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Wed Nov 11, 2015, 03:53 AM

Why Mizzou football players could be a game changer for student activism

Student activists around the country should try to connect with so-called "student-athletes".

These athletes are a sleeping giant. At a school like Mizzou, where just 7 percent of the students are black but a whopping 69 percent of the football players are, one can see how their entry in the struggle had a ripple effect that tore through Columbia and into the college football–crazed national consciousness.

The multibillion-dollar college football playoff contracts, the multimillion-dollar coaching salaries, and the small fortunes that pour into small towns on game day don’t happen without a group of young men willing to take the field. The system is entirely based on their acceptance of their own powerlessness as the gears of this machine. If they choose to exercise their power, the machine not only stops moving: It becomes dramatically reshaped.

It is also difficult to imagine the football players acting at all without the broader struggle on campus. The protests of students and faculty members whose names the public does not know is what laid the groundwork for the players to showcase their courage.


http://www.thenation.com/article/3-lessons-from-university-of-missouri-president-tim-wolfes-resignation/

57 replies, 4060 views

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Reply Why Mizzou football players could be a game changer for student activism (Original post)
ellenrr Nov 2015 OP
malaise Nov 2015 #1
loyalsister Nov 2015 #2
ellenrr Nov 2015 #5
Logical Nov 2015 #10
cantbeserious Nov 2015 #3
certainot Nov 2015 #43
cantbeserious Nov 2015 #46
beltanefauve Nov 2015 #50
raouldukelives Nov 2015 #51
billhicks76 Nov 2015 #4
ProfessorGAC Nov 2015 #30
DinahMoeHum Nov 2015 #6
DAngelo136 Nov 2015 #7
tishaLA Nov 2015 #39
MichMan Nov 2015 #8
Travis_0004 Nov 2015 #9
whatthehey Nov 2015 #24
Travis_0004 Nov 2015 #27
marmar Nov 2015 #34
Buzz Clik Nov 2015 #36
tishaLA Nov 2015 #40
Buzz Clik Nov 2015 #41
Skittles Nov 2015 #55
ProfessorGAC Nov 2015 #31
The2ndWheel Nov 2015 #13
HickFromTheTick Nov 2015 #11
mercuryblues Nov 2015 #47
HickFromTheTick Nov 2015 #52
mercuryblues Nov 2015 #53
The2ndWheel Nov 2015 #12
SaintLouisBlues Nov 2015 #14
Calista241 Nov 2015 #17
SaintLouisBlues Nov 2015 #20
jayschool Nov 2015 #35
SaintLouisBlues Nov 2015 #42
jayschool Nov 2015 #44
The2ndWheel Nov 2015 #26
TipTok Nov 2015 #15
ncjustice80 Nov 2015 #16
Ex Lurker Nov 2015 #18
ncjustice80 Nov 2015 #21
Ex Lurker Nov 2015 #22
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2015 #23
Buzz Clik Nov 2015 #32
ncjustice80 Nov 2015 #37
Buzz Clik Nov 2015 #38
cherokeeprogressive Nov 2015 #48
ncjustice80 Nov 2015 #49
Act_of_Reparation Nov 2015 #19
marmar Nov 2015 #45
ellenrr Nov 2015 #57
theboss Nov 2015 #25
Buzz Clik Nov 2015 #28
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2015 #33
Travis_0004 Nov 2015 #29
KamaAina Nov 2015 #54
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Nov 2015 #56

Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 04:27 AM

1. Yep

Student athletes sure have power

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 04:37 AM

2. I grad student

whose bachelor's degree was funded via athletic scholorship called it a plantation revolt, and hopefully wondered which program would be next.

This is a huge deal. His characterization made me wonder what kind of long term economic consequences would have resulted if slaves had gone on strike? It's disturbing and horrifying to consider the human cost for such an act.
But, after learning about the economic benefits these players provide with very meager compensation, I wonder what kind of economic impact it might have had on plantation owners.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 06:43 AM

5. Tim Wolfe had raised tuition and slashed health benefits, while allocating $72 million for a new sta

Everyone knows the extra benes that college athletes get - even unsuccessful teams. I used to tutor student-athletes at a university whose football team had a terrible record. The student-athletes used to get catered meals.

At the same time, they ARE treated like a commodity, not like human persons. They are valued for the huge wealth they bring to the university, of which they see none.

So here at Mizzou, we have the "privileged" football players rising up.
They have a lot to lose.
And as Zirnin says, without the impressive organizing of the African Americans on campus and off, would the athletes have mutinied against their slave status? Unlikely.

