College sports

by Rocky Mountain Stepmom

If anything is going to end the emphasis on college sports, it’s going to be lawsuits. This article from the LA Times is about Hayley Hodson, a volleyball player at Stanford, who is suing because her head injuries left her pretty damaged.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ioGTVyorzKif1iWQAhVG3C2phr0x-q68/view?usp=sharing

95 thoughts on “College sports

  1. I think that college athletics should be either truly recreational with no scholarships or admission preference, or turned into full time jobs with minor league teams named after the school, with college after four years of play if the athlete doesn’t move on to the major leagues.

    It has always seemed insane to me that seats at major research institutions are reserved for kids who were there to swing a racquet or a bat, not spend hours in labs and the library. Some juggle both well, but not that many.

  2. I forgot I posted this. At first I wondered what Stanford was supposed to do about treating her concussions; don’t you just have to wait them out? But that’s what they didn’t do.

    Hodson was concussed on a Monday night. On Tuesday, Stanford’s medical records
    indicate she told a team doctor that she was suffering from headaches and “feeling in
    a fog.” She was held out of a road match against Washington on Thursday. Stanford’s
    records show she continued to have distorted vision in her right eye Friday, yet was
    cleared by a team doctor over the phone Saturday to participate in a full practice and
    play in Stanford’s road victory over Washington State on Sunday.

    The same team doctor examined Hodson on Monday and recorded her condition as
    “concussion, resolved.” Over the next two weeks, she played in four Stanford
    victories, twice leading the team in kills.

  3. RMS,

    If it goes to a jury I assume Stanford’s attorney’s will argue post hoc ergo propter hoc. She was a mentally unstable girl with an eating disorder who was burning the candle at both ends and eventually burned out. And now she’s trying to blame all her problems on Stanford and the NCAA.

    The question then is, will the jury buy it? I think it’s far more likely that RMS does.

    Question:

    1. A kid gets a job as a lab assistant for the summer. His job involves work with cryogenic gasses and he’s accidentally asphyxiated and revived at a point where some brain injury occurred. Is that handled just like any other workmans comp claim?

    2. A kid is taking a class that involves cryogenic gasses and the same thing occurs. How does that work?

  4. A kid is taking a class that involves cryogenic gasses and the same thing occurs. How does that work?

    I’m guessing the school’s liability insurance negotiates with the family and settles.

  5. For the lawyers in the group – am I correct in assuming that Stanford and the NCAA’s attorneys are going to say to their clients, “If you want to win this I’m going to have to go with the incredibly sexist “bitches be crazy” defense. That’s going to result in a lot of terrible PR. Or you can just settle for an undisclosed sum without admitting or denying any wrongdoing and maybe amend the concussion protocols.”

  6. When I first saw this, I showed it to my son. Instead of continuing our serious discussion about problems in the NCAA, as I expected, he said “yes! That’s who I want to marry”. Turns out volleyball players are tall. His current girlfriend is 6” taller than his first, but still 8” shorter than him. He wants someone he can look in the eye during conversations.

    But I don’t really know what more I have to say about this. The NCAA takes advantage of its players terribly. I’m glad to see that some can now benefit from their own likenesses, but Cartmann’s analogy is still on point. If Covid brings an end to the current system, that would be a silver lining.

  7. “I think college athletes are treated pretty poorly, so bring on the lawsuits!”

    Agreed!!! Everyone makes money off of them except them. It’s a terrible system.

  8. Paying athletes is coming. Multiple states have already passed laws allowing players to make money from their name, image and likeness. A few years back, Northwestern football players won the right to unionize from the regional NLRB, and the ruling stated they are employees of the school. The national NLRB then rejected it on the grounds that it would create an uneven playing field because it only applied to private schools, not public schools. The ruling didn’t dispute that the players are employees.

    College sports are never going to go back to being “either truly recreational with no scholarships or admission preference.” There’s too much money at stake. Most athletic departments lose money overall, even with the football and men’s basketball revenues, but they generated a ton in donations.

    I’ve posted before that many schools require donations for the right to buy tickets. For example, they will sell tickets for a football game for $75, but then a donation of $300 or whatever per ticket is required to buy them. These “donations” aren’t reflected as athletic revenue.

  9. It has always seemed insane to me that seats at major research institutions are reserved for kids who were there to swing a racquet or a bat, not spend hours in labs and the library. Some juggle both well, but not that many.
    Excluding men’s basketball and football, I disagree with this statement unless schools ignore all extracurricular activities when accepting students. Why is playing an instrument or being on the debate team better than being an athlete? Athletes graduate at higher rates than the general student population. The coaches I know at selective colleges have minimum criteria for accepting students. Athletes who get into Stanford definitely have the grades and scores to get in are going to labs and the library.

    If football players haven’t been able to sue for injuries, then I doubt this case will cause much in terms of changes. I followed Hodson in high school and college because my niece plays. She was phenomenal. I got hit by an errant volleyball at a high school match while the teams were warming up. Holy heck that hurt, and I was probably 40 feet away from the hitter. I can’t imagine the drill where Hodson was drilled only a few feet away.

