November 21, 2012

NYT: College basketball is racist

New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera writes:
Race and the N.C.A.A. 
By JOE NOCERA 
... Three of the most high-profile eligibility cases this basketball season — Muhammad, Nerlens Noel at Kentucky and Rodney Purvis at North Carolina State — are African-American. Five Ohio State football players who were suspended for trading some of their Ohio State gear for tattoos in 2010 were African-American. Ditto the 14 North Carolina football players who got embroiled in a scandal two years ago. 
When I asked Stacey Osburn at the N.C.A.A. whether white players ever had such problems with the N.C.A.A., she insisted they did. Yet somehow, the high-profile cases almost always seem to involve blacks. 
Could it be that the N.C.A.A. rules are inherently discriminatory, or that its investigators are primed to think the worst of talented black football and basketball players, even before an inquiry? 
Nah. Must just be a coincidence.

I published an op-ed in 1991 calling for the end of amateurism in big time college sports, that offered an ethnic analysis of amateurism: basically, it's an idea that appealed to the English upper classes and not to too many others. I like the Scottish approach, as implemented in golf over the last 150 years: professionalism is fine, but amateurs get their own playpen.

You could make a race-based case against college sports amateurism: assume that people with IQs of 85 or lower won't get anything out of being on a college campus. That's only 1 out of 6 whites, which isn't a huge fraction. But, it's 1 out of 2 blacks, which is. It's not right to make being smart enough for college a bottleneck for such a large fraction of top athletes.

But, I suspect that thought has never ever occurred to Joe Nocera. 

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

These claims of racism are getting beyond ridiculous. Equalism is really pressing for the final endgame. Will it win?

Robert Holmgren said...

This seems to be a variation on the claim that blacks,representing X percent of the population, are sent to prison/executed Y percent. The implication being that punishment ought to work out to roughly the same percent as that group's population. But we know that behavior is variable. Otherwise an equal number of men and women would be in prison.

Veracitor said...

Obviously the other thought which never occurred to Joe Nocera is that perhaps fewer whites get in trouble because fewer whites break NCAA rules.

However, I endorse your (Sailer) plan: let talented athletes go straight from high school to the pros (pro teams might season them in the minors for a while).

I can tell you the biggest force against adoption of your plan: colleges don't want any market for sports talent in the college age bracket to reveal how severely colleges exploit their athletes (by depriving them of several years' earnings as professional players). The colleges are afraid such comparisons my fuel proposals to pay college athletes (and diminish colleges' tax-exempt profits from sports).

Anonymous said...

"Could it be that the N.C.A.A. rules are inherently discriminatory, or that its investigators are primed to think the worst of talented black football and basketball players, even before an inquiry? Nah. Must just be a coincidence."

Or - OR - it could be that the black athletes break the rules more. It *would* seem to correspond with what happens out in the real world, right?

Just because a law gets more of one group in trouble does not, in and of itself, mean the law is unjust. Laws against murder, rape and violent crime in general are more likely to get men jailed. That doesn't make the laws unjust.

Frankly, I think the amateur rules are unfair. But this guy should not be a journalist if he can't think of anything better than accusations of raaaaacism.

Graham J. said...

This is actually quite similar to the angle being pushed from the Obama administration regarding grade schools- Blacks get detentions, suspensions and expulsions at significantly higher rates than whites, so therefore the teachers must be racist. Couldn't possibly have anything at all to do with a behavioral difference between the two groups, could it? That would be the most obvious starting point to examine. Interestingly, you don't hear much about that.

When will this insanity end?

rightsaidfred said...

Joe Nocera has it figured out:

)don't enforce immigration laws, and he gets cheap lawn care.

)don't enforce NCAA rules, and his favorite college team gets better athletes.

It's all good.

Veranda said...

I see that another Steve thought highly of this writer....

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/09/24/why-steve-jobs-thought-joe-nocera-was-a-slime-bucket-who-gets-most-of-his-facts-wrong/

BB said...

