Monday, April 18, 2005
CNN? Cartoon Network? Now ESPN?
Thank you, Mr. McErlain, for the mention -- and the months-long encouragement.
I feel it would be appropriate to do some sports commentary here (this being an all-purpose blog). Offwingers, feel free to check my earlier post on Jermaine O'Neal's somewhat controversial statements last week. In general, Eric and I are pretty much on the same page on this one. This is more about green than it is about black or white. However, I will add that this issue will keep popping up as long as the NBA and NFL effectively run a business in which they save millions by not having to be fully responsible for the basic training of their labor force.
The college basketball and football factories get to do the "work" for the pro leagues while blatantly underpaying individuals who have finite playing/earning years. That's why, despite the sport's many problems, baseball is a far more honest system for bringing along talent. A baseball player has the option of either signing a pro contract right out of high school (give or take a few years for, ahem, certain players) and entering the minor leagues -- or going to college with the chance of playing in the College World Series. There is choice up front. As Maurice Clarett found out, the football player who's HS class isn't three years out of school has hardly any (Canada? Please -- in the '60s, young people ran to Canada to avoid the draft). Today's high school basketball players, if they are talented enough, feel they should be allowed that choice.
I think they are right.