Athletics at Colleges and Universities Show Muscle; More to Come
Pundits are all over the mental landscape analyzing the student revolt at the University of Missouri, which has already deposed the system’s president and will soon, if not already, cause the abdication of the school’s chancellor.
The revolt appears far from over.
It is fitting that it is occurring in the nation’s heartland, instead of in New York’s slums, giving it a chance to effect real change, as it spreads to colleges and universities across the nation.
I believe the key to the success in Missouri is that organizers of campus disruption and eventual control hit upon the idea of using sports as a major vehicle. It is proving fruitful.
Mainstream media’s elite, intellectual commentators are not equipped to realize what is going on in Missouri with regard to almost anything, and especially not sports.
At Mizzou last week at least 30 black football players, according to one report, struck and said they wouldn’t participate in team activities until the president capitulated.
President Tim Wolfe resigned Monday, Nov. 9, at a school board meeting, and reportedly slunk gracefully from the building.
At least one news report states that the students’ protests were praised by White House press secretary Josh Earnest. He said the protesters showed that “a few people standing up and speaking out can have a profound impact on the places where we live and work.”
Earnest also seemed to be urging the revolting rebels forward when he added that it would require continued “hard work” to ensure that progress continued at the university and discussed similar debates occurring in other universities, such as Yale University.
Very few realize the extent of the value of sports among average fans and those not-so-average, especially in places like Missouri and in the Deep South.
In many institutions across the nation college sports take precedent over academics; pursuing diversity is more important than teaching. Those practices are also fully in place in most high schools and even in many middle schools.
It’s not too far-fetched to suggest that many fans of high school football will unhesitatingly forego Friday night drunken sex orgies to rant at Friday night football; come winter, gyms are usually filled to overflowing, drunk and sober; all proficient in profanity.
In secondary schools and in high institutions of higher learning, gymnasium courts and football fields are dominated by black players and (in high schools) a growing number of Hispanics. It matters not what race, class or creed, winning is everything.
It also wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine that some schools have to bus in white players from other districts in order to have a user-friendly white player on event programs and in recruitment packages. It also could be that high school sports powerhouses are paying local farmers to allow a 300-pounder or a seven-footer to occupy a space in their mini-vans on their trips to South America to pick up illegal immigrants to work on their farms.
In most states non-citizens vote, so why does a talented athlete need permission from the government to reside on college campuses and play games there.
But, all seriousness aside, one must not forget that, especially at college football and basketball games, spectator seating areas are a sea of white faces.
As protesters move forward, efforts may be made to effect a situation where the event spectator racial ratio is the same as the player racial ratio. Ergo, ten percent white on the court requires 90 percent black in the bleachers. Granted that may be difficult if, for example, all basketball players on a team and all football players on a team are black, as is often the case. The public might not accept the exclusion of all white fans, especially at college games.
After all, most of the viewers at college games are either white white collar workers, there because of a corporation perk, which is tax deductible for the company. Or the fan might be a financial donor to the school’s athletic program, also tax deductible.
L.E. Brown, Jr. is a columnist based in Magnolia, N.C. Contact him at [email protected]