TaleG8: Let’s argue about paying college players

This photo kind of works for everything in the column, but it’s of Star Anna. Read on.

Let’s argue about paying college players. I’m serious. Let’s roll up the sleeves and get at it. Or continue getting at it, because we’ve been getting at it pretty good for a while now as is. You bring the ragged old sweatshirt you wore in college. I’ll bring the budget sheets. We’ll weigh nostalgia against a obscene pile of money — and that’s just the head coach’s salary.

Last week, Arian Foster said he took money while at Tennessee. “I don’t know if this will throw us into a NCAA investigation,” he said, and how could he. The NCAA doesn’t know.

Susan Orlean outed @horse_ebooks as performance art piece and very much human. I’m waiting for Jonathan Franzen to pull back the curtain on the NCAA and find out it’s graphing calculator being strangled by Hello Kitty stickers.

The day after the Foster news broke players around the country scribbled “APU” on various pieces of tape and equipment. It stands for All Players United. Deadspin summed it up pretty well, calling it a move in “solidarity for the idea of getting paid for working their asses off.” You’ll see at that link where Iowa State’s athletic director trolled the APU membership, and was then trolled himself.

Nothing compared to Dick Vitale, who essentially called Arian Foster a prostitute. It was quickly pointed out to Vitale that he’d made a fortune thanks to thousands of athletes like Foster, and that maybe Vitale could kindly shut up. Vitale said he was sorry.

Solidarity amongst the current playing ranks is nice, but what if more players followed Foster’s lead? What if All Alumni United picked a day to call up their nearest reporter and talk about what they got in school? “I don’t know if this will throw us into a NCAA investigation” would quickly turn into “Ha ha ha ha ha! They can’t investigate EVERYONE.”

And we could accept that amateurism is a sham and work from there.

For more on this particular topic, follow Patrick Hruby on Twitter.

P.S. ESPN is reporting that EA Sports is going to pay out to athletes for stealing their images and using them in video games. They won’t get enough to buy a video game system, but they’ll get something.

BUT THEY ALREADY GET A SCHOLARSHIP! Yes they do and Jesus I don’t want to be here all day. Go follow Hruby.

EXCEPT. Wait. If you’ve ever used the “the biology/English/geography/whatever department doesn’t generate money or attention” argument to justify anything an athletic department has done, you don’t get to argue “scholarship is payment enough,” because you don’t actually care about academics.

I wrote about the new Star Anna record for the Portland Mercury. She went through hell to make Go To Hell, and it’s bold and bad and she sings her ass off. On the title track, a Nina Simone cover, she sounds like a gospel singer backed by a band of serial killers. She’s at Al’s Den for a week starting on Sunday.


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