of U.S. research institutions. That year alone, the university's research foundation received more than $28 million in Taxol royalties. By decade's end, the university's Taxol revenue would top $200 million, among the largest patenting pay-offs for a single university in history.
That's one professor who brought in over $20 million per year, for a decade. (By comparison, the current FSU football program brings in now about $36 million in revenue, and $17 million in profit.)
And as for the coaches, very few college programs can bring in a few million dollars per game, and only the 6 playoff bowls have team payouts of over $10 million, so that's at most 12 universities with that success.
I have not done any extensive analysis of this. My comment was mostly to highlight that the previous poster was making statements that I could not easily accept as being true.
A few miles north of where I currently live, the high school football stadium seats 18,000 .
Also, I couldn't help noticing that the Eagle Stadium is paid for by taxpayers.... :-)
I was being conservative because I assumed nonUS HNers would assume I was making these numbers up.
In the US, its been driven even further in that there are billion-dollar industries behind the sports cult. Perhaps thats the ticket: sport is a cult because there's money to be made.
A mostly wasteful use of resources but to the majority this is a sufficient way to prove your city/state/country is better than another. I'd rather see who can fly the furthest into space but eh enjoy what you got.
Evolution ingrains cooperation. It is why we have come so far as a species, as we have.
So, even if you happen to have the physical aptitude to play professionally at age 18, you are barred from doing so.
(But I'm no American, and have only visited once. So take my explanation with a pot of salt.)
There do seem to be university sports leagues in Australia, they just aren't taken as seriously afaict, e.g.: http://www.aurl.com.au/
Who knows, it might catch on. Other American sports oddities have, like that annoying singing of the national anthem before each match and providing a role for athletic women in professional sports by making them cheerleaders...
The leagues have some rules about when players can be drafted, but those rules are more about simplifying and reducing competition in recruiting than they are about the players.
Overall, most things I saw while in the US, I could relate to in some way (industrious New York, beggars in Philadelphia, the tourist traps of New York, the hectic fast food restaurants), but I never managed to connect to the "college town experience" even though I had something like four weeks to do so.
Everything seemed to be curated, just like some footage of childhood christmas you see on television. Students and the interests of students dominated the entire experience. I felt as if I was visiting a theme park.
Funnily enough, I only tangentially registered the obsession with sports that seems to be very prevalent there. What I distinctly remember is wondering, why the "Academic Bookstore" had more Sports apparel and team merchandise than books in it.
It is hard to say if any meaningful insight can be gained from my personal experience there. I heared somewhere that going to college is an important way for young people in the US to escape culturally difficult surroundings (say, a radically religious community), but IMO it feels kind of sad that the college world is so separated from the rest of US culture.
My problem with football is the toxic environment that develops around it, all the abusive fans (a bunch of misogynist, homophobes, xenophobes and racist lowlifes), all the damn betting agencies - the black spot in any neighbourhood, all the scandals about bribes and such.
It's a shame, because the sport itself is very nice.
I think fundamentally the problem is in watching other people sport. Sport is great for people to do. As entertainment for mass consumption, it's not so great.
It might be that the laundering of loyalties through colleges helps the US a bit here. The 17-23 year-old athletes are inside, and must feign allegiance to, a system of more supervision and higher educational aspirations. Many fans acquire collegiate affiliations far from their home region, and the overall fan base might lean more college-educated, because of all the co-marketing during college years.
I really hope that was sarcasm and I'm just missing it. I don't think the American system is all that great but seriously, have you listened to an English footballer give an interview? They can barely string a sentence together. Think of the kids who believe as you say, it's a legitimate career. The ones who then don't become professional and can't get a job as they left school so early.
People who play sport with nearly all their time from age 10 or so are going to be less academically developed - that's not necessarily a tragedy in and of itself, although it might be a shame.
That's not the issue here. The issue is that in the USA, apparently, these athletes are all enrolled in higher education courses that they will either fail or drop out of. In the UK, and Europe, athletes aren't required to pursue such courses as part of their athletic development - they can go straight from school to professional sport, via privately run clubs which maintain youth teams and leagues.
> Look at the numerous recruitment scandals in which players or players' families were offered money or perks in exchange for matriculation.
I graduated from Penn State in 2011--the year before the Sandusky scandal broke. It was easily the darkest time for my school, and I don't know a single person who wasn't feeling a mix of horror, shame, and disgust at what went on. While the connection between the football program and Sandusky's actions (a retired coach since 1998) leaves room for disagreement amongst reasonable people, Penn State is one of the few schools that handles student athleticism properly. Recruiting scandals, perks from boosters, and lackluster academic achievement from student athletes are problems that Penn State solves as well as any school out there.
The New America Foundation ranks top-25-BCS-ranked football programs by academic achievement of their players. Anytime Penn State's football team was ranked in the top 25 in the BCS, they have also ranked highly (usually #1) in New America's "Academic Bowl".
