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Subject: How NIL Will Undoubtedly Harm Our Society

An Observer
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Date Posted: 17:02:33 01/09/22 Sun
In reply to: Lurker 's message, "Re: The new age of college athletics" on 16:37:27 01/09/22 Sun

Thanks for asking, L.

I am thinking most of the systemic effects on the high schools in America, especially those in the less privileged and poorer parts of the country which supply an inordinate proportion of the raw material, I mean, athletes to the sports/entertainment industry that we call college football and men's basketball.

For every kid who actually makes some money from his athletic skills in college, there will be at least 20 and maybe 100 who think that this is a viable game plan for life.

It's not.

It's hard enough already to get a 15- or 16-year-old kid whose mind is 60% full of girls girls girls and 30% full of sports to spend any mental energy on studying and applying himself to the traditional path of working hard on homework, getting a college education and pursuing a white collar career.

Now you're going to have college recruiters come into those same high schools and telling star athletes, "By the time you enroll at old State U in January of your senior year of high school, there will be $2 million in your bank account. Sports cars, Rolexes and -- Did I forget to mention? -- girls girls girls."

So maybe a few thousand kids who otherwise were supplying their labor for free to the sports industrial complex will now be paid something and maybe a few hundred will be paid big, serious money.

In exchange for that, tens or hundreds of thousands of kids will take school less seriously. Their life outcomes will get worse, not better.

So we are as a society exchanging a few thousand rich 19-year-olds for tens or hundreds of thousands of kids whose lives will be worse.

Put yourself in the place of high school teacher in an inner city like Miami or rural area like Philadelphia, Mississippi. You've got a kid who is a borderline college football prospect who also happens to be the best and brightest student in your calculus class. Maybe you had a chance of keeping him focused on calculus before, so that he could go to Duke or Vanderbilt.

No more.

We all remember what it was like to be 16. I wish all the high school teachers in America good luck when they are trying to get and keep the academic attention of a kid who, in the next calendar year, will make more money than the teacher will make in his entire career.

Our society will be worse off. What is the counterargument to this near certainty in the long run?

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: How NIL Will Undoubtedly Harm Our Society

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Date Posted: 14:16:22 01/10/22 Mon

Dont those unrealistic expectations already exist in our culture? But I guess it is fair to raise the possibility of NIL deals increasing those fantasies.

I do think the Power 5 conferences do a much better job now of making sure high school fantasies of collegiate stardom are tempured with the reality of academic qualification and then actually earning a degree while attending football factory U. Enabling players to start life with some kind of financial asset to go along with their degree in recreation management would help those individuals

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: How NIL Will Undoubtedly Harm Our Society

An Observer
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Date Posted: 15:08:41 01/10/22 Mon

L, those unrealistic expectations already exist in our culture, for sure. That's why I know it's already a temptation and an easy way out mentally and psychically for many kids, especially those who are less privileged. How many times to you think a kid with some academic potential has weighed his options and incorrectly concluded that focusing on sports is the better choice?

Now it will get worse because the money will get closer.

Right now, before NIL kicks in, the money is mostly in the professional leagues and the college players who are getting paid under the table are told to keep their mouths shut.

So high school kids know it's a long road. They need to study to clear the minimum academic requirements for college, then stay in school long enough to cash in on their athletic skill, which we know is a long, almost infinitesimally low likelihood outcome. The smarter ones will conclude they need academics as a back-up.

Once NIL fully kicks in, the money will be available in January of their senior year in high school. Now it's not a remote, low probability event. Well, it might be, but the money will be more tangible and thus more tantalizing.

When I was in high school, the star football player who led us to the state basketball championship used to come around with his classmates the following year. They would hang out in the hallways reminiscing about their glory days. Now imagine this same scene playing out except he's driving a Porsche and wearing a Rolex. Now the kid who is still in high school thinks, "I want that. Forget choosing between the two long-run options of an NFL team or a white collar job. I can get paid millions NEXT YEAR."

Recall what you were like at age 16. Do you think that you would have avoided the temptation? This is bad for America, period.

And what of the kids who actually do bank a six- or seven-figure NIL deal in college? Sure, they've won in the short term. But how many do you think will be better off in the long run? It's the classic parable of the lottery winner whose life is made worse by the jackpot, not better.

Again, how would 18-year-old you have done with $2 million in your pocket?

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: How NIL Will Undoubtedly Harm Our Society

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Date Posted: 15:30:29 01/10/22 Mon

Any or all of what you predict may come to pass. But - please dont take this as an attack - isnt this somewhat condescending? One of the only places in our society where the gospel of “get paid what you are worth” does not hold sway is among young economically disadvantaged men

I am not so convinced that among High school athletes there is so little understanding of the short term vs long term issues.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: How NIL Will Undoubtedly Harm Our Society

An Observer
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Date Posted: 15:49:40 01/10/22 Mon

Lurker, you are absolutely correct that it is somewhat condescending. The optics also look bad in that I am advocating against paying often poor young men during the one brief period in their lives when a (small small -- did I mention "small"?) percentage of them have a chance to earn some real money.

But I would say my pessimism is not based on any low opinion of the ability of the economically disadvantaged. My pessimism is based upon my observation of the human species.

I don't know about you, but I am a middle aged man. Decades ago, I went to college with a bunch of good guys and then we were launched out into the world by alma mater.

Today, some of my friends are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and a couple, I believe, are billionaires. Others of my friends have nothing. Little cash on hand, no retirement savings, selling assets to stay liquid. I look at their futures over the next couple of decades and I fear for them. I've seen it all up close and personal over the span of decades. Much of it does not look pretty.

A lot of the human species simply cannot manage their personal finances. All of us have a quirky relationship with money.

And these guys were not young athletes with no options in life. They were Ivy League graduates with the world at their feet.

So, yes, there is condescension embedded in my pessimism. But that pessimism is the product of watching a lot of people over a lot of years.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: A couple?

Go Green
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Date Posted: 15:52:24 01/10/22 Mon

You got me beat on the "friends who are billionaires" front.

At best, I only have one. :)

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: How NIL Will Undoubtedly Harm Our Society

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Date Posted: 16:26:28 01/10/22 Mon

How is this unique to America?

Have you ever seen what South American clubs (Santos, River Plate, etc.) do to get young talent off the streets... and then package them for huge fees to Barcelona... who then run the price up before selling them to Manchester United... who then dump them onto an unsuspecting MLS or J-League team looking to cash in on a name player?

And keep in mind - there is no college in the offing. And yet, Maradona was one of the most admired men in the world, even when he died.

This isn't an America thing. It's a human thing.

And just so we're clear, college ain't what it used to be when we matriculated. Even at Ivy schools.

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