Just Shut Up and Run, Pass, and Kick

That’s the sentiment of Mark Zeigler of The San Diego Union in “It’s time for college sports to tell athletes take it or leave it”.

Did Zeigler major in cynicism in college?

“Many of the 17 demands involve COVID-19 and racial equality, the summer’s two hottest topics and no doubt a way to exert leverage with a sympathetic public ear.”

Some of Zeigler’s criticisms of the players efforts to improve their young adult lives are fair, but here he is at his worst:

“Is enough ever going to be enough? Because apparently college athletes – or at least college football players – aren’t going to stop asking for more even as they receive concession after concession. The latest group with its hand out is Pac-12 football players, who issued a lengthy list of “demands” Sunday with the threat of boycotting the season. Here’s a suggestion: Go ahead, boycott away. Your loss.”

There’s a glaring internal inconsistency to his argument. He points out the players are getting a tremendous education for no cost and then implies student-athletes are in reality just athletes who don’t care about school. So, which is it?

For the life of me, I don’t understand anyone that criticizes young people for standing up for what they think is right, especially when most people are apathetic, just going along to get along.

I say right on to the players for imperfectly jabbing at the status quo.

Those who benefit most from the status quo are often the most offended— administrators, coaches, journalists, fans who want to be entertained every fall Saturday afternoon. How dare any players not gratefully accept what they are generously offered. How dare they think for themselves. How dare they agitate for change. Who do they think they are, citizens in a democracy?

I hope the players stick it to the whole, damn, NCAA sports industrial complex.


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