At the intersection of COVID and Amateurism

Food for thought:

For an organization (the NCAA) that still maintains the legal argument that paying athletes is wrong because it might lead to athletes being cut-off from their peers on campus, it’s amazing how quickly we’ve simply accepted the idea that college sports teams need to have no physical connection to the campus they represent (such as San Jose State decamping to Arcata, California, the University of New Mexico football team temporarily moving to Las Vegas, or the Stanford men’s basketball team spending weeks in North Carolina). I do not think colleges will feel the need to backpedal from that.

Distant learning will be the norm for athletes even as regular students return to on-campus learning because it makes long road trips and a better TV schedule more manageable. The “college experience” of many college athletes will end up a lot more like the online education wing of a community college. No matter what, we will see more people accepting that this is a profession and that the professionals engaged in the conduct have all of the duties of professionals (even playing during a pandemic if the boss says so)…

He’s not wrong.  The speed at which places like the Big Ten did a complete one eighty could have given you whiplash if you weren’t careful.  And now, it’s likely to become a norm.  The new college experience, ladies and gentlemen!


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

24 responses to “At the intersection of COVID and Amateurism

  1. mwodieseldawg

    I read last year that Joe Burrow took all his classes online while at LSU. He had pretty much zero contact with regular students during classes, My daughter is a sophomore at UGA and has no face to face classes this upcoming semester and had none during the last semester. The tuition is the same as face to face classes though. Some parents who pay out of state tuition for their kids to learn through zoom are pissed about the cost. I can’t say I blame them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Covid has changed the college experience for most everyone, and in the end, community colleges may be the big winner in all of this. Parents, and students, are learning that if you can get an education from online classes why should you go into massive debt to pay the exorbitant tuition that private college and universities charge. The silver lining to all this may end up being an end to the ridiculous student loan debt carried by so many young people, especially those who majored in something that will never provide a good income. I loved my time at UGA and am proud to be a third generation grad but a four-year college or university is not the right career path for everyone.

      Liked by 3 people

      • classiccitycanine

        The true value of a prestigious college isn’t in the knowledge. It’s the brand. Until the market decides community colleges are just as impressive on the resume as UGA, Duke, Harvard, etc. folks will still scrap and strain and go into ridiculous debt to attend those institutions. Gotta stop the credential inflation. Heck I know people who got masters degrees because they didn’t stand out enough with their bachelors.


        • One of the problems with all of it is that as a society we have over-degreed ourselves but under-employed ourselves. In order to make jobs and companies more prestigious, HR departments have set requirements for higher degrees when what are really needed in those positions are the soft skills of problem-solving and effective communications. That doesn’t even address the people who really aren’t suited to office careers who rack up thousands upon thousands of debt but find themselves miserable and unable to progress because they just don’t fit in the career society told them they had to have in order to be “successful.”


          • TN Dawg

            Nothing like remodeling the house, showing up for an emergency plumbing issue, or roofing a house for a PhD holder from a university.

            You get that PhD salary by applying your trade school education.

            And guess what? If you want to learn about philosophy, literature, history or whatever your passion is, you can do it on your own by reading books and watching videos.

            Liked by 1 person

        • sniffer

          The true value of a prestigious college isn’t in the knowledge. It’s the brand.

          I know people who skated through college and have gone on to have great careers not because of the knowledge or the brand. The connections and relationships you make in college can mean a hell of a lot. Not arguing against your point, just adding another perspective.


      • You may be right re: community colleges for the first 2 years. A student who doesn’t want to go to the most elite private schools would be totally fine taking the first 2 years at a CC/JUCO. The problem is most kids see that as 13th and 14th grade and have no desire to do that unless they are paying themselves or they have academic work to do to prepare.


        • I worked in marketing for a community college for 28 years, and we saw a real change over the years in the acceptance of community college by the kids. We commissioned focus groups every 18 months, and while the viewpoint of parents changed little over that time (“my son/daughter is NOT going to community college”), the percentage of kids who had a favorable impression of either starting a four-year journey at a two-year college or choosing a career path from a two-year training program had dramatically changed in the positive direction, even from some whose parents had both attended universities. Our biggest feeder high schools were not the ones located in the lowest income areas, but the ones with the highest percentage of students headed to higher ed and the higher median income levels. That may not be true everywhere, but it was a trend that we saw year after year.


          • That’s interesting. Do you think some of that perception has been changed by the increase in dual enrollment options?


            • I do think that’s a major reason across the board. I also think community colleges moving stronger into the university transfer realm, both in quality and quantity of classes, has had a major effect in this part of the country. The influx of people moving from other parts of the US where community colleges were/are a more “accepted” part of the education spectrum (California, Ohio and Arizona, in particular) has also made a difference.


    • akascuba

      I watched an interview with Justin Fields pre COVID when asked about the campus his response was. The only time he visited the campus was during his recruiting visit. He did not attend classes. All of his class work was online.
      It was already about monetizing as best possible his experience by tOSU.
      My uneducated guess is his experience has become the the norm for the employees…. I mean student athletes that create the experience expected by big money boosters and most importantly Disney’s ESPN.
      Those student athletes in money losing sports my guess have a different experience depending on the school, conference and dollars left over from football or basketball schools.
      The time of a fair exchange for education as a reward for playing massive revenue generating sports is long gone. For the stars that ESPN pays to promote and broadcast its all about getting to the league. The majority of players are fodder to be used as needed to make more money for the schools.
      The current system is not sustainable it’s only when and how much change I’m unsure of. Those in charge of the sport will fight with all their resources to maintain status quo.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ozam

    The rationalizations for “the kids” is mind boggling. But hey, the politicians, experts, and universities know what is best for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Greg

    GOOD….let them go “professional”, the league can support/pay them.

    Easy peasy…..


  4. benco04


    Between the previous post and this one, methinks you’re working on theory of how college football is broken. Wouldn’t take much effort really.


  5. Hobnail_Boot

    Many athletes have lived and operated in a different atmosphere than the normal student population for years. This is just shining a light on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gurkhadawg

    “College experience “. LOL. You mean drinking beer and trying to get laid? I think our college athletes will do just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Groups, debate, social interaction, community involvement, volunteering are a major part of maturation. My degree isn’t that valuable, but the years to grow up were.


  7. W Cobb Dawg

    In the cases of of athletes who aren’t ready for a college curriculum, it’ll help keep them isolated from other students. It’s a crooked school/coaches dream come true. Nobody will know a player can’t handle college.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bulldawg Bill

    “Food for thought”?? Food for mental indigestion!


    • Down Island Way

      “in one ear and out the other, don’t you get criss crossed, i recommend you try a little mental floss”…..