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.
It’s finally college basketball season, something that might not excite many here in the Bay Area but which certainly sends people in my home state of North Carolina into a frenzy. Raleigh, where I’m from, is ACC country: Duke, UNC, and NC State are all within forty minutes of each other, with Wake Forest less than two hours away. Growing up, my family never quite understood the bitter rivalry between the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels (Wolfpack athletics were mostly irrelevant).
Congratulations Villanova. You are the national champion of college basketball (once again).
While most students find themselves pursuing opportunities outside of Stanford, the two newest members of Stanford Men’s Basketball have spent their summer becoming acquainted with the campus they will soon call home.
NCAA reform has been on the horizon for several years now, like a tsunami or an impending storm gathering strength miles from land; everyone who follows the action knows it is not a matter of whether or not changes are made, but when and by how much.