I have attached the file below. please read the discussion lecture and complete the discussion question which is on the last page. The post must be minimum of 2 paragraphs. The topic is about sports/cultures. Complete the post from a guys perspective.I have attached reading well.
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Ok, so hopefully, you all enjoy a break from our textbook. This week we are reading a
chapter from Backboards and Blackboards by Patricia and Peter Alder. Their book looks
at the careers of NCAA basketball players from beginning to end. However, we will just
be focusing on the end of the players careers and how they transition out of being an
NCAA athletes. It seems most studies examine why people join a sport and how they
maintain their role in a sport, but the Adler’s did a great job of investigating how people
transition out of a role. This chapter directly relates to my work on skateboarders and
how the exit skateboarding, but I’ll try not to bore you with a lot of info about skaters.
As our chapter begins we find ourselves focusing on the players interpretation of their
career as they push through their senior year at a big name D-I school. The athletes are
starting to notice that their status has changed. The coaches and boosters begin to treat
them differently and they no longer feel as if they are the center of attention. With this
change in the experience and their post-college future coming up quickly, they begin to
reinterpret their relationship with the program, they shift from viewing the relationship as
being a relatively fair exchange to a form of exploitation.
This is a dramatic change from when they first arrived on campus. When the athletes
started the program they were awestruck and overwhelmed. They felt like they were
receiving a lot from the program and giving little in return. They were embraced by
millionaires, given a shot at their dream, and felt like they were surrounded by people
who cared about them. However, by the second year, the players began to feel like they
were contributing to the program and they felt like their sacrifices for the program were
relatively fair. They sacrificed their social and academic roles but obtained a significant
amount of glory and importance in their role as athletes. Moreover, they felt confident
that those around them would support them in the future. During their junior year the
athletes assumed responsibility for handling some of the boosters, the media, and
socializing some of the younger players. At this point, they were able to sense the
amount of money that they were bringing in for the program and wondered if they were
being fairly compensated, but overall, they felt like it was a relatively fair(ish) deal.
Finally, in their senior year they began to feel exploited, because they were no longer
content with just being in the moment and entrusting their future to someone else. With
the far off future coming up on them very quickly, the seniors looked for tangible instead
of experiential aspects of their relationship with the program.
While the athletes had a broad range of future options, most hoped to be drafted into
the NBA. Those who were contacted by an agent early on in the season were the most
optimistic about obtaining a career as a professional player. They couldn’t sign with an
agent but they may make informal agreements with potential agents. One player in the
study entered into an informal agreement and was paid $200 per month by an agent,
which freed him from kissing up to the boosters for $10 or $20. However, t he post-season is
when recruitment really picked up. Agents recruited openly and the coaches helped screen agents for those who
were draft picks. Those who were drafted often had stable relationships with the agent and had the benefit of the
coach helping out. However, the 2nd tier players who were not drafted had chaotic relationships with their agents.
The agents signed and dropped the players very quickly, and sometime gave the players poor advice.
Those who were passed over by the draft hoped for invitations to a team’s mini-camp, looked at summer
leagues, hoped that an agent would recommend them to a team. Also, some of the players down graded their
dream of being in the NBA to playing in a European and Latin American league. However, many of the athletes
simply gave up. They simply didn’t have the resources or energy to pursue their dream any further.
These athletes may attempt to stay within the broad field of athletics by looking for a job
as a coach or at an athletic goods store. Obtaining a coaching job at high school was a
relatively realistic goal for the players, but a college degree was required for this
position, which prevented some of the athletes from realistically hoping for this job.
Interestingly, some attempted to capitalize on their athletic skills by finding jobs as
bouncers, movers, and construction workers. While these jobs may seem to have little
relation to athletics, they drew upon the players’ strength and allowed them to maintain
a (weak) connection to their athletic self image.
Others players planned to leave athletics altogether, but wanted to capitalize on their
former glory as NCAA players. Those who followed this road often looked to the
boosters for work. While the coach discouraged the players from expecting too much
from the boosters, the players believed that boosters would help because they heard
promises throughout their careers from their coaches, from older players, and from the
boosters themselves. However, Rob pointed out, “They promise all sorts of stuff and it
never comes through.” Few of the players were ever offered positions at the boosters’
businesses and when they were offered a job they were often white. Only a single black
player in the Adlers’ study was offered a job at a booster’s business. The player
described his brief experience as a law clerk as a token philanthropic gesture.
Others looked for companies or jobs that actually favored hiring athletes because they
assumed that sports breed competitive and unyielding behavior. (Note: in my research
on skateboarders, I found that bold behavior in one realm did not lead to bold behavior
in other realms. Many of my pro skaters performed amazingly risky tricks, but were
rather timid and meek in fields outside skateboarding.) One job that worked for some of
the athletes was in sales. They found that they could use their reputation to get a head
start with some clients.
Others went on to graduate school, but this was rare among the players the Adlers’
studied. Sadly, many of the athletes left the program and college with no real plan. The
players often refused to plan for any job outside of athletics and when their athletic
eligibility expired, they suddenly had to find a way to feed, clothe, and house
themselves. Sometimes the athletes were saved by relatives (usually the white players),
but many without connections got stuck in shit jobs. Jobs that were undesirable, lowpaying, or insecure positions. Even worse, some who worked hard, thought about their
futures, and graduated were still stuck in terrible jobs. Success in athletics does not
equal success in other worlds.
For today’s discussion I want you all to respond to the first half of this chapter and I want you to
think up a way to prepare the athletes for life after university. How can the university assuage
the negative aspects of the college athletic career, drown out the boosters’ false promises, and
help the students develop a backup plan? How could the university change the scholarship or
the athletic program to prepare the players for their forced exit from being college athletes?
How can the coaches prepare the athletes for the sudden change of being a star to simply being
a “nobody” overnight?
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