    I would like to see that D1 athletes on full scholarships (which is only a few sports) are able to get their degree however long it takes. Once the school has them on scholarship, they should allow the student to get their degree, especially for those students who miss so much class due to travel. I also think athletes should be able to transfer schools without penalty of sitting out a year or losing eligibility. Athletes should definitely be paid for using their likeness and be able to make money while in college. My niece and her boyfriend could have made thousands in being able to coach or run camps while in school.

  10. Interesting. My BIL got a head injury as a spectator at a college volleyball game…hit in the back of the head by a stray ball. He lost an entire semester as he couldn’t focus after the concussion and had to withdraw from classes. Still isn’t back to “normal” 3 years later. It was devastating. They did refund him for the semester when he had to withdraw. Maybe he should have asked for more. Head injuries to college students can have some pretty serious long tail effects.

  11. This sounds like something my sister would have done. She was a phenomenal athlete in every sport she played, but her true athletic love was basketball. Unfortunately, she wasn’t quite tall enough to get recruited at the highest level, so she walked on at a Division 1 school with a weak program and played for 4 awful years. She was always injured, and sick and worn out. She developed a bunch of random food allergies at this time. And the crying phone calls. So much crying. There was even some sort of scandal while she was there where the head coach’s husband was being inappropriate with some of the players.

    But she wouldn’t quit. Nope – physical and mental health be damned. Basketball was an all important part of her identity and she HAD to play. Fortunately, she graduated after four years and after floundering for a bit, found a post basketball identity and moved on with her life.

  12. Rio,

    Did he have a ticket? I would assume the ticket came with a disclaimer like baseball tickets do.

    See the second all caps paragraph.

  13. Sounds like the Florida basketball player who collapsed on the court has myocarditis. He had covid earlier along with many of his teammates. I hope Florida is paying for all of his medical bills.

  14. “She was always injured, and sick and worn out……There was even some sort of scandal while she was there where the head coach’s husband was being inappropriate with some of the players.

    But she wouldn’t quit. Nope – physical and mental health be damned. ”

    Unfortunately, in many sports, there is a coaching culture that normalizes abuse. Playing injured, starving to keep the “right” body type, ignoring broken bones, are completely accepted and evidence of one’s commitment and toughness. Lawsuits are the only thing that is going to change anything, so I wish the volleyball player well. It isn’t just girls sports, either. Check out Ohio State’s ongoing wrestling scandal.

  15. “But she wouldn’t quit. Nope – physical and mental health be damned. ”

    I have an acquaintance that has a daughter playing DIII volleyball. In high school she had multiple concussions, including a few that caused her to miss months of school. Freshman year at college she suffered both an ankle injury and another concussion. She continued to play, ignoring her parents pleas to quit the team. Many crying phone calls, and a pretty miserable daughter. She ended up transferring to another college. Last I heard she is still miserable and exhausted, but volleyball is all she knows. It is her only circle of friends. It is her only hobby.

  16. Larkins Hall, which served OSU as its Physical Education facility and Natatorium, was perceived as a sexualized environment, and multiple witnesses reported that voyeurism and public sex acts occurred there from the early 1980s to the late 1990s.[2]:163[7] 30 wrestlers and gymnasts reported voyeurs were routinely present at Larkins Hall in the locker room, shower, and sauna areas, ranging from college age to approximately 60 years old; the “leering” voyeurs would ogle student-athletes that were using the facilities and some would masturbate.

    Jeez!

  17. RMS,

    Former employees of the off-campus “Men’s Clinics of America” recalled that Strauss placed advertisements in the student newspaper promising student discounts and prompt treatment of genital issues.

    And this was after he was fired!

  18. “Unfortunately, in many sports, there is a coaching culture that normalizes abuse.”

    OMG yes. My DD2 wanted to play high school volleyball. She made the team, but only kids who played club volleyball actually got any playing time. At the end of her freshman year, she came to DH and I and asked to join the club volleyball team, which was run by the high school volleyball coach. We reluctantly agreed. (At first our answer was no, but we took into consideration that she had asked for something she really wanted and presented reasons why it was important to her)

    She played club volleyball for a year. I couldn’t believe the physical and mental abuse that the other parents put up with. There was one kid who broke an ankle bone freshman year, and played on it broken until she finished her senior year. The bone never healed. The coach isolated the kids from their families and actively discouraged the kids from belonging to any other activity. The team was the family. The coach pulled one sophomore up to the volleyball team so that she would have 12 kids for practice, but never played that poor kid. The kid was on the varsity team from sophomore to senior years, played in one or two games total.

    The coach funnelled these kids to a remote community college to play volleyball. One kid turned down an acceptance at UC Berkeley to go to community college (her dad was sick about that), lasted a year at community college and is aimless.

    DD2 quit after her junior year. The coach pressured the kids remaining on the team not to be friends were her.

  19. Cass, your story is very similar to what I hear around here.

    Any parent with a child that excels an in activity (not just sports) should watch Athlete A on Netflix. It talks about the normalcy of seclusion and abuse. A friend of mine was a victim of Nassar. You don’t think you (or your child) will be a victim, but the culture to be part of a team above all else is a form of brainwash. You have to be educated about the tactics used.

