I have gotten used to reading Bulletin articles which don’t comport with my political view of the world, but Elaine McArdle’s “Pay for Play” may have set a new standard for never mentioning the other side on any facet of the article’s discussion.
I have a little experience with college sports, even discounting my own participation over 50 years ago. My son and daughter had outstanding college golf careers at academically demanding nonscholarship (meaning I paid) Division I institutions. Both managed to love both the golf and the overall experience. Both have terrific spouses and children, and one is now a practicing physician (with an honors degree from a top medical school) and the other has an M.B.A. and runs her own successful business. As a result, I am a little bemused by the former Brown running back (who managed to graduate from Harvard Law School) and the former NFL player and former president of the NFL Players Association who is now attending the Business School. Despite their protestations, it doesn’t seem like either of them was prevented from getting more out of college than just football.
Since I have lived near Northwestern for almost 50 years, had basketball season tickets at one time, and have a relationship with its men’s and women’s golf programs, I have followed the unionization story quite closely. Even the Chicago newspapers have presented both sides of the issue. The initiator of the process, quarterback Kain Colter (with whom many would gladly have traded places to receive a virtually free education at Northwestern), was quoted as saying he was prevented from pursuing his dream of becoming a surgeon and also, after the unionization vote was completed, as saying that he was now free to pursue his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL. Maybe he wants what all of us strive for but most of us know is beyond our reach—to “have it all.” The bottom line is that no one is forced to play a college sport—life is full of choices.
I long ago resigned myself to the fact that we conservatives are probably a minority of Harvard Law School alumni, but some of us loved and even continue to love the school and would appreciate a little more balance.