Yes, why pretend that all athletes belong in college? I like the European soccer model best: minor and regional leagues to train young people as pros while they make a modest living. Then they go on to warm the benches in major teams until they mature as players.
Soccer players, while not specially dim, are not supposed to hold any degrees. Football and basketball players are certainly dumber.
Why not be frank about it? Most of them don´t belong in college (or even polte society).

Marlowe said...

I've observed before that in Britain no real connection exists between a university education and professional sports and the sports following public and most athletes harbour no expectation or desire for one. Andy Murray, the country's best tennis pro, never went to university - he was too busy learning to be one of the best tennis players in the world. Clubs recruit professional association footballers straight out of high school into youth teams normally bypassing university completely.

This may change however as the UK continues its transformation into a more American style of society. I noticed in the press during the last week that an association of professional Black footballers is forming and, among its list of typical racial grievances and demands for more punishment of white players and fans for disrespecting blacks, it also called for educational assistance to let black players attain a college degree. No one else in Britain thinks less of a successful sportsman because he didn't spend 3 years in college but these guys, probably influenced by their American counterparts, look upon it as a deficiency and expect someone else to fund it.

BTW: a typical Premiership black footballer makes around £50,000 ($80,645) a week. University tuition fees in England & Wales top out at £9,000 per annum. He can pay for his own education if he really wants one. It's also worth noting from this list of demands for more white punishment (in a country where insulting a black man can result in career ruin and years of imprisonment) the fact that the feeling of racial grievance on the part of blacks does not decline with personal success.

Anonymous said...

From Nocera's article:
"Yet somehow, the high-profile cases almost always seem to involve blacks."

What makes a case "high-profile?" Would imagine the media, i.e. NYT, has something to do with that.

DaveinHackensack said...

You'd think that with an African American in the White House, black athletes would finally get a fair shake from the NCAA. This just shows how far we as a society still have to go.

Anonymous said...

No one with an IQ below 120 should be allowed in college.

Anonymous said...

The NCAA should just drop the pretense that these are students. Let them become regular employees of the school paid to represent the school in competitions. Mascots. Let them earn what they would on the market for their skills. Let the real students have their own basketball and football teams as well. The reason this doesn't happen is that schools wouldn't pull in the dough they do if they had to pay the athletes what they were worth.

Anonymous said...

I'm open to the possibility that there are hordes of white collegiate athletes who can violate the rules with impunity because the NCAA is too busy hassling black players. I'm open to the possibility, but I still require proof. So, Mr. Nocera, rather than merely insinuate that white players are somehow exempt from NCAA enforcement actions, why not commit an act of journalism and find the evidence? There's a Pulitzer in it for you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138430/ray-suarez/hispanics-and-national-politics?page=show

mark said...

The reason those cases are high profile is because of the talent involved. I don't think many athletes are exploited in College. There are 345 division 1 basketball teams populated by many players who would have trouble making a semi pro squad. I agree with Bob Novak that many of these players, at least, get the opportunity to network with guys like Bob Novak. A few years after their glory days they are selling widgets or working at a club. Would staying in obscurity have been better? Having said that the NCAA probation thing really needs to be looked at. What in the heck did Penn State's back up left guard do that he should be penalized? Couple that with teams playing that cannot possibly win a Championship because they are in some kind of limbo since they just became division 1. Athletes should at least, have the theoretical chance of being Champions.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are correct. Our nation is unfair to all people born with iq under 90... and no one cares cause the people that run things in both political parties have iq over 90..

Dutch Boy said...

Abolish athletic scholarships, ditch the $3 million per year coaches, let anyone who qualifies academically play whatever sport the school wants to offer and let the coaches get paid like faculty members. Lots of small colleges operate this way and its all good.

Anonymous said...

http://www.aeonmagazine.com/world-views/ken-macleod-socialism-and-transhumanism/

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to agree. The best physical specimens should go into sports, and guys smart enough to go to college should work in their majors instead of taking the place of superior natural athletes who can't hack it in academics.

Snapperhead Soup said...

College basketball is indeed racist, and it's just another facet of what's happening in public education as a whole.

