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Golub: Why do colleges have sports?

The existence of college sports is confusing. Despite holding the student-athlete moniker, college athletes are often treated like professionals. This past weekend, you maybe watched the Final Four for men’s basketball. It was a professional-level spectacle complete with NBA commentators and played at US Bank Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. The NFL, by the way, happens to be the highest grossing sports league in the United States. The second highest? College football. This statistic speaks to our country’s disregard for players’ health in the face of gigantic profits, sure, but it also shows how commodified college sports is.

Golub: Musings on hush money

The NFL made two big splashes in the news in the past week. The first: settling with Colin Kaepernick over his collusion case. Kaepernick, after a career-derailing struggle, triumphed victoriously over the corporate monolith. Or, alternatively, Kap capitulated and let the rich owners buy him out. One such owner made the second splash: Pats owner…

Golub: The price of imparity

The Anthony Davis saga has me confused.  On the one hand, I’m mad that he requested a trade.  I don’t want him to go to the Lakers, I don’t want LeBron to manipulate the whole league, I don’t want the Pelicans to have to give up their best player in franchise history, and I don’t want AD to give up on the Pelicans.  On the other, it’s about damn time. Since the year after they drafted him, the Pels have consistently made short-sighted, risky moves that lowered the ceiling and didn’t even make them that good in the present. They have given no indication to anyone that they will build a championship-caliber team around Davis and Jrue Holiday (who, by the way, is the biggest victim here).  Should Davis waste his prime hoping that they get lucky and stumble into a Western Conference Finals appearance? No. He shouldn’t. Davis is the product of a new era of player control and player movement, an era that is changing how teams build their rosters and how fans think about their teams. This new age of player movement is killing league parity and – here’s the fun part – can also explain the political polarization of our country.  Let’s begin.

Golub: I don’t get it, Knicks

I honestly don’t get it.  My life as a Knicks fan has been a tumult of shattered-hope sadness.  There is a special kind of despair that results from getting the same misguided dream ripped to shreds every year.  The Dolan Era of Knicks basketball is an arsenic-poisoned abyss. Stay away, for your own safety. This trade makes me irate — I hate it with a fury I don’t like to give to sports teams I’m not a part of.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Golub: Trump’s antics bring power to athletes

A hallmark of the Trump presidency is its fear-based approach to governing.  Dangerous Muslim terrorists; corrupt, colluding fake news media; caravans of violent migrants coming to eat our children and curse our livestock, or something — evidently, Trump has no qualms with fomenting fear to advance his agenda.  (To debate another time: does he have an agenda?) As harmful as this Trump presidency may be, his strategy leans upon tried and true methods of political manipulation. One such example: McCarthyism.

Golub: Enes Kanter, the American harbinger

Enes Kanter couldn’t go to London because he feared for his life.  Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, via his evil henchman and former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu, has consistently threatened, mocked, and insulted Kanter for Kanter’s opposition to ruthless totalitarian xenophobia and political suppression.  Ironically, Hedo was a heady player known for his ability to handle and facilitate. Turkoglu claimed Kanter lied about fearing for his life. He called Kanter a fraud for hiding the fact that he couldn’t get a visa to enter the UK.