In one of my recent political science classes, we discussed tradition at universities. Tradition plays a huge part for universities. It is involved in the recruiting process for athletes and also for students. For not just athletes, but also the general student population, tradition influences the choice in school they make. For the University of Michigan, tradition plays a huge role for students, professors, and athletes. The tradition at Michigan is known all over the country. For example, the fight song for Michigan is very well-known especially in athletics. After each touchdown, point, run, or score that happens the Michigan fight is song is played and is sung by the fans. The Michigan fight song is the most well-known fight song for college sports. There are many traditions here that people respect. In class, we discussed how every freshman, during their orientation, walks through a fountain in the middle of campus for good luck. The football team at Michigan has many traditions they follow. Before every game they run through the tunnel and jump and hit the banner that says “Go Blue”.
The question of whether or not college athletes should be paid has been a much-disputed one. There are so many aspects to this question that really it’s difficult to give a true yes or no answer. The question of payment of student athletes raises countless more questions in and of itself: how might institutions go about paying athletes? Do athletes really need payment if they are going to school on scholarship? How might one be able to put a monetary value on an athlete? These are only a few examples of things to be looked at when asking the original question. While I don’t have all the answers with me today, what I do have is a proposition, one based strongly off of Charles B. Pierce’s “Dispatches from the NCAA’s Deathbed,” as to what can and should be done about the current predicament. In my opinion, college athletes should be paid, but the payment they receive should come from outside sources rather than the academic institution they represent. In his article, Pierce looks at the battle between the NCAA and student athletes as a question of personhood, and he, as well as I, see the current state of the NCAA as one in which student athletes are treated quite unfairly.
You hear a lot of stories about mountain climbers in the news, but the tales seem so far-fetched. Who mountain climbs anyway? Turns out one of the guys in my hall does, and not just as a side hobby.
In Lito Tejada-Flores’s Games Climbers Play, she works to define what climbing really is. She inquires, “The attraction of the great walls, above all, is surely that when one is climbing them he is playing ‘for keeps’.” This may be the case, but why do something so dangerous just for the thrill of it? My friend, Jake, let me in on the secret thrill that climbers get whilst in the air.