An Alternative View Of March Madness

An Alternative View Of March Madness

Should student athletes be compensated?

It is that time of the year again when every guy begins making bets with their best friends, its March Madness. Intelligence will be measured by statistics and pure luck for this time period. Many people will lose a lot of money, and only a select few will walk away with their best friends beer money.

So it should be time to make the routine discussion of a basketball players rights to financial compensation. The NCAA had staggering revenue of 1 billion dollars in 2014, later in 2015 that number was constant. The winners and collectors of that large sum of money are the schools, coaches, and NCAA. The one group of people who are not paid a financial sum is the players. The players are the only reason the NCAA is in business.

Taking into consideration that the players are compensated through tuition, room and board, meal plans, and fees. All of those compensations are very rewarding and is well deserved.

Much of the revenue made from the sport events comes through viewership. However another large part of the revenue comes from the selling of merchandise. Essentially the NCAA has been marketing the player’s jersey numbers and names.

Compensating players with a highly esteemed education and basic living conditions is a great compensation. But marketing a player’s name and jersey number is unethical. Players should be receiving a percentage of the merchandise that is sold in their name.

Any normal professional sports player reviews a contract with the sports organization they are associated with and agree upon a percentage of the merchandise sales. The NCAA is no different than any other sports organization; the only difference is that they commission athletes before they officially become professional.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah interviewed Joe Nocera this week on the topic of NCAA. Nocera is a credible New York Times writer who has recently written a book titled "Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA." His recommendation on the show was that if any players want to receive their rights to any monetary privileges they should refuse to play. More specifically the final four in March Madness refuse to play to take the NCAA off their guard.

The NCAA would have to meet their demands as this is the biggest pay out time of the year for them and they would not want to see it go down the drain. The players have the right to demand for merchandise compensation above all else and should be compensated immediately.

Side note, Kentucky do not stay in the lockers and refuse to play. I put a lot of faith in you this season and I intend to win again this year. Purdue losing set my bracket off enough as it is. The other teams can protest in the lockers, please not you.

Cover Image Credit: PBS

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An Open Letter To High School Athletes In Their Senior Season

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

As I’m sure you know senior year is an exciting time. You’re the “big dogs”, as my teachers would put it, of the whole school. This is the year you are able to do all the things you’ve waited for the past three years. You can sleep in every morning because you don’t have class until nine or leave school early because you don’t have a last hour class. It’s great, right? Right.

However, this year, although it’s arguably the best year of high school, could also be the hardest. No, not hard because of classes or homework or actually having to decide on a college. Hard because it’s full of lasts. Last Homecoming, last spirit week, last Sadie’s, last school pictures, last musical.

And for many, the last time you’ll wear that jersey.

Of all the lasts that will happen this year, that has to be toughest one. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that will continue playing your chosen sport into college. Congratulations if that’s the case for you and I hope you continue playing as long as you can.

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

When you started as a freshman four years ago, you might have had little clue what the coming years would bring. As all freshmen do, you dreamed of making varsity and playing in every game, or earning as many medals as you could. The possibilities were endless.

Now here you are, in your senior year. Maybe you’ve won a state title or two. Maybe you’ve set new school records. Maybe even state records. No matter the case you’ve played your heart out for the past four years on the field and court. You’ve woken up at five in the morning for workouts and practices. And you’ve stayed until ten at night trying to get every play in the book fixed into your brain. You’ve spent your Friday nights under those nights no matter what the weather was like, rain or snow. You’ve spent your Saturdays at volleyball tournaments and your Sundays resting knowing that Monday’s practice would be a rough one. You’ve missed nearly a whole day of school for track meets or games that were just that far away.

You have had tan lines like crazy from your tennis uniform. Softball and baseball players have one hand darker then the other and golfers have legs three shades lighter than their arms. If you were like me you'd complain about how bad your tan lines looked in homecoming pictures (thank you tennis).

It never seems like it's your last year until senior night comes along. At least that's when it hit me. Then the next thing you know the season is over and you're handing in the uniform you've had the past couple of years.

So when you go to hand in that jersey or uniform remember the last four years. I hope you remember all the bus rides to and from games laughing with your teammates. The team dinners before games and the banquets to celebrate the season. All those early morning practices you dreaded until your coach came walking in with a box of doughnuts. All the games, win or lose, rain or shine, windy or hot. All the bruises and cuts you got that seemed to take ages to go away. Every practice you had to run extra for having too many fouls or turnovers. The pep rally’s for the first game of the season. The way you felt when you made that three, scored on a serve, caught that pass, or won that medal.

Because that chapter is or is almost over. The past four years you have been an athlete, I hope you showed it in every way. One day you won’t be an athlete anymore, so take this time to enjoy it and play with every ounce of passion you can.

Cover Image Credit: Rebekkah Wamser

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Here's What I Learned Going To A Gun Range

First of all, remember to put on earmuffs.

Over Spring Break, my roommate and I decided to try out a couple of activities we've never done before. We decided to visit the gun range to experience something that is very present in our lives. Coming from a country where private ownership of guns is largely outlawed, I first encountered a drawn gun during the USC Fertitta shooter scare of 2017.

Even so, I can say that I am 'familiar' with guns, and by that, I mean it's everywhere-- in movies, video games, and other media. Branding a gun looks so effortless when the hero of the movie jumps in to save the day, but knowing that real life is never like the movies, I wanted to experience what shooting a gun is truly like.

I started to sweat profusely the moment I entered the gun club lobby. All sorts of guns were hanging on the walls, and the sounds coming from the range were LOUD. After getting our gun (AK-47), ammunition, and protective gear, we headed to the range-- WITHOUT OUR EARMUFFS ON.

It was such a common sense thing to do, but our nerves got the best of us. My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach when that shot went off, and my ears were ringing for about a minute.

It took us a while to gather ourselves and make sure everything was on. The first thing that hit me when I first entered the room was the smell. I guess that's what they meant in novels when they describe the smell of gunpowder.

Then, it was time to shoot.

What I was most afraid of was the kickback, because I hear about people getting hurt from the force. But when I pulled the trigger, the thing that made me jump was the sound-- not the smell or the kickback. The sound wasn't only loud, but very distinct and punctuated-- it took me by surprise even though I was expecting it.

After a couple of rounds, and lots of pictures, we were done.

It was a learning experience; I had never held such a powerful weapon in my hand, and I went in knowing that it's not a toy that you hold and look cool in.

I would definitely do it again.

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