  20. Concussions are tricky – there is not a great diagnostic tool to assess severity and there is not agreed upon effective treatment. There is the general consensus that repeated injuries in a short period of time can be devastating/fatal – but there is some recent evidence that is not true.

    It’s much like back pain – there is no doubt that people have debilitating, authentic back problems. There are also people who state they have back pain for secondary gain – disability, etc. It is hard to tell the difference from an objective, medical perspective.

    Which is to say, the only thing we actually know is you should avoid head trauma as much as possible. My kids aren’t sporty, so this is not a sacrifice.

  21. “I would like to see that D1 athletes on full scholarships (which is only a few sports) are able to get their degree however long it takes. Once the school has them on scholarship, they should allow the student to get their degree, especially for those students who miss so much class due to travel. I also think athletes should be able to transfer schools without penalty of sitting out a year or losing eligibility. Athletes should definitely be paid for using their likeness and be able to make money while in college. My niece and her boyfriend could have made thousands in being able to coach or run camps while in school.”

    @TCM – I agree with all of this.

  22. “You don’t think you (or your child) will be a victim, but the culture to be part of a team above all else is a form of brainwash. You have to be educated about the tactics used.”
    Nasser even abused girls while a parent was present. The scope of the horror is incredible. As it was at Ohio State. And BTW, USA Taekwondo has been sued for sex abuse and trafficking.

    Sometimes I think the whole USA sports system just needs to be burned down.

    Rachel Denhollander (an attorney and former gymnast who was the first to sue over abuse by Nasser) is doing good work speaking out and bringing to light issues of abuse in sports. She’s a lawyer and home schooling mom and super fierce on twitter.

  23. It’s much like back pain – there is no doubt that people have debilitating, authentic back problems. There are also people who state they have back pain for secondary gain – disability, etc. It is hard to tell the difference from an objective, medical perspective.

    That makes me think it would be too hard for Stanford to find an expert witness to say that while her depression and “chronic fatigue” may be real it’s unrelated to her concussions.

  24. “I would like to see that D1 athletes on full scholarships (which is only a few sports) are able to get their degree however long it takes.”

    +1. To me, this is the bare minimum for decency. With the demands of a sport that is all-but-pro, I’m surprised *anyone* graduates. They should also protect the kids who get injured and can’t play — they need to be allowed to keep their scholarships, without it counting against the number of scholarships the team is allowed to give.

  25. “I would like to see that D1 athletes on full scholarships (which is only a few sports) are able to get their degree however long it takes.”

    Making them irrevocable would solve a lot of the problems. If the young person was getting abused sexually, emotionally, physically they could just walk away. Just like a division III athlete. Kids still play Division III sports but they don’t have the extra money incentive that would cause them to overlook abuse.

    Now some might say if they scholarships are irrevocable then the kids would just be playing because they enjoy it. Yes, like that amateur athletes they supposedly are.

  26. Cassandra that is awful! I’m glad your DD had the courage to walk away from it. I have several cousins whose daughters were on sports scholarships at D1 universities and ended up giving up their sport after a year or two because of being yelled at and punished by coaches for missing a practice to study for a course critical to their major that they were in danger of failing. One of the girls ended up having to leave school because of anorexia and 5 years later is still struggling with it. I do have friends whose kids played college tennis, volleyball and basketball on scholarship and found it to be a great experience, so I’m assuming the difference is the coach/culture of the program.

  27. “I’m surprised *anyone* graduates.”

    3 kids, too many college admissions tours.
    DS1 was a recruited D1 athlete but on the general admissions tours there was no mention of the academic help/support specifically for varsity athletes anywhere. (2010, 2011 timeframe).

    DS2 no athletic hook, just regular admission. Maybe 1/2 of the places mentioned athletic academic support. (2012, 2013)

    DS3 Every damn school mentioned it. (2015, 2016)

    These were the same “level/caliber” of schools across the years.

    Knowing a lot of D1 scholarship athletes at this point, the only ones who don’t get decent grades are the ones who shouldn’t be in college anyway…the ones who are there only to punch a ticket before turning pro. Between registration priority, so the athletes get the ‘right’ professor, academic help, leniency for business travel (away games)* there are a lot of advantages for the athletes.

    * Winter quarter, 1978. Intro to Astronomy. Professor Harland Epps. 1st lecture of ~400 kids in Moore 100: “there will only be a final in this class, on Thursday, March ___. 100 multiple choice questions. If you can produce your death certificate, that will be a valid excuse for an incomplete.” Really.

    Fast forward to March, the week before finals, coincidentally the week before the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament starts. “There are some students in this class who, as athletes, will be unable to take the final next Thursday, BECAUSE THEY WILL BE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY BUSINESS. As such, they will take the exam on Tuesday…..”

  28. Fred, my dad tells of rooming with engineering majors who were also on the Louisville football(?) team in the late ’60s and how they’d come home from practice and just be too exhausted even to go to the dining hall for dinner — and then they still had to study until midnight or so to be ready for class the next day. Slightly different world!