All across America, black students--especially males, which goes to show the problem is as sexist as racist--are disciplined more than white, Arab, Hispanic, Asian, and gay students(which also goes to show that the problem is also heterophobic, especially when black athletes and entertainers are hounded by the media for their alleged insensitivity toward gays while we hear nothing of all the violent acts committed by gays against blacks. Just a coincidence?)

And if we find blacks acting more out-of-line than other groups, the fault is with us than with blacks. Blacks don't commit more crime, blacks are not more aggressive. They aren't louder. It's just that our senses have been made so racist that we notice more bad behavior from blacks than from other groups.

In reality, white female college athletes are just as violent and problematic as black male college athletes, but our racist-sexist senses tend to notice mostly black male transgressions while being oblivious to white female ones.

But as my senses have been cleansed of racism--especially by watching GREEN MILE 50 times and learning that every huge black guy in prison is just an innocent childlike angel who loves little white mice--, my senses have become fully aware of all the white-female-ON-black-male rapes that happen all the time. These angry white females are a great menace to society, and we must do everything to protect helpless black males from them.

And if you disagree, you are one incorrigible racist.

Simon in London said...

US college sports does seem like a pretty raw deal for the athletes, to me - getting-beat-up footballers especially. The perks they get are trivial compared to what eg professional soccer players of the same age would get in other countries.

Anonymous said...

Most of today's "athletes"would be janitors and grounds crew if they went to the same universities thirty years ago

Anonymous said...

No one with an IQ below 120 should be allowed in college.

What do you suggest we do with all the empty colleges?

Anonymous said...

The natural extension of this mindset would be to start busting white players heavily for minor infractions or framing them, while turning a blind eye to black misdeeds. You know, to even things out. Most blacks would certainly support this approach, since they have a chip on their shoulder anyway about being supposedly mistreated, as would many leftist whites and Jews. And Latinos and Asians have nothing against putting the white man at a disadvantage. As long as there is no coalition of whites ready to defend their interests, this is the direction things will go.

Anonymous said...

I learned from watching college basketball on television that Georgetown University must be a historically black college or university.

They also have a player with the most diverse name I've ever seen: D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Excellent planning by his parent/s.

jody said...

reminds me of jermaine o'neal's argument that the NBA rule prohibiting anybody under the age of 19 from entering the NBA draft was racist, because it affected african men almost exclusively. before the rule, there were only 2 or 3 players ever drafted out of high school who were not african. robert swift was the last.

to africans, and their sycophants, everything is racist if it blocks or prohibits them from getting what they want right now.

when clippers owner donald "sterling" tokowitz fired general manager elgin baylor, baylor turned around and sued him, claiming he got fired because tokowitz was a racist. yeah, he paid you a million dollars a year for 20 years because he was a racist. yeah, that's it. racists always hire the people they hate and pay them a million dollars a year for decades. that's classic racist behavior.

no way you were fired because you sucked at your job and the clippers were one of the worst teams in the NBA for your entire 20 year tenure. back in reality, donald sterling's tolerance and patience with stupid guys like elgin baylor are hard to fathom.

mitch kupchak paid total moron mike brown 5 million dollars a year to babble on the sidelines. then when they eventually fired him for complete incompetence, they hired mike d'antoni FOR LESS MONEY! the "racists" who run the lakers paid the worse coach more money. this stuff happens all the time in american sports now. the lengths management will go to accomodate and assuage the african ego are mind boggling.

there was a situation on the new york knicks with isiah thomas, who ran the knicks into the ground for 6 years while being an open racist. he was only eventually fired for running the knicks into the ground - the owners were too afraid to fire him just for being an open racist, behavior which would get anybody else fired.

in reality, everything is slanted ridiculously in favor of africans in the US. not only is there no systematic or institutional discrimination against them, it's the exact opposite. all the rules are set up to their advantage, and they are allowed to practice racism and discrimination if they want with few repercussions.

NOTA said...

