Comments about ‘Utah Sports Ruckus follow-up: Separate sports from school, Part 2’

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Published: Thursday, April 10 2014 6:15 p.m. MDT

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Placentia, CA

Like I said last time, the author left one thing out of his arguments: What is best for the athlete. The great majority of college athletes are there for the education. The athletics are a means to that end. A minuscule number of college athletes will ever play professionally. To many people, like the author, glorify professional sports, leaving many wannabes out in the cold when they fall short. And remember, nearly all college athletes fall short. Those who take their education seriously will be prepared.

Now the author proposes having them skip the college education, trading it instead for a "minor league" experience. Talk about exploitation. The few who make it out of the minor leagues will be fine financially. The rest will be left either a professional career OR an education.

Let's not leave the future of the athlete out of the conversation.

JoCo Ute
Grants Pass, OR

I couldn't disagree more strongly with the "concepts" expressed by Nate Gagon.

#1. Playing sports has everything to do with higher education. Brainy couch potatoes are not what we need colleges to create. Whether it's D-1 basketball or football, or club sports some of the most successful people in the country learned to balance their time, set goals and work hard by participating in college sports. Just because Nate says "academics and sports have been forced together" doesn't make it so. Just saying that Universities should extracurricular sports is a cop out.

#2.Universities should not serve as minor leagues for pro sports. What he does suggest is that athletes pass up the entire college experience and instead substitute pro baseballs model of riding in old busses and living and playing in minor league towns.

Given Mr. Gagon's suggestion that athletics be "stand alone" programs will destroy Title 9 and eliminate college education for low income families and turn colleges into the rich white boy institutions they were 100 years ago.

Given Mr. Gagon's follow-up article I guess we got under his skin a little bit!

Germany, 00

Author sounds like he's on his way to a political career. Pretty brilliant stuff out of left field here in these last two columns. He seems pretty new and I hope the D-News can keep him around. If not, I expect I'll visit ESPN or Fox News in the not-to-distant future and start seeing his stuff there. Very independent, unbiased, unafraid journalism. Seriously impressed.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Nate, I have two problems with your proposals and the assumptions behind them. First, you seem to be making the assumption that athletic scholarships are somehow subsidized by taxpayers, because of the academic aspect of them. This couldn't be further from the truth. Most athletic scholarships are funded by donations from boosters or money generated by the athletic programs ticket sales. For example, the taxpayers of the State of Utah provide $250,000,000 to the University of Utah to support academics while the University's total budget is around $3 billion. That represents about 8% of the University's total budget. Everything else comes from other sources the majority of which are private grants and donations from boosters. Revenues within the athletic department fund the scholarships of the athletes, not taxpayer dollars. Second, your assumption that college athletics exist to provide athletes to the professional teams couldn't be farther from the truth. College athletics started long before professional leagues existed and were created. Most athletes on scholarship will never play professionally, but will get a college degree they otherwise couldn't afford. How can you propose taking that away?


People like to delude themselves into thinking that their scholarship to study Philosophy and Gender Studies has a higher purpose and a higher calling for society than someone who gets a scholarship to study basketball. Academics have long looked down on athletes as people of inferior intelligence whose primary purpose is to further patriarchal dominance. Sports and education have been inexorably intertwined since the creation of the very first university by Plato in 387 BC. The goal of a university is to build community and develop minds so that they can be productive members of society. Claiming that a university should not be a minor league for professional sports makes no more sense than saying a university should not be a minor league for concert halls or engineering schools. The argument is inherently flawed. People attend a university so that they can develop the skills to be successful in their chosen careers later in life. If that career includes throwing a football, more power to them.

Sandy, UT

I think Nate brings up some very excellent points and suggestions. I think something has to change. The whole sports world is out of control. If everything is so great, why do college athletes want to form themselves into unions? Why do we need to start paying them? Obviously they are not happy with the system. Why? Let's first talk about athletes that are playing for the love of the sport, are loyal to the college and the fans, and are actually good role models to the younger kids looking to them to set a positive example. In my mind it's become all about the money to so many and I think it's disappointing and disturbing.

Ogden, UT

Using the same logic, one can argue that music, art, theater, and religion do not belong on our campus' either. In fact, Why should our schools be a training ground for anything? Shouldn't it be learning for learning's sake? Isn't that the whole meaning of academics?

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