  29. The girls volleyball program is exactly the same in my area as what Cass described on the left coast. My friends have daughters that play volleyball and their girls were mentally abused by their travel coach. Since it was not a school program, this guy said and did nasty things. NO physical abuse, but all mental. Guess what, he is also the Technology teacher in the MS. Our generation would know this guy as the shop teacher. The kids in MS have him every year and they make stuff with 3d printers, wood etc. It is a great class but it means that there is a conflict of interest because they all have him as a teacher for four years. Somehow, this guy got hired as the head coach for the HS varsity team. So, now he is still able to keep his travel job and coach varsity VB in a public school. How is this not a conflict of interest??? I am so glad that my kid is not involved with this crap, but I am also exhausted listening to my friends complain about this guy all of the time. One of the best things to come out of Covid is no indoor volleyball so my friends have nothing to complain about this year.

    I have mixed feeling about college sports because it was an important part of my experience during college. I happened to be int he right school at the right time when something special was happening and it created experiences that I would not have wanted to miss. I do think there should be compensation vs. just scholarships and free tutors.

  30. “I have several cousins whose daughters were on sports scholarships at D1 universities and ended up giving up their sport after a year or two”

    At DS’ school, it’s common for kids to leave teams after a couple or so years.

    Similarly, the school orchestra is largely composed of frosh and sophs.

    By the time kids get to junior year, classes get more intense, and many kids are also involved in research and don’t have time for things like sports or orchestra.

  31. Cass, I’m so sorry your daughter experienced that, and echo the cheers that she had the gumption to leave the team.

    So many kids endure abuse from coaches because they aren’t aware it is abuse, for one thing, and because they are pleasers who want to please the coach and the parents who have sacrificed for them to participate in the sport. If you have kids in sports, beware of coaches that won’t let you into the gym, and you should talk to your kids about body shaming and competing while hurt. I was in my 30s before I understood that as a 5’4″ and 110 lbs teenager I was not “fat” or “chunky” as my coach constantly said.

  32. I also have mixed feelings about college sports. DS had a pretty good experience in his program, although some of his teammates were pretty awful people. He had a great relationship with his coach and kept in touch after graduation. It is clear that more than a few coaches at all levels of youth and school-related sports should not be around young people, but transforming college sports won’t resolve that problem. Abusers gravitate towards situations in which they can find easy prey, and sports teams filled with kids who dream of glory provide plenty of room for them to work.

  33. I learned to play my sport in a church league. I then played varsity all my years in high school. I worked as a sports camp counselor (not instructor) for a couple of summers. I only played on a club team after my senior year season was done. Several of my club teammates went on to be scholarship players at big schools for my sport. I started for my Ivy League team all 4 years. We greatly enjoyed beating teams with scholarship players. I remember one year I had a mantra – you can’t live on criticism and bran muffins alone. It was hard, and my GPA was 0.5 points lower when I was in season. We would take proctored tests right Ultimately, it is what shaped and provided the most good memories of my time in college.

    In high school I went to the first day of a summer camp (as a camper) and we learned that the person leading the camp had been arrested the night before for Aiding to the Delinquency of a Minor. That camp ended up being taught by someone else. I was lucky that I had really good high school coaches.

  34. In high school I went to the first day of a summer camp (as a camper) and we learned that the person leading the camp had been arrested the night before for Aiding to the Delinquency of a Minor.

    That’s probably not some to laugh about. But laugh about it I did.

  35. “Why is playing an instrument or being on the debate team better than being an athlete? Athletes graduate at higher rates than the general student population.”

    DH was an accomplished debater in high school and informally recruited for a serious college program. He lasted just one year, because his intense focus on debate killed his grades. He and his teammates stayed up late working on their cases (lots of menial labor BITD before computers) and then slept through class. Prepping for debate was more fun than doing homework, so the assignments didn’t get done. They also missed classes for tournament travel. The coaches were really great guys, but equally obsessed with debate and not that interested in the team’s overall GPA.

  36. I’d really like to see minor leagues develop for basketball, football, and probably some other sports. Young people could focus on what they saw as their priority—playing their sport well enough to get into the pros or saving up for a college tuition. Maybe there could be links between universities and these teams. But those who play sports as their way to pay for college don’t get a fair chance to do well at their classes, and as others have said, some might not be interested in the “scholar” part of “scholar athlete” anyway, especially if they are planning to be one-and-done. Having universities let student-athletes finish their degrees whenever would be hard to put into practice, as some take a couple years, or maybe 15 years, in the pros. Sitting in class after that would be awkward, at best.

  37. “Having universities let student-athletes finish their degrees whenever would be hard to put into practice, as some take a couple years, or maybe 15 years, in the pros. Sitting in class after that would be awkward, at best.”
    When we were in Chapel Hill, Michael Jordan was back in the summer finishing his degree. It was fun to see him tooling around town in his sports car with a “23” license tag.

    I agree with the minor leagues for sports other than baseball idea. And paying college athletes in some fashion. And basically anything other than the current system.

  38. Thank you for recommending On Point (I think? – The SAB show on Disney plus). I made my kids sit through the first episode yesterday. I thought it was sweet – they were less convinced, but its interesting to see the amount of work and dedication.