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Response to ellenrr (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 08:21 AM

10. They see some which is free college! I would take it! Nt

 

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 05:21 AM

3. On The Plantation The Product Was Cotton - At Many Universities The Product Is Sports

In both cases an exploited group drives the economics where a few profit at the expense of others.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:46 PM

43. worse than that- 270 limbaugh stns use those athletes and

the community cred of 90 major schools to sell advertising.

that includes missou, which broadcasts sports on 6 limbaugh stations. right now on those 270 stations, besides generally denying there is any white privilege or institutional racism, he's claiming it's all a hoax- not only the racism on campus, the kkk, but also the mike brown was not murdered he was a threat to wilson and wilson's life is ruined - "hands up don't shoot" was a hoax.

and he says -no one's standing up to "these people"

those schools need to stop supporting rw radio- there's no excuse. a few schools starting the process of looking for apolitical alternatives will shame others and the rw talk radio monopoly would not survive. the corporate GOP, which uses the racism to pass voter suppression and get the base out, will lose its most important media weapon.

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Response to certainot (Reply #43)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 05:21 PM

46. Roger That

eom

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Response to certainot (Reply #43)

Thu Nov 12, 2015, 02:00 AM

50. This

Would make a good LTTE. You bring up some very good points.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 12, 2015, 08:46 AM

51. Donald Sterling wasn't an aberation.

Many of the wealthiest families and team owners are have long held and passed down beliefs.
For them, being able to line people up and to see how much weight they can lift, how fast they can run, how strong their backs are, how good their teeth are and and then bid on them accordingly honors the activities of their forefathers.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 06:09 AM

4. Inspiring

 

These kids are heroes in my book.

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 11:01 AM

30. The Coach Having Their Backs. . .

. . .was a very pleasant outcome as well. He's to be commended.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 06:53 AM

6. Great interview yesterday on Democracy Now. . .

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 07:02 AM

7. You have to hearken back to the moment when...

the student/athletes became aware of their power:
When they started to organize a union (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/northwestern-football-players-union_55d357d5e4b07addcb44213e)

You also have to read some Dave Zirin as well
(http://www.thenation.com/article/3-lessons-from-university-of-missouri-president-tim-wolfes-resignation/)

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Response to DAngelo136 (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:07 PM

39. Don't forget Kareem at UCLA

way back in the late 60s.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 07:23 AM

8. Diversity in athletics

See a lot of discussion recently about Mizzou regarding the representation of AA players on the football team compared to the student body as a whole. While we all support increasing diversity in higher education to better represent society and allow inclusion, shouldn't the major athletic programs rosters also better represent the diversity of the student body as well?

Michigan universities have relatively large middle eastern and asian percentages of the student population, however the major sports (football and basketball) teams are almost exclusively made up of AA and Caucasian players leading to references to plantations etc.

Since these are student atheletes, should increasing diversity to represent the entire student body also be a consideration?

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Response to MichMan (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 07:39 AM

9. No

 

The team should take the best players.

If a team is 100% white, 100% black or 100% asian, I dont care. I just want the best people to make the team.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:08 AM

24. Out of curiosity, why not then apply the same standards to academics?

Harvard doesn't just take the X highest ACT scores. Why should the real purpose of universities not take only the best performers if you insist the auxiliary games part of them should do so?

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:58 AM

27. because nobody cares about afirmative action when white people are underrepresented.

 

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 11:49 AM

34. Hooh boy

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Response to marmar (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 12:24 PM

36. This entire subthread stinks of thinly veiled racism.

 

Hooh boy, indeed!

(not directed at you, marmar)

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:09 PM

40. thinly veiled? it must be so thin I can't see it nt

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Response to tishaLA (Reply #40)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:11 PM

41. Well, that is the concept of the thin veil.

 

It doesn't hide much.

to those who think they're being clever.

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Response to marmar (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 01:12 AM

55. no surprise coming from that one

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 11:03 AM

31. Because It's Not A Evenly Controlled Game To Be Won or Lost

They're educating. They don't win an extra prize if they churn out the most grad students. You're comparing apples and oranges and expecting a good answer.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:03 AM

13. How many middle eastern or asian students want to play football or basketball?

If they're playing, and they're good, they would find a way onto any team.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 08:57 AM

11. And the team should be able to dictate college policy at will!!!!!

 

Thankfully!!! Finally the time has come where a group of 80 college students can dictate college policy WITHOUT having to pay tuition OR join council, have a career, or gain tenure. At LAST the time has arrived where sports teams are in their rightful place of ABSOLUTE POWER over the school administration.

And last but not least, PRAAAAAISE be the fact that media coverage can now be controlled so that a select viewpoint remains unchallenged by the white privilege bastions of discourse and public scrutiny.

