Next Fall, Northwestern Cheerleaders Chant: 'Let the Bosses take the Losses!' Three cheers for the Northwestern University football team's effort to unionize.
TMQ continues to think that getting a college diploma is a better reward for football than any amount of pay players might receive; but with only a 55 percent graduation rate in the FBS, obviously the diploma emphasis is not there at many programs. (It is at Northwestern, where football graduation rate is 97 percent.) The NCAA will never do anything to shift the focus of intercollegiate athletics toward education. Indeed, the NCAA actively attempts to prevent education from interfering with football and basketball income, using Potemkin actions such as the Academic Progress Rate, which is intended to generate an illusion of reform. So with the NCAA uninterested in education, players must take matters into their own hands. Let's hope the Northwestern initiative succeeds, and sets a strong precedent.
Wouldn't it be just wonderful if college athletes themselves were the ones to drive the nail into the coffin of NCAA institutional corruption? Last week, Packers general manager Mark Murphy cryptically declared, "If the college players unionize, there will be more pressure on the NFL to establish a developmental league." What he seemed to mean was: If they unionize they will demand actual education, and the big FBS conferences will cease being an unpaid junior league for the NFL. That would be great!
More good sports-and-academics news: the son of former Cowboys star Larry Allen turned down FBS offers to pick Harvard. Most high school athletes, even those who do well in the classroom, won't have a Harvard option. But they could prioritize recruiting offers by graduation rates. Suppose a potential FBS player has offers from, say, USC and Wisconsin. USC is dismal at 53 percent graduation, Wisconsin is strong at 72 percent. The smart recruit factors likelihood of a diploma into his choice. Check any colleges' athletic graduation rates.
News of the Northwestern union push produced this witty sardonic tweet from Binyamin Appelbaum:
This Northwestern unionization push illustrates the danger of allowing college football players to obtain decent educations.- Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) January 28, 2014
How Did Seattle Do It? The Seahawks won the Super Bowl by 35 points, and so they deserve heaps of praise. But given the Broncos came in as among the most-hyped teams ever, an assessment has to start with the many shortcomings of Denver.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback noted last week, "The Broncos must throw deep, even if that means Peyton Manning holding the ball for more than 2.36748790345 seconds or whatever his average is supposed to be. The drip-drip-drip short passing Denver has lived on this season will be difficult against Seattle's in-your-face press coverage. Nobody covers short better than the Seahawks. Short and sideways is not the formula for defeating Seattle."