    Also, I’ll argue that sending your kid to board at SAB is the most totebaggy thing ever.

  39. Sitting in class after that would be awkward, at best.

    Why? Many people go back to finish their degree later in life.

  40. Rhett, if “many” did, then no problem, but most US undergrad classes I’ve been around have been full of freshly scrubbed bright-eyed youngsters.

  41. I have several cousins whose daughters were on sports scholarships at D1 universities and ended up giving up their sport after a year or two because of being yelled at and punished by coaches for missing a practice to study for a course critical to their major that they were in danger of failing.

    I worked with a woman who had a D1 softball scholarship and quit after her freshman year. She said it was miserable – her life was going to class, studying, and softball, and the coaches were constantly yelling at them. She said she was so much happier after she quit.

  42. Rhett, if “many” did, then no problem, but most US undergrad classes I’ve been around have been full of freshly scrubbed bright-eyed youngsters.

    Go to some evening classes at commuter schools. That’s where all the “later in life” students are.

  43. The pressure to play hurt starts in the youth leagues, and it’s not just coaches, it’s parents as well. My nephew is in 5th grade and plays football. He’s very big for his age (in 4th grade, he played up on the 5th/6th grade team and was still over the weight limit to be a ball carrier) and is one of the best players on the team. This season, he started complaining his leg really hurt and kept asking SIL to take him to the dr. She kept putting him off saying that if he went, the dr might tell him he couldn’t play. And they were in the playoffs, so of course missing games was a huge deal. She finally took him after a week of his complaining (and he had played another game) and it turned out he had a really bad stress fracture, and he missed the playoffs.

  44. The club/travel sports scene is absurd. I frequent a softball forum because they have a lot of good coaching tips and info, and the stories people post are insane. I’m so glad DD had no interest in travel softball.

  45. Denver, do you really think a computer college is going to give a former athlete the same caliber of education as the D1 school where they played? I don’t. Some directionals are quite good, but not enough of them to have that be the solution for athletes going back to school to finish their degree after their sports career.

  46. The avg student age at the directional where I taught in Texas was 26 or 27. We had some good teachers, but I’d never in a million years say that someone who had put in 4 years at an athlete at UT Austin or Tx A&M should be “rewarded” by being shipped out to the High Plains to finish their education.

  47. “I’d really like to see minor leagues develop for basketball, football, and probably some other sports. “

    There’ve been some minor leagues for basketball for a while, and more and more, HS kids are finding alternatives to college as a bridge between HS and NBA.

    “I agree with the minor leagues for sports other than baseball idea. “

    There used to be a much bigger network of baseball minor leagues. That has shrunk while college baseball has grown.

  48. Rhett, hard to say because we heard about it all through email, but I’d say in-between. My sense is that she was a bit upset with herself for not taking him sooner, but still a little annoyed that he didn’t wait until after the season was over.

    This is DW’s sister, and she gets it from her parents. Once when their parents went running in winter, their MIL slipped on some ice and broke her elbow. FIL told her it was fine and made her jog home with him. FIL had hip surgery and two days later ran three miles just to show he could. DW, SIL and BIL were on a swim team and had practice before school every day. Whenever one of them was sick, their parents made them go to practice and then if they were still sick they could stay home from school.

    It took me a while to get through to DW that if she is working out and something starts hurting, that is a sign she needs to stop. She kept insisting that it meant she needed to work out harder to push through it, because that’s what her parents always told them.

    Yes, my in-laws are whack jobs.

  49. Rocky, do you want to hold her down or jump on it? I’ll take the other part.

    Of course, part of my anger comes from my guilt at making my own kid play hurt for a couple weeks. When he was 4, I got a grant to do some research in Berlin. Centerpiece was to be interviewing participants and spectators at a parade/carnival. He was terrified at the event, and his behavior was off for the rest of the trip, including wetting the bed nearly every night, being cranky, and wanting me to carry him all the time. Whatever. I figured he was stressed. When we came home, he had 2 weeks of soccer camps, several hours every morning. He did well, but didn’t care to join scrimmages. Finally, he jumped down some steps one day, winced, and said “I shouldn’t have done that”. I took him in for an x-Ray and learned that the time he’d gone down a slide weirdly in Berlin, he’d broken a bone in his foot. He’d been playing and living injured for weeks! I felt horrible, still do.

  50. Denver, do you really think a computer college is going to give a former athlete the same caliber of education as the D1 school where they played?

    SM, you misread. I wrote “commuter schools”, not “computer schools”. Colleges like the University of Coloardo-Denver, Metro State, etc. And community colleges as well.

  51. Yes, my in-laws are whack jobs.

    To paraphrase Woody Allen, “Nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little prozac and a polo mallet.”

  52. Finn, in pro basketball in the US, the G league has been getting much stronger, giving players a real alternative to the NCAA. That’s making me wonder if the monopoly of the NCAA could be broken somehow. Anyway, according to a couple people I know who are familiar with both, Div 1 basketball is harder than pro teams over here. I wonder why more kids don’t play in the Eureague as a way to get into the NBA.

