"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
Saw this kicking around the Internetz yesterday, and finally decided to share. This is a sad tale of a former college football player struggling with mental illness and the aftereffects of a long time playing the sport we all love.
I am sharing this as I struggle myself as to whether to allow my son to play football. I didn't play myself until 8th grade and loved it all - even as a scrub walk-on in college. I would love for him to "follow in my footsteps" and share with him the experiences of the game I love.
However, more and more emerging evidence regarding CTE due to repeated head trauma has me on the fence as to whether to let him play.
This is why:
After graduation, Hoffman moved into his father’s house in Florida, jobless and without direction. He struggled to sleep. He complained of headaches and dizziness and of hearing loud noises like shotgun blasts inside his head and of seeing flashing lights
This is a former OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - not a running back, quarterback, or any other player seemingly susceptible to high speed collisions. He plays OL much as I did, and likely where my son would play since he "takes after his dad" physically.
Awareness is increasing, but this reminds me of my experiences:
Hoffman says he remembers having one (diagnosed) concussion in college but also details a time in high school when he threw up multiple times after a game. As we know, the concussion protocols being developed today weren't even a thought back in Hoffman's playing days
I remember getting crushed in the helmet on a pull to the right - helmet to helmet contact where I immediately went down. And the weird thing? I was on the ground and couldn't stop LAUGHING. World spinning, lights flashing, and I was laughing...I was loopy as h***. And guess what? I went in the next play.
Granted, that was a long time ago - but stories like those of Mr. Hoffman make me wonder if I'll ever let my son play.
TL;DR - concussions are bad m'kay?
SIAP: I did a site search and found nothing.
Students who took part in the UNC Papergate scandal are now suing both UNC and the NCAA in a class action suit claiming that they were cheated out of an education.
I'm firmly in the camp that these athletes shoudl be ppaid something - mostly because what they are doing is their job - essentially an internship - many of which are paid. They don't develop the infrastructure, so no need to cut them in on a percentage - but some sort of pay for the work they put in. But this story confuses the hell out of me.
Certian parties valued football over education, and attempted to obviate rules in order to make football better - in large part, to try and generate revenues, sure. But both the school and the NCAA itself have strict anti-cheating policies and punishments. This will have to get thrown out, won't it? There is no evidence at all to show that the NCAA's structure is designed to do anything but prevent and discourage cheating.
The shot across UNC's bow has been fired by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accrediting agency.
The public university could face warnings or probation as a result of the academic fraud findings, which showed student-athletes accounted for nearly half of enrollments in "irregular classes" over an 18-year period.
But the school is unlikely to lose its membership in the group, said Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
"We don't just drop schools," she said. "We give them time to fix things that are wrong first."
The possibility was first raised at mgoblog.com in an October 29 post:
Does Roy Williams and/or Larry Fedora get fired over this?
Note: I don't think this is OT as it surely will be a consideration in President Schlissel's pursuit of an Athletic Director.
Via the Chronicle. In short (and these are quotes from the Chronicle article):
- A department manager assigned papers, devised grades, and forged signatures.
- The athletics department was in on it.
- Ms. Crowder was the architect, but the tent was much bigger.
And my favorite part:
Among the host of people who had some knowledge of the classes’ existence were football players’ academic advisers, a counselor to basketball players (and a member of Coach Roy Williams’s inner circle), other professors in the department, the former football coach Butch Davis, other members of the football staff, and an academic dean. Even advisers for the college’s prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship steered students toward the classes, though it’s unclear the extent to which they knew the courses were fraudulent.
One of the most notable cases may be that of Jan M. Boxill, a philosophy professor and director of the Parr Center for Ethics. She was also an academic counselor to women’s basketball players who sent students to Ms. Crowder and suggested the grades they should receive. Ms. Boxill went on to serve as chair of the faculty for three years.
Also, this was shown to football coaches when Crowder's retirement was imminent:
UNC Chancellor: "We also accept the fact that there was a failure in academic oversight for years that permitted this to continue," Folt told UNC trustees last week.