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Response to HickFromTheTick (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 08:21 PM

47. yeah

fuck 'em for wanting to get to their classes and activities without threats of violence. screw 'em for not wanting racist symbols smeared with shit on the walls. They should just wear bullet proof vests to classes in case anyone carries through with the threat to shoot them all. Don't they know they are there to please the mazzah?

Christ on a stick, the shear fact that you typed that BS disproves your last sentence 100%

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #47)

Thu Nov 12, 2015, 09:21 AM

52. You misunderstand completely.

 

I said NOTHING about their cause, which I happen to agree with, but I disagreed with the fact that a sports team now dictates policy at the school. How indicative of the state of American education that a multi-millionaire "oppressed" hunger striking student and the football team can so easily subvert a carefully constructed administration. If you don't see a big problem with that, then we will never agree. So now they have a right to censorship of the press because someone taunted them with racial bullshit? Are you saying that anyone who believes in a free press is "the mazzah"? A crowd of protesters can't feel "safe" with a student reporter around? Please clarify and try to withhold the "sarcastic" implications of any racism on my part. They are ill-founded and untrue given my actual viewpoint.

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Response to HickFromTheTick (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 12, 2015, 04:17 PM

53. I say good

for the team. It's not like they were striking to get an extra piece of bacon for breakfast. They were striking for the right to NOT GET SHOT for walking to class. There have been protests for over a month, all ignored. The issues were not addressed. These strikes did not come out of nowhere. The more the students were ignored, the more vile and brazen the racist got, which includes some alumni.

The idea that you think just because Butler comes from a prominent family, he could not possibly be subjected to racism is ludicrous. You know damn well I was not referring to the press with that snark. I was mocking the idea that football players should not have a right to protest having their lives threatened, called racial slurs, etc. just because they are getting scholarships. They should just shut up and play. Really? That is what you are saying, they have no rights.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 08:57 AM

12. When Alabama players do it, then you might have something

Missouri has a losing record. If they were in the running for anything, and then they were willing not to play a game, that would be a different story.

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Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:29 AM

14. Do you mean the two-time defending SEC East Champion Missouri Tigers?

Still trying to become eligible for a bowl game during a less than stellar year?

Possibly losing the University a million dollars if they missed the BYU game in Kansas City this weekend?

Lame attempt at minimizing the team's efforts, pal.

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Response to SaintLouisBlues (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:40 AM

17. What Mizzou has done is definitely admirable.

But I don't think one of the 4 playoff teams would make this same decision in December or January. There were rumors of significant dissatisfaction from within the Mizzou player ranks, from both black and white players, for making this decision in the first place, despite the public tweets.

Those players on Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame most likely have a single chance at playing for a national championship.

99% of those players will not play in the NFL, and I don't think many of them would give up college sports immortality to make such a political statement.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:53 AM

20. You never know. You are probably correct. But you still minimize Mizzou and what they accomplished

by making this argument.

Plus, I love being able to say two-time defending SEC East Champion Missouri Tigers, at least for the next few weeks. Doubt I'll ever be able to say it again after this season.

Actually, I thing Florida has already won the division, so technically I can no longer brag about the...

Two-Time Defending SEC East Champion Missouri Tigers!

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Response to SaintLouisBlues (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 12:22 PM

35. Really?

Lowly Missouri has earned distinction among the most awesomest collection of football powers (the almighty SEC) two years running?

Sorry, but I watch ESPN, and I know that any team from another conference joining the SEC would immediately be relegated to homecoming bait, suffering the indignities of 55-0 beatdowns. So how did this happen, especially a program such as Mizzou's, which hasn't won a conference title since 1969 (a tie with Nebraska in the Big 8)?

Color me shocked! M-I-Z

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Response to jayschool (Reply #35)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:37 PM

42. In the last 10 years only 14 teams have won more games than Mizzou

Is Missouri as good as Alabama or Ohio State? No, but they're not Kansas either.

I wish they were KU in basketball though.

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Response to SaintLouisBlues (Reply #42)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 02:03 PM

44. I'll finish it, then.

Z-O-U

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Response to SaintLouisBlues (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:46 AM

26. I'm just saying it might not be a game changer

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:31 AM

15. That's just what we need...

 

Sports programs that have moreinfluence over the school.

Can't see how that could go wrong...

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:38 AM

16. Also good to see the police on MIssou are taking hate speech seriously.

They put an email out that if students see/hear anyone using hate speech, to take the person's photo, call the police, and write down their license plate. Would be nice to see some hate crime arrests of Reichwingers come out of this!