  53. Denver, I didn’t misread—that’s a typo. I knew you meant CCs. I don’t think letting student athletes finish their degrees at the college where they played or at junior/community/directional colleges or universities is a good solution. Life happens—the 27 year old pro athlete might not be able to do classes as they could’ve at the age they were in the NCAA.

  54. S&M,

    You lost me at, “the 27 year old pro athlete might not be able to do classes as they could’ve at the age they were in the NCAA.”

    If the kid is playing football at Ohio State and the program is so intense that he can only realistically take 2 courses a semester, great. If he ends up playing in the NFL for 5 years he should be able to come back at age 27 free of charge to finish. Similarly, someone who doesn’t make it to the NFL should play till they are 22 and with their 24 credits they can enroll as a full time student at 22 or 23 to finish the remaining 96.

  55. SM, you are not following the discussion.

    Rhett said “Why? Many people go back to finish their degree later in life.”

    You replied: “Rhett, if “many” did, then no problem, but most US undergrad classes I’ve been around have been full of freshly scrubbed bright-eyed youngsters.”

    I was pointing out that there are many people who go back to college later in life and the reason you didn’t see them in your undergrad classes is because they generally don’t go to the same classes as the full-time students at colleges with lots of dorms, they go to the evening classes at schools that cater to non-traditional students. I was not making any commentary on what colleges should do for athletes who don’t finish their degrees.

    I wonder why more kids don’t play in the Eureague as a way to get into the NBA.

    Because they grow up dreaming of playing in college and going to the Final Four.

  56. Rhett, you’re acting like nothing happens in those years. Ja Morant played for Murray State for a year before being drafted by the Grizzlies. Now, a year later, he has a baby. In a few years, he may have a few more. Maybe their mom will be happy to stay at home and take care of them while he plays ball and goes to class, and they will have a lovely relationship. Wonderful. He seems like a good guy. But that isn’t how every relationship goes. Maybe they’ll have a custody battle and the kids will shuttle back and forth. Maybe he’ll have a kid with special needs. Maybe he’ll be injured badly. Maybe parents/aunts/uncles will die and younger sibs/cousins will need a place to stay. I don’t know anything about Morant’s life circumstance. It seems that he is good enough to have a long and remunerative career, so that he’s actually not the best example, but I think you can see where I’m going with this.

  57. Denver, funny, I was wondering if you guys were tracking the whole argument. But your last para is probably spot on.

  58. Denver, here’s the whole thing—TCM said she’d like to see athletes be able to finish their degrees no matter how many years it takes, and several people agreed. I pointed out that some would be returning to campus after a pro career, which would be difficult. Rhett (or you, not sure) said then they could go to a cc. That only covers part of the issue, and even that part is only covered very poorly. I agree that students who aren’t drafted at the end of their 4 years in the NCAA could stay on campus seemlessly and finish their degrees. But after playing for a few years, it’s much more difficult. They have been away from the campus for a few years, a directional or cc is not the same thing as a degree from the place where they paid their sweat equity, and their life may have moved on in a way that makes becoming a full-time student really hard. You’d hope they’d save their pro ball money and be able to live on it for however long it takes to finish the degree, but I don’t think that’s realistic.

  59. S&M,

    Are you saying they should paid post sports while they finish their degree? That makes sense as part of thir original deal. Rather than being paid X they are paid 0.5x with the balance coming as deferred compensation to paid out as they finish their degree. If they don’t want finish their degree they can take the lump sum.

  60. S&M, again, I wasn’t commenting on any of that. I was only responding to your comment (that’s why I quoted it) that you don’t think many people go back to college later in life because you didn’t see them in your undergrad classes.

  61. I had some experience of college sports when I was in the dorms. I see that the school is iDivision I.
    My room mate was a tennis player and was incredibly dedicated. She practiced and studied. However, most of the girls on the team, on scholarship wouldn’t show up to practice and she was constantly going off about it. Their coach was a new young guy.
    The college started a football program, mainly as a marketing tool to get the name of the school out. They recruited from all over the country. It was a very big adjustment for the football players to life on a college campus so far from home and also to a very disciplined program with a coach intent on winning.
    One of the players, I knew was drafted in the seventh round and there was great excitement at the school. However, after a short stint in the NFL, he went back home where he was shot and killed.
    I am so against playing hurt. Even in things like dance, dancers, dance through repeated sprains and foot injuries. I believe these injuries flare up later in life and affect the quality of life as you get older.

  62. Denver, yes, I realized you had only seen that comment without the rest of the context, which is why I provided it to you.

    Rhett, I don’t have a final proposal, am just noting that “hey, the uni owes them a degree, let them finish it whenever” has some real issues

  63. “Even in things like dance, dancers, dance through repeated sprains and foot injuries.”