I wonder what, if any, fallout this will have from an NCAA perspective and if there is actually any action taken, or if this is just going to further display that $$$ is the true driver in major college athletics and that nothing more will happen with this.
Given the actions at Northwestern to attempt unionization in the football program, I would think that reports like this could easily lend credence to the fact that athletics and athletic scholarships are not simply a voluntary "student-athlete" program. If it can be shown that such a significant portion of scholarship athletes in other programs also do not have basic reading and writing skills, let alone are taking fake or set-aside courses to maintain academic standings to participate in sports, it really weakens the statements from the NCAA yesterday.
In a statement, NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy disagreed with the idea that college athletes could be considered labor. The full remarks from Remy:
This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education. Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary. We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.
Many student athletes are provided scholarships and many other benefits for their participation. There is no employment relationship between the NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes.
Student-athletes are not employees within any definition of the National Labor Relations Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will find in our favor, as there is no right to organize student-athletes.
On Twitter earlier this evening, somebody made note of something they'd read earlier this year that seemed relevant once again. "2011: The Lost Season". When first made, the statement was tongue in cheek, impilying that so many schools had pending NCAA investigations that the entire season would be lost to eliminated records. Years from now, people would look at the college record books and wonder, "Why didn't anyone play football in 2011?"
In the wake of the PSU Sexual Abuse scandal, the phrase had taken on new meaning for the tweeter. To him, the scandals had amassed and amassed and reached a point where the 2011 season is better forgotten. The missing season is now a season in which the sport itself has gone missing, buried in a mess of too many lies. Too much hurt. Too much distrust and too much heartache. The season has spent too much time beneath a cloak wielding a dagger to be trusted.
I can't argue that point. Even though Michigan seems to have done everything right, I can't stand the abuse of young men willing to work hard and play harder, week in and week out by not following the rules, making illicit deals, or worse. It belittles the game to the point it's almsot easier to simply forget the year and hope another one like it never comes along. Right now, it hurts to be a fan of the system that creates and fosters these situations. We are very small but essential cogs in a very large machine that has corrupted its purpose. Something once as pure and simple as providing young men an opportunity to grow academically and cheer them on while they grow athletically has become very dark and sinister. It is ruled by money, unearned success and criminal behavior. And we are a part of it. It would feel a lot better to forget the whole season and pretend we support something much more pure, much more wonderful and idellyc. Right now, that's not the truth, but it would be easier.
It would be easier by far to declare this a lost season.
But to do such a thing would be to do a huge diservice to the very reason we are fans in the first place. At the heart of this broken, vile, soot-spewing machine lies the same power sources as there ever has been. Driven only by the desire for an education and the chance to play just a little bit longer, the young men at the heart of the game take the field every Saturday for joy and opportunity. Oh, some have pro-careers in mind. Some are less innocent than others, but it doesn't really matter. Not one is playing for position, wealth or illicit opportunity. Not one is playing because someone offered them a contract, or agreed to ignore and hide some wrongdoing on their part. They are playing because the NCAA told them they could earn a free education, develop themselves and maybe market themselves to football's next level, simply because they showed an apittude for it. And that, that is pure. A bit business-esque, perhaps. And certianly theres money to be made there. We can even argue about how that money is distributed, and what is fair.
It doesn't matter, really. There is no cloak and no darkness when the students take the field. They are playing for their university, and their university is educating them, and at that moment, nothing else needs enter the picture. At that moment, the machine is working. At that moment, everything is laid bare. There is no cloak and no dagger.
Two-Thousand-Eleven is a dark, dark season for college football. There have been misdeeds of every kind, and mistrust is present at every level. But so long as those young men run out of the tunnel to play for Michigan, and so long as we sing The Victors to support THEM, there will be an element of pure in a sea of filth.
This is not a lost season, because we still sing the national anthem and cheer the kickoff.