I'd also like to point out the fascinating example set by John Urschel. He finished his math undergrad degree in three years with a 4.0 GPA. He then finished his math masters degree the following year, again with a 4.0 GPA. He has written academic research articles. He writes software. He teaches an undergrad math course. He's also a graduating offensive lineman with a real shot at the NFL. He's weighing that prospect against the option of pursuing a Ph.D.
 http://higheredwatch.newamerica.net/blogposts/2012/the_2012_..., http://higheredwatch.newamerica.net/blogposts/2009/third_ann..., http://www.newamerica.net/blog/higher-ed-watch/2008/second-a...
This is what I was responding to, and at least at Penn State, it's measurably false.
> I was actually referring to the Sandusky scandal and how Paterno knew Sandusky was sexually abusing children and let the legal process die with minimally plausibly deniable effort.
I don't disagree with you on that point, football culture can absolutely be toxic, and Penn State is a perfect example of how it can go wrong.
And what was the university thinking? Seems like denying knowledge of the report and claiming they can't comment on it without data (to CNN, not to a high school newspaper) was a terrible move given they had not only been given the reports, but had paid for the data which was in them.
Nor would a man ever get death threads just for the lulz.
It doesn't take a lot. I write a not very popular blog, most of which is posts like "Scala is slow" or "Analyzing conversion rates with Bayes rule", and I've gotten an email or two expressing hope that harm would come to me .
 "if u get your wish just wait the cops womt protect you when underclas riot and hurt u". This was in response to a moderately popular blog post advocating that you should do a back of the envelope calculation to see if a public policy proposal makes sense ( http://www.chrisstucchio.com/blog/2013/basic_income_vs_basic... ).
There exist many in this world who wish all women were in the exact same position they were in the 50's.
Yes, this is just one data point, but it's a pretty unambiguous one. And of course, such studies tend to only happen once, as people with feminist agendas tend to ensure they do not get confirmed.
Do you think this might skew your perception of how often people of either gender get harassed?
So? This doesn't say anything about actual rates of threats or harassment directed against men or women.
>However, it is true that women are targeted much more (especially when they are challenging mens sports).
>Give a link to said study or go back to /r/theredpill.
All this article gives us evidence for is general nutty sports fan behavior.
This isn't really the case. Misogyny can be a part of actions or threats targeted against women even if men have received threats in similar circumstances. The question simply comes down to the content of the threat and how often women receive threats that explicitly call out their gender or use slurs that are intended to be used against women specifically.
That being said, epistasis's reasoning is still wrong. A kind reading blames the difference on misogyny, suggesting the non-misogynists send death threats to males and females alike. But that would only be true if a large portion of the people that send death threats to females would do so out of misogyny and not out of, e.g., an unconscious perception of women as easier to troll. You may argue the reality of that perception and you may want to change that, but disagreeing with it doesn't make it misogyny. That's just labeling every bit of discriminatory behavior as 'misogyny', which comes down to redefining the term.
Apart from being wrong, I think it is unwise to use language so bluntly. It makes most readers think "well, I'm not a misogynist, so nothing here applies to me", when the real thought should be "yes, interesting, how likely am I to discriminate against women? Can I identify the possibly subtle effects that lead to this discrepancy?".
> The woman was killed -> misogyny.
> The man was killed -> misandry.
Makes little sense to me. It's better to default to just "violence".
With due respect to the fans... hatemail and death threats just make me think their culture is even more awful. Who's supposed to be convinced here?
These are the people who would aid and abet a child molester if they thought it would help their 'team'.
You mean the type of people that pay college football coaches as much as ~$5M+/year? (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-25-highest-paid-coaches-i...) No, I cannot imagine one of these fine institutions benefiting from valuing athletics above academics. Surely college sports is all about education.
Collegiate athletics is one of the more corrupt systems in the USA.
You need to know a lot of stuff to be top performer. The same way you need a rock hard body to be a top scholar - your brain just works better when your body is in better shape.
But the article is talking about basic literacy. You need that to be able just to integrate into society.
He has definitely produced great work despite his condition, but for us average joes - I can definitely state that since I started to hit the gym and began to lose weight my thinking is much faster, and my brain endurance increased a lot.
A vast majority will not succeed in their venture and these are schools. Poor career paths aside, the rest of the world expects you to be able to read and comprehend the menu in the food court. This goes doubly so if the aspiring athlete is working the till, which they often are before and after their career path.
You are correct that the vast majority of collegiate athletes will not go on to play professionally. However most of them are well aware of this and actually can read and do take their academics more seriously. There are countless numbers of people who were athletes in college and who go on to success in professions other than sports.
The truly elite athletes who are very likely going to go on to play professionally also know this and may very well not have any intention of completing a degree.
It's flush with cash. I see complaints of how a lot of this is captured by coaches and staff, but I'm sure some flows to (for example) less popular sports too. It gives athletes a college education and an incentive to finish high school. This article is obviously about cracks in that system. Overall the effect on athletes' education is probably very positive, especially outside of the super-elite players in more popular sports.
Compare that to european amateur sports systems that have nothing to do with college: It is pretty hard for a 19 year old with a sport as the no 1 thing in their life to get a degree at all.
Social media is where it gets to me the most.
Personally, I think this is appalling.