    Absolutely. Ballet dancers routinely play hurt, because the human foot was simply not designed to dance en pointe:

    “Go to any ballet house and, however serene the dancers’ faces, those elegant pink silk shoes hide a battery of injuries: black nails, purpling flesh, growths galore. Peter Norman, one of the UK’s leading podiatrists, has seen it all in the 16 years he has been treating the the Royal Ballet. He is aware, too, that even more goes on unseen. “I know of dancers who have gone on pointe with broken bones and stress fractures,” says Norman. “The pressure on them to get parts, to guard their places in the companies, means they push themselves too far.” https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2006/sep/05/dance

    Spending just a few minutes looking up ballet foot injuries (or having a dancer SIL) makes it much harder to enjoy watching a ballet performance.

  64. Completely off-topic: does anyone here have an opinion on the Kenwood triblade Stick mixer or the Braun Multiquick? Main uses would probably be whipping cream, making cookie dough (at least the first part, creaming butter/sugar/eggs) and mashing potatoes. I do 2 of the 3 just fine by hand, but cannot get mashed potatoes to work out right with just a fork or whisk, so it’s either find a potato stomper or buy a mixer.

    Also off-topic: That went fast! My son and I agreed not to get each other anything, but then I had to do at least a couple little things, just cause, and somehow I’m over €100 on Uno cards, a cactus, a generator for his bike light, and the biggie at €17—CBD oil.

    Denver, I’m not ignoring you, but “I know I’m taking what you said out of context, because the context doesn’t interest me, I’d rather quarrel with the out-of-context comment” isn’t something I know how to respond to.

  65. SM – my Dad brought a Braun stand mixer from Germany (like Kitchen Aid in the U.S.). It worked for decades till my mother gave it away because it was too heavy for her. I have a lot of fondness for Braun.

  66. “Are you saying they should paid post sports while they finish their degree? That makes sense as part of thir original deal. Rather than being paid X they are paid 0.5x with the balance coming as deferred compensation to paid out as they finish their degree.”

    It’s become common when an MLB team signs a player out of college who hasn’t graduated yet, typically after their junior years, to have the contract include deferred $ to cover the cost of completed their degrees.

    OTOH, I don’t know if or NFL salary scales and salary caps allow for that sort of deal.

  67. We have a kenwood stand mixer which is adequate to our needs, though I am a bit sceptical it will last like a kitchenaid. We have a kenwood blender which is an endless source of disappointment. These were replacement appliances because of the difficulty getting our kitchenaid and vitamix to work with the local electricity.

    I think the best thing for mashed potatoes is a hand powered ricer. Anything mechanical runs the risk of turning them into a gluey mess, depending on the varietal of potatoes.

    https://foodal.com/kitchen/general-kitchenware/guides-general-kitchenware/the-best-potato-ricers/

  68. A football player a year ahead of me graduated with a degree in engineering and was drafted by an NFL team. The story was that part of his salary package included paying for him to also get his PhD. I would see him working out at the track. He later got a Superbowl ring and went on to an academic career somewhere. I don’t think he had the typical path.

  69. SM. Neither of the appliances you cite are any good for mashed potatoes. This is one tine where a single purpose item is the best, see below. I expect the Braun appliance is well made. I have a cheaper brand that works for me. I would not use it it to cream butter and sugar for a bak8ng recipe. Not the right sort of power or big enough blades or bowl. . I do use it as a handblender to puree soup or sauces, with the (smaller than it looks) chop bowl to quick chop veggies or fresh herbs, With the whisk to beat eggs or cream.

  70. Strange—I don’t use electricity for a lot of other tasks people use it for—whipping cream, drying laundry, dispensing ice—but have only ever made mashed potatoes with an electric hand mixer, until these recent experiments in going it by hand, but not with the common tool. Do they actually get fluffy that way?
    Both brand names are well-established, so I’m not worried about that. I doubt model numbers would be the same, given currency differences, but thought model names (which are in English here) might.
    Louise, he brought a mixer? I wouldn’t think of doing that unless I was moving a household. Could it use just a regular converter?

  71. Strange—I don’t use electricity for a lot of other tasks people use it for—whipping cream, drying laundry, dispensing ice—but have only ever made mashed potatoes with an electric hand mixer, until these recent experiments in going it by hand, but not with the common tool. Do they actually get fluffy that way?
    Both brand names are well-established, so I’m not worried about that. I doubt model numbers would be the same, given currency differences, but thought model names (which are in English here) might.
    Louise, he brought a mixer? I wouldn’t think of doing that unless I was moving a household. Could it use just a regular converter?

  72. SM – my Dad bought a mixer because that sort of kitchen gadget was unavailable in the home country at the time. All the cake mixing, even large quantities was done by hand. Home country is at 220 V and European gadgets don’t need converters. Our oven was of European make too. Good ovens were lacking in the home country. Locally made home country fridges in those years though were well made.
    I have gifted my aunts who bake things like cookie cutters, pastry decorating kits etc because good quality ones aren’t available or are very expensive.

  73. Thanks Louise. I’m laughing at myself now; because I somehow had the impression that he had stopped off in Germany en route to visiting you in the US, and had picked up a stand mixer to bring along. Boggled my mind. But now that I understand the correct story, it makes perfect sense.

  74. Growing up I only ever had mashed potatoes with a hand masher. I loved restaurant mashed potatoes but didn’t know why….then I got married and experienced my in-laws electric whipped potatoes. What an eye-opening experience.

