Is anybody else still buzzing from the College Football Championship game earlier this week? I sure am. I still feel like I just left a rock concert and my ears are still ringing. At least with Monday’s game, I don’t have to worry about permanent hearing damage down the line.
In case you’ve been in a coma for the past several days, Alabama and Clemson played one of the most epic college football games in history. It was a hell of a game from start to finish, full of big plays, big turning points, and players that really rose to the occasion. It highlighted everything I love about football, a sport I’ve loved since I was a kid.
As much as I love football though, there is one component about college football that still bothers me. It’s not necessarily the football part though. That’s the fun part that most sports fans can get behind. It’s the college component.
This doesn’t just apply to football either. I watch other college sports from time-to-time, mainly basketball. When I was in college, I even knew some college athletes. It’s a big part of college life. Between class and keggers, college sports are a big part of the culture. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see it in a different context, one that is probably a byproduct of being an erotica/romance writer.
Unlike the professional ranks, college athletes don’t get paid. Sure, they get a scholarship to a school (although it can be revoked and rescinded at any time), but they don’t make any money directly. It doesn’t matter if your Deshaun Watson, the quarterback from Clemson who just became an icon at his school, or some backup point guard on the basketball team. They don’t make a penny directly.
This is kind of odd because the NCAA, the governing body for college sports, made over $1 billion in 2014 alone. They made this money despite not having to pay a dime to the actual people who play these sports that entertain us so much, namely the athletes.
Understandably, there are some folks who have a problem with this. The issue of paying college athletes is a sensitive issue, so much so that South Park dedicated an entire episode to mocking it with crack babies. It’s as entertaining and offensive as it sounds. Since the basic rule of thumb is that if South Park mocks it, then it must be a serious issue, it’s safe to assume there’s some major controversy/injustice going on.
Now I’m not going to dedicate this entire post to arguing for or against paying college athletes. That is a complex issue with more wrinkles than a porn star’s bed sheets. I’m not entirely qualified to discuss the particulars of this issue, but someone like John Oliver is. Last year, he dedicated a show to reviewing this issue and, as he often does, he breaks it down in a pretty astonishing way.
In watching this, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for the NCAA. That would be like feeling sympathy for the New York Yankees for not winning the World Series this past year. It’s an organization full of bureaucrat businessmen whose sole purpose is to make more money for the organization. I don’t mind people making money, but when it involves exploiting people to such a degree, I have a problem.
Then again, there might be other forces at work here beyond the greed of the NCAA and those who share in their profits. It’s a force that John Oliver never touched on and rightly so. It’s one of those forces that’s clearly there, but the implications are hard to see.
Watch that clip again and focus on the parts about the coaches and administrators making all that money from these college athletes. Do you notice something about them? Well, don’t look too hard. It’s fairly bland on the surface. A lot of these people are older individuals. They’re either at middle-age or beyond. They wear suits, they sit at desks, and they have as much sex appeal as a shaved cat.
Why do I bring this up? It’s not just to mock the ages of those involved. That’s just wrong. I mention their ages because it highlights an unspoken facet of our sexual attitudes. Listen to older folk talk about the sexual behaviors of the younger generation for more than five minutes and you’ll probably hear the same story, assuming you have a strong enough stomach.
Most will complain that these kids are out of control. They’re all a big ball of hormones, ticking time bombs that will go off at the sight of anything that looks like a tit. Put them in a room with anything that’s even somewhat alive and they’ll find a way to fuck it. They’re just that horny. They’re just that decadent.
Never mind that this generation, the Millennials, is having less sex than previous generations. This is the perception of the older crowd. It’s a perception that every older crowd seems to have about younger crowds in some form or another. Whether it’s baby boomers, hippies, yuppies, or whatever crazy generations emerged in Ancient Egypt, old people whined about them.
Why do they whine? Why does younger people having sex make them so upset? Well, if you’re older, you’re more likely to have kids. That means you’re also likely to have a daughter. Talk to any proud father about their daughter and chances are, they’ll vomit uncontrollably if they think about their daughter having any kind of sex that doesn’t involve making a grand-baby that will care for them in a nursing home.
It hearkens back to the Bronze Age idea that men must protect their daughter’s virginity, as though it’s some sort of precious commodity that they can later sell for a juicy dowry. Never mind that this isn’t the goddamn Bronze Age and it’s illegal to sell your children. Older men still recoil at the idea of their precious girls being defiled by hormonal men.
So how does this apply to college athletes? Well, anyone who saw the movie Varsity Blues has a vague idea. College athletes are big, strong, handsome, and a good chunk of them are minorities. They don’t just attract women. They can physically overpower them, sometimes in horribly violent ways.
The idea of paying these young men money, which they could then use to more effectively have sex with more women, probably doesn’t sit well with the older men who coach and govern college sports. Some of them may even worry that their own daughters, sisters, girlfriends, or mistresses will fall prey to a handsome, athletic stud’s charms.
It’s fairly undeniable that young athletes are quite horny and quite eager to fuck. The stories that come out of Olympic Village every four years during the Olympics are proof of that. For the NCAA and the old folk who run it, they just can’t stomach the idea of giving these young men too many resources. They’ll just use them to do more humping.
Now this is just the wild interpretation of an erotica/romance writer. I’m not saying that this thought crosses the minds of those in the NCAA when they’re arguing against paying college athletes. However, I do think there’s an unspoken concern that older generations have about the young, one that makes them look for excuses to not give them too many resources.
In some respects, I understand that. I like to think I was fairly mature when I was young, but there’s no way I could’ve made real, adult decisions about the future of my life at 18, which is when most college athletes start their careers. Give me a lot of money and athletic prowess and I might find a way to fuck it up.
Then again, is the problem really that college athletes are too horny and immature? Or is it that we just treat them with the expectation that this is how they’re going to be and they can’t possibly be any different? It’s just something to think about the next time you hear someone make excuses on why we shouldn’t give too much money to young, handsome, athletic men.