College sports is a kind of interesting place to see the way US society works: Big name universities are powerful, prestigious, important institutions. Their most generous and dedicated alums are connected and rich. Their sports teams provide a kind of entertainment for the masses that engages the tribal instincts of lots and lots of people.

And all that combines to keep the NCAA system of college sports going, even though that system makes no sense at all at the top, and involves some pretty overt exploitation of inexperienced but talented people by more powerful ones. I mean, the NCAA's rules exist mainly to make sure that the colleges' student athlete employees can never be paid in dollars, only in scrip that may be spent only at the company store, while the colleges get to keep all the revenue from the football and basketball games to themselves. Most semipro athletes aren't college material, and even the ones who are should probably go do their semipro sports career first, and then return to college when they've got time to do a good job of it. And anyone can see this, can see that for the athletes in sports that make money, this is completely screwed up.

But there is very little to be gained arguing about it. The powerful people are all on one side of the issue, and the people being exploited are generally dumber, poorer, and weaker, so who cares?

This pattern recurs everywhere in the US. Powerful people and institutions can do absolutely crazy stuff, wreck peoples' lives, break critical parts of society, and there is still much more to be gained shilling for them than criticizing them, so they remain mostly immune from criticism, and those who criticize them are marginalized. This applies to big financial companies, the pentagon, all the homeland security bureaucracies, universities, etc.

jody said...

i was a DI recruit and played NCAA sports, and NCAA officials and employees definitely check for compliance from all the euro american athletes in all sports. they will have people show up to your classes secretly to make sure you are there. they will drug test you. they check your grades. they investigate leads to make sure you aren't getting money or taking payments from any source even innocuously. you can't even take a few bucks for a harmless fundraiser or appearance or even allow a photographer to pay you a few dollars for your photo. those all break the rules.

it's not like they look the other way for any european players in any sport. track, football, tennis, baseball, swimming, wrestling, soccer, basketball, golf, they are checking you. i have seen guys lose their scholarship and get kicked out of the university for non-compliance. i have seen some pretty dumb euro americans on these teams and they don't get a free pass. they have to work at college or they're out.

when the NCAA does look the other way, it's for some of the african players on the football and basketball teams. guaranteed. anybody who says otherwise is flat out lying, because i saw it happen. if somebody in the athletics department wants players A, B, and C to not have to go to class or take any tests or do anything at all related to actual college, that happens. if some players break the law and get arrested, even the local justice system will assist them by either throwing the charges out completely or giving them the most lenient sentence possible. that happens all the time. then the coaches don't discipline them either. break the law, arrested, back to playing next week.

so the official statistics are even more skewed than they look, since the administration at most universities, including the AD and even the dean or the president in some cases, is absolutely covering for some of the africans. most of those guys have no business on the campus and would never be there if they weren't playing football or basketball. who doesn't think this is true? some of those guys are so dumb it's hard to believe. at the universities in the south, a couple of them are borderline illiterate. now how can a borderline illiterate be a student there? get a degree even? come on.

the thing that gets me is a lot of them only play for 2 or 3 years, then drop out, lose interest, transfer, get mixed up in bad situations, et cetera. so a lot of the guys the university covers for aren't even great players at the NCAA DI level and will not even be 4 year contributors. they're covering for hundreds of bench players across america. guys who are full ride DI's who won't play much, yet also don't attend any class, get everything paid for, then just drop out and disappear. they never graduate. the whole thing is pretty dumb. DII is where these guys should be, at best. plenty of them don't even belong in DII they should just go to minor league football or basketball straight out of high school.

Anonymous said...

No one with an IQ below 120 should be allowed in college.

Sure. And change colleges from a non-compulsory extension of high school to something smarter. Make the undergrads more grad-like.

sunbeam said...

If you broke the pipeline of playing college ball being virtually the only way into the NFL...

The NFL will become even more skewed ethnically than it is now. I imagine that college ball wouldn't go away, and it would become whiter.

That's just a guess though.

The biggest mechanical problem I see with making it work is that football players are very likely to be injured at some point, a lot more so than a minor league baseball player. Seems like a medical headache to me that is farmed out to colleges now.