    Alan Page is one of my favorite “back to school” stories. Went to law school while playing in the NFL. And then went on be a MN Supreme Court judge. Many of Michigan State’s basketball players go on to get their degree. Part of Tom Izzo’s recruitment is the emphasis to the players families that they will get a degree. It is well known that post college career (interesting it is called a ‘career’) he remains close to his players to keep them on the path to success.

  75. SM: Fluffy potatoes = potato ricer. I rice them, then whisk them until they are the right consistency, because I grew up with gluey mashed potatoes and still like a little teensy bit of that hanging-together-ness. But starting with the ricer has made a world of difference.

    And did that guy actually say “potato stomper”? Sometimes I love German. ;-)

    Athletes going back to college: I understand that it may be difficult and not everyone may do it for one reason or another. But the colleges should be required to *offer* it as a condition of the scholarship. And those returning athletes shouldn’t count against the school’s number of scholarships for active players.

  76. Cass, DD played volleyball in HS and had an experience similar to the one you described. She went from the freshman team directly to varsity, skipping the JV team. And she rarely played in a game all three years. It was painful to watch. The coach was young and immature. Some of the parents acted like groupies. After that experience, DD wanted nothing to do with volleyball, even recreationally.

    On the other hand, my kids were also on the indoor and outdoor track teams and my son ran cross-country. The coaches were great. Same HS. My kids and their friends still meet the coaches for breakfast a couple of times a year.

  77. The one thing I was struck by about gymnastics was how the girls were led to believe that the abuse was some sort of legitimate treatment. They knew on some level that it was wrong, but very few spoke to their parents or complained against it. Also the Karolyi Ranch where Team USA trained was out of bounds for parents.
    I think if your kid is in situations like these, look closely.
    I think parents are too trusting of coaches and other sports officials to do the right thing by their kids and that’s not always the case.

  78. SM, the Kenwood appears to have a few more attachments, including a special tool for potatoes with an interface like the hand masher. I am not familiar with that brand. So if that is a prime use for you, go for it. I dont even use electronics for potato pancakes, just a wire grater, and with arthritis in the hand that is a tall order. But the texture of the final product is paramount to me. If fluffy is your objective, I agree with Ada and LfB, go with the ricer and hand whip with a big spoon or heavy whisk.

  79. “The one thing I was struck by about gymnastics was how the girls were led to believe that the abuse was some sort of legitimate treatment. They knew on some level that it was wrong, but very few spoke to their parents or complained against it. Also the Karolyi Ranch where Team USA trained was out of bounds for parents.”

    The complicity of Michigan State and USAGymnastics is horrifying. The first official report of Nasser’s abuse was in 1997. 19-freakin’97. Michigan State did nothing. Others reported along the way and USAG did nothing.

    The Karolyi Ranch was off limits to parents and a lot of the grooming went on there. Many of the girls have reported that the Karolyi’s starved them (sometimes they trained on one chicken breast a day amidst 6 hours of gymnastics training) and Nasser would sneak them food. Many parents were just so honored that their daughter could train with the Karolyis that they turned a blind eye.

  80. HFN — I truly don’t understand the under-feeding by coaches that seems to go on in a lot of elite girls’ sports (and not just gymnastics — I’ve heard of this in other sports as well). I’m no biologist, but it seems to me that if you are not fueling the body adequately, the body will break down; and if the body breaks down, the athlete will not be able to perform at peak levels. People who are spending a lot of calories training need a lot of fuel. Wouldn’t it be in the coaches’ best interest to feed these kids adequately, so that they can perform at peak level? I get the sense that some of these coaches are sadists at heart — they get off on inflicting suffering.

  81. NOB, The issue was, of course, to keep the skinny look of the soviet gymnasts from the 60s and 70. There was a “gymnastics body type” – short, skinny, prepubescent. Ballet dancers have been in this boat for ages, also. If you listen to the commentary on gymnastics broadcasts from the 80s and 90s on Youtube, the body shaming is appalling. Many top gymnasts have spoken out about the culture of eating disorders. Women’s bodies aren’t meant to look like 12 year olds.

    It definitely is changing, particularly on the college level. But we still have Laurie Hernandez talking about how she was shamed for being fat when she developed boobs and a butt at 15 and how she wore multiple sports bras to try to minimize her curves at the time of the 2016 olympics.

    A lot of top gymnasts actually find healing in college, where a variety of body types are accepted and they have more fun.

    And of course, no one is gonna call Simone Biles’ powerful body “chunky” like they did Shawn Johnson (who, by the way, reported that she got her first period at age 19, after she stopped trying to achieve the “gymnast body.”

    Other sports are by no means exempt, as NOB notes. Mary Cain wrote about how being on the Nike team and trying to maintain Nike’s weight expectations ruined her as an athlete.

    Sorry, I don’t know how to post it without a paywall.

    Basically, the world has a terrible problem with female bodies.

  82. Laura, I may’ve taken a teensy bit of liberty—“stomp” and “stamp” are the same word in German.

    Meme, you do you. Just thought I’d show you that you can stop worrying about our potatoes because if I go with that model, we have just the perfect tool right there.

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