Would some people be upset? Absolutely. For one thing, there are many overcompensated individuals who make a pretty darn good living through the farce of “amateur” college athletics. These people will survive, adapt and find a more useful way to contribute to society.
Will some “traditions” regarding college athletics in our country be eliminated or altered? Yes. Would this be sad in some ways? Yes.
But human beings adapt to their circumstances; whatever space is left open in people’s lives by the changes proposed here would quickly be filled by something else. I don’t want to get crazy here, but some might even, dare I say, spend more time paying attention to the other people in their lives.
Now there’s a scary thought.
The fact that something is a “tradition” in our country is not a sufficient reason to resist positive change. Americans have many traditions we would be better off without — fast food, the exploitation of women in the media, the concept of buying now and paying later, celebrity magazines, the glorification of criminals in movies, arrogance, sarcasm, etc.
Sometimes what is in our best interest causes discomfort or pain, whether it’s getting an immunization shot as a child, ending an unhealthy codependent relationship, quitting smoking or thousands of other examples.
It may be painful, it may be sad and there surely would be resistance — but it’s time for sports and school to follow the example of church and state in America and separate.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free throw line and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or @nategagon.
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