Plus enough "minor" league teams to support sending players to the NFL might be unworkable. A lot of college teams struggle with gate revenues and TV right now. It's hard to imagine something like this being a success for years, until and if they got market share from existing college teams.

I'm not sure that would happen to be honest.

DaveinHackensack said...

"US college sports does seem like a pretty raw deal for the athletes, to me - getting-beat-up footballers especially."

It's a good deal for athletes (men and women) in sports without much pro potential (lacrosse, women's soccer, etc.), who get athletic scholarships. Those scholarships are of course paid for by the big revenue producing sports, which are the ones with major pro leagues -- basketball and football, primarily.

Anonymous said...

"...outside help in paying his $130 per month rent..." (-1991 op-ed)

I went to look up Where Is He Now and learned of a few years later him being shot 3 times in his gut & hand "at the McGuire Gardens public housing project in East Camden." After that it seems he's moved to a better neighborhood.

Cail Corishev said...

I was a pretty big Kansas City Chiefs fan back in the Schottenheimer days. They were consistently a playoff team, with a few dominant regular seasons at 13-3, but they under-performed in the playoffs. So the fans and the team got tired of this level of "failure" and booted Marty, replacing him first with Dick Vermeil. They were up and down for a few years with Vermeil until he retired. Then they hired Herm Edwards.

Edwards was known for mediocrity, but he was sort of a pre-Obama Obama: a tall, fit, well-spoken black man. The only problem was, he didn't really have anything to say, but not many people noticed that. Again, just like Obama. Soon the Chiefs had their worst year ever.

I didn't notice, though, because I'd stopped following the team. Not because Edwards was black, but because his hire was so safe that it was clear the team wasn't going to take any risks to win.

So I hadn't seen a game or watched the standings since then, until a few weeks ago I thought I'd catch a game. There they were, getting beaten by a better team, taking no chances on offense just like I remembered, but now the black coach on the sidelines was a whole lot fatter. I soon discovered this was a new guy, and he's not only missing Edwards's fitness, but also his eloquence. I caught a post-game press conference, and the guy didn't say one word that wasn't right out of the cliche playbook. Since then, I've watched a few more games and caught a few more quotes, and I still haven't seen any evidence that the guy's ever had an original thought of his own. The team is now something like 1-10, and apparently they've learned nothing in the several years I've been away. How depressing.

Anonymous said...

People who think American College Players get a "raw deal" - don't know much about it. You have hundreds of college football teams and thousands of football players. The number who get into the NFL or CFL is probably no higher than 20%. Everyone gets a scholarship and chance for a college education. At some schools that's worth at $100,000 over 4 years.

Finally, most people watch college football to watch "their" team - not particular players. You could set an IQ limit, or weight limit, or race limit, and the quality would drop, but people would still watch.

Anonymous said...

What do you suggest we do with all the empty colleges?

Turn them into parking lots. Former faculty will make excellent attenders.

Anonymous said...

:US college sports does seem like a pretty raw deal for the athletes, to me - getting-beat-up footballers especially. The perks they get are trivial compared to what eg professional soccer players of the same age would get in other countries"

Yes, but most big time college players don't play in the NFL or NBA so they wouldn't be professionals in America.

There are fewer teams in America. I think 32 in the NFL with a population over 300 mil. England has 92 in the 4 divisions with a population a little of 50 mil.

There would be 574 pro football teams in America if the US had the same amount of teams proportional to the population.

Division one teams should be pro teams. They have a lot of revenue and could pay their players well.


They could still call themselves ND or Alabama, but the players would not go to school and they would get paid.

I bet ND has more fans than most NFL teams.



Cail Corishev said...

"Everyone gets a scholarship and chance for a college education. At some schools that's worth at $100,000 over 4 years."

You mean it costs that much. What a typical college degree is worth these days is an open question.

Anonymous said...

'angry white male' codeword for 'white men are all closet nazis'.

Rev. Right said...

Graham J. said...
This is actually quite similar to the angle being pushed from the Obama administration regarding grade schools- Blacks get detentions, suspensions and expulsions at significantly higher rates than whites, so therefore the teachers must be racist.

