Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Are Men Ruining Higher Education?: Big-Time College Sports

   There's been this discussion of the question Are women ruining higher education?
   It's actually an interesting question.
   But if we're going to think about that--since we're already in the neighborhood--we should also ask whether men are ruining--or have already ruined--higher education, too. Seems to me that there's at least one powerful consideration in favor of the claim that they are--or already have: big-time college sports. Now, I love college hoops as much as the next Tar Heel...and I'd cry real tears if it went away. But I don't see how anyone can deny that there's a strong case to be made against big-time college sports. Football is much more expensive and more unfair to the athletes on account of being more dangerous and harder on the body--but in even more important senses, basketball seems just as bad. Both are corruptive of higher education and at odds with its purposes. They've taken on a life of their own, and a very large percentage of "student-athletes" as the NCAA invariably insists on calling them are athletes...who are students only because that's where the athletics are. Standards are lowered to admit them, their coursework is often, apparently, an afterthought, and they contribute to the amusementparkification of the institution.
   And, though many women enjoy college football and basketball too, I don't think there can be any doubt that they are--by far--mostly a guy thing.
   So there's that.


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