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:44 AM

18. Really? That's what you got out of that

fascistic email? Unbelievable. Hate speech is in the eye of the beholder, and what can be done to someone else can be done to you. DU doesn't surprise me any more, but it often dismays me.

Re, the Mizzou football players, they are on a losing team with nothing to play for, so there wasn't much downside in threatening a strike. I'd have been more impressed if they'd been in contention for a conference title or a playoff berth. I think this was a one-off thing. Some of the Mizzou players were joking about the whole situation on twitter later, so I don't know how seriously they were actually taking it.

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Response to Ex Lurker (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:55 AM

21. I don't see what is so "fascistic" about the e-mail.

Hate speech is easy to define-it is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation.

Now, obviously, this doesn't count towards the majority (so sorry to Cis-hetero-white-christian-Males, you can sop your tears up with your enormous societal privilege).

The campus has been rife with vile racial attacks on black students- I think it is a good thing to prosecute those individuals.

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:58 AM

22. Lol, okay NT

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:05 AM

23. Happily

Hate speech isn't illegal and can't be prosecuted, which even the Mizzou campus police acknowledge.

That email was nothing more than an attempt to silence free speech, offensive as it may be, and is a waste of resources that could be better spent pursuing actual crimes, such as death threats.

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 11:21 AM

32. The majority of students at MU are "Cis-hetero-white-christian-Males"?

 

No.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 12:58 PM

37. "The Majority" in society is.

And The Majority isn't simply numbers- it is about power.

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #37)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:03 PM

38. Nope. Not at all.

 

Christ, not even half the population is male. Where do you come up with this stuff?

"Majority" is a quantitative term, not some vague reference for disparaging people you don't like.

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:19 PM

48. "Hate speech is easy to define..." Oh really?

 

"it is speech that attacks"

Could you define "attacks" in the context of speech for me in a way everyone can agree on?

According to what you've posted so far, faggot might be hate speech but lard ass isn't.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #48)

Thu Nov 12, 2015, 01:11 AM

49. Both are pretty hateful imo.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 09:52 AM

19. Yeah, good luck with that.

The sports culture is so wrapped up in conservatism and conformity that I can't see this becoming the norm anytime soon.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 03:20 PM

45. Courage is contagious. All it takes is one act sometimes.

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Response to marmar (Reply #45)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 04:59 PM

57. yeah, I agree, and I also agree with the previous poster

to a degree.
There is a lot of "toe the line" in sports, esp. college sports.

BUT it is not universal.
And it was not always thus.
If people remember Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe,
of course someone already mentioned Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who is consistently supportive of social justice.
I once heard Chris Weber, former NBA, who was very eloquent - I think it was on the occasion of the tribute to Dr King some years ago. Usually no one asks these men and women to speak on serious topics, so we don't necessarily get to know what is on their minds.

It could be the time is coming around again that was so wonderfully represented by Tommy Smith and John Carlos. By Hurricane Carter. By Muhammad Ali.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:45 AM

25. I think the impact on the corrupt NCAA is greater

 

I'm not sure this is going to be a consistent theme of on-campus activism. I see this is a test run for athletes to go after a bigger and more personal prize - the NCAA.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 10:58 AM

28. Indeed. The sleeping giant.

 

Keep in mind:

a) The football team generates the revenue that allows every other sport to survive with the single exception of men's basketball. If that revenue is diminished, just about every other sport suffers immeasurably.

b) The University, the entire conference, and the NCAA are bathed in money from the football team. If the Mizzou (or any other school) football team jeopardizes that money, there will be hell to pay. And don't forget the filthy rich sponsors that not only own football, they also own the university.

c) If any group is seen to threaten that amount of money, they will be gone in a flash. Wolfe and Loftin screwed up and stepped down before the money was threatened, but it won't happen again.

d) There are thousands of high school football players every year who are turned away from scholarship opportunities, and they would gleefully step in to replace the entire team if necessary. If these "student"-athletes overplay their hand, they will be gone from the university before you can say "revoked scholarship."

Cue the angry responses to my post

Sorry, but those are the facts.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #28)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 11:28 AM

33. Yep, there are plenty of people that would have gladly taken the scholarships and played

I fully expected the scholarships to be revoked, and the players sent packing.

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2015, 11:00 AM

29. Based on their record, i assumed they were boycotting football games for a few weeks already.

 

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Thu Nov 12, 2015, 04:56 PM

54. Rip 'em up, Tigers!

 

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Response to ellenrr (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 10:05 AM

56. Yesterday I likened it to the Tea Party in that

 

...the universities built their empire on the shoulders of athletes who know understand they could bring down the house of cards in one week.

It will be interesting to see what Northwestern football players do. Last year they tried to form a union but were denied.

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