Yep, that's the concept, and the solution in schools across America has been to ignore a percentage of black student misbehavior while making sure they increase the punishments handed out to white students.

Just wait until this concept makes its way to the criminal justice system. And you know it will.

Truth said...

"reminds me of jermaine o'neal's argument that the NBA rule prohibiting anybody under the age of 19 from entering the NBA draft was racist, because it affected african men almost exclusively."

That was not the argument. The argument was that lilly white sports such as tennis and golf have no age restrictions.

Fun said...

No one with an IQ below 120 should be allowed in college.

Hope you like mass unemployment.

Anonymous said...

"That was not the argument. The argument was that lilly white sports such as tennis and golf have no age restrictions."

Goo.

Anonymous said...

College sports isn't that good of a deal. Yes you get a 4-year scholarship, but you also get to walk away with a lifetime of painful and dehibilatating injuries. For a kid who could get into a good school without any extra help, an athletic scholarship isn't neccessarily worth it in the long term.

Few people ever factor in the pain, costs, and inconvenience of lifelong injuries.

Anonymous said...

" Otherwise an equal number of men and women would be in prison."
Do you honestly think frankfurt school marxists are concerned with fairness or consistency. Whatever destroys is good.

Reg C├Žsar said...

people with IQs of 85 or lower won't get anything out of being on a college campus.

The late Prof. Jensen estimated that 85 was the minimum IQ needed to play professional basketball. So they wouldn't get anything out of being on the basketball team, either.

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to raise children properly if your IQ is lower than 85, so we should highly incentivise sterilization for everyone who is at 85 IQ or lower.

Benson said...

"Truth said...

"reminds me of jermaine o'neal's argument that the NBA rule prohibiting anybody under the age of 19 from entering the NBA draft was racist, because it affected african men almost exclusively."

That was not the argument. The argument was that lilly white sports such as tennis and golf have no age restrictions."




You said,"lily white"- only whites get to use that term. You're a racist!!!!!!!!!!!

Randall said...

"No one with an IQ below 120 should be allowed in college."

IQ alone isn't the right way to make the cut. I've seen plenty of exceptionally bright guys flunk out, and plenty of guys with moderate IQs-maybe 110s but who have self-discipline and a strong work ethic thrive.

In a sense, this serves a good proxy for how they would do in the real world in many jobs. If I'm a manager, I ultimately don't care if Ted has a 160 IQ if he screws around all day and doesn't get his work done. If Sam with a 110 gets his reports done accurately to me on time, and Ted doesn't, Sam is getting a Christmas bonus this year and Ted is going to be replaced, assuming he's not the VP's fluffer or something.

That being said, conscientiousness, hard work, and IQ often go together, and a person with high levels of these will achieve the most.

ATBOTL said...

"These claims of racism are getting beyond ridiculous. Equalism is really pressing for the final endgame. Will it win?"

White people still need to learn that this stuff will just keep worse and worse until they do something about it. I think most white conservatives are still in race denial mode. They still think a day will come when nonwhites become just as colorblind as they are. Things will have to get a lot worse.

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to raise children properly if your IQ is lower than 85

Define "properly". About 45% of blacks in the USA have IQ below 85.

Anonymous said...

Fun said...
No one with an IQ below 120 should be allowed in college.

Hope you like mass unemployment.


Gee, we don't have that now?

However, it would be nice if employers forget about diplomas and credentialism and concentrate on actual skills and knowledge, including the ability to learn. They did that in the 1950s and 1960s, when college graduates were uncommon, and university graduates even rarer. The Vietnam draft changed things, bloated up the college industry, and made it possible for lazy employers to rubber-stamp diplomas and degrees.

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to raise children properly if your IQ is lower than 85, so we should highly incentivise sterilization for everyone who is at 85 IQ or lower.

Repeat after me: ONLY NAZIS STERILIZE! Everyone agrees on that, on all sides of the scale. Mind you, I support sterilization, so that must make me a Nazi too.