FanDuel - WFBC

August 10, 2011

Ralph Nader Forms Sports Fan Advocacy Group: Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader has founded the League of Fans, a sports reform group pushing to end public money for building stadiums, break up college football's Bowl Championship Series and end collegiate sports scholarships. The group opposes the "win-at-all-costs and a profit-at-all-costs mentality" of American sports, said its sports policy director Ken Reed.

posted by rcade to general at 03:42 PM - 21 comments

What NFL teams are playing in stadiums with no public financing?

posted by rcade at 03:45 PM on August 10

Patriots.

end public money for building stadiums, break up college football's Bowl Championship Series and end collegiate sports scholarships

Yes. Yes. Wha?
/shuffles off to read actual article

posted by yerfatma at 04:01 PM on August 10

Washington?

posted by rocketman at 04:02 PM on August 10

But Nader's group cites the BCS as an example of the "win-at-all-costs and a profit-at-all-costs mentality" that drives the U.S. sports experience, says Ken Reed, the League of Fans' sports policy director. "Our goal is to optimize the sports experience for all."

Jesus. He's like PETA except for everything. I assume when he dies it will come out he was a hard-core Conservative in reality. Is it still muck-raking if you're a fuck-wit?

posted by yerfatma at 04:06 PM on August 10

I think Nader's right to see a need for sports fan advocacy that's public policy minded. Sports franchises have been raiding the public coffers to a ridiculous degree. Can anyone justify Cowboys Stadium receiving $325 million in financing from Arlington sales, hotel-motel and car rental taxes, since they share in none of the profit from the stadium? I love me some Dallas Cowboys football, but I have to turn off my civic brain to accept public money making Jerry Jones richer.

posted by rcade at 04:48 PM on August 10

I don't have a problem with opposing tax-subsidized stadiums for sports teams. I do have a problem with trying to get rid of athletic scholarships. Most student athletes don't end up going pro and a good many of them do graduate. Hell, it's how they pay for college. I would imagine a good many of them, especially poor kids, wouldn't be able to pay for college any other way.

posted by insomnyuk at 06:33 PM on August 10

Adhering to the Code can result in serious injury. For example, in the National Hockey League (NHL), Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore was sucker-punched from behind in 2004 by Vancouver Canucks winger Todd Bertuzzi, leaving Moore with a broken neck. The hit fell under the NHL's "Code" because it was done in retaliation for a hit Moore put on Canucks' captain Markus Nasland in a previous game.

I don't think this is true in this case. Right? What Bertuzzi did to Moore was actually OK?

posted by NoMich at 06:37 PM on August 10

The hit fell under the NHL's "Code" because it was done in retaliation for a hit Moore put on Canucks' captain Markus Nasland in a previous game.

False.

The "Code" was observed when Moore got into a fight with a Canuck in the first period of that game. According to the "Code", that should have been the end of it.

Bertuzzi's act was definitely NOT according to the "Code", whatever interpretation that might be.

posted by grum@work at 07:42 PM on August 10

I do have a problem with trying to get rid of athletic scholarships. Most student athletes don't end up going pro and a good many of them do graduate.

It would just be like the Ivy League. Athletes still get scholarships, but if they quit the team or get injured, they don't get thrown out of school.

posted by bperk at 07:53 PM on August 10

Here are the core principles. I have trouble disagreeing with much of that.

posted by bperk at 08:01 PM on August 10

Most student athletes don't end up going pro and a good many of them do graduate. Hell, it's how they pay for college. I would imagine a good many of them, especially poor kids, wouldn't be able to pay for college any other way.

I think if you expand this out of football and basketball, you actually find the predominant scholarship funding out there is spent on kids from privileged families (rowing, tennis, swimming and diving, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, skiing, gymnastics, water polo, ice hockey, various other track and field sports) that have had advantages their whole life because of the ability to afford elite coaching, academies and the best equipment.

posted by dfleming at 08:14 PM on August 10

rcade:

I think Nader's right to see a need for sports fan advocacy that's public policy minded.

Nader is a blind squirrel who finds a nut once in a while -- or possibly, something much worse. For all the advocacy of various kinds that he's done over the years, there are those who say that the last thing he wants is to make anything better. He's a classic revolutionary theorist who operates on the "the worse, the better" principle.

dfleming:

I think if you expand this out of football and basketball, you actually find the predominant scholarship funding out there is spent on kids from privileged families (rowing, tennis, swimming and diving, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, skiing, gymnastics, water polo, ice hockey, various other track and field sports) that have had advantages their whole life because of the ability to afford elite coaching, academies and the best equipment.

Seriously? Do you have a cite for this? My impression was that these sports, increasingly, weren't funded at all.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:04 PM on August 10

Seriously? Do you have a cite for this? My impression was that these sports, increasingly, weren't funded at all.

Sort of. The NYT did a study in 2008 that looked at Division I and II scholarship money by sport. They don't explicitly name every sport involved, but it cites average scholarships for bowling, rifling, baseball at the low end and ice hockey being the #1 scholarship out there. They cite 14 sports in their analysis, but a full list isn't available.

Furthermore, it dispels the argument that scholarships are sending poor kids to college, because based on the average scholarship vs. the average tuition of an NCAA division I school, most kids are still forking over huge money to go to school.

That said, there's this tidbit at the bottom, which lends one to believe that full scholarships aren't the norm in a lot of sports, but then again, if you don't have the money already to go to college, you're not going out for NCAA golf.

"Scholarships are typically split and distributed to a handful, or even, say, 20, athletes because most institutions do not fully finance the so-called nonrevenue sports like soccer, baseball, golf, lacrosse, volleyball, softball, swimming, and track and field. Colleges offering these sports often pay for only five or six full scholarships, which are often sliced up to cover an entire team. Some sports have one or two full scholarships, or none at all."

posted by dfleming at 06:28 AM on August 11

Sort of. The NYT did a study in 2008 that looked at Division I and II scholarship money by sport. They don't explicitly name every sport involved, but it cites average scholarships for bowling, rifling, baseball at the low end and ice hockey being the #1 scholarship out there. They cite 14 sports in their analysis, but a full list isn't available.

Hm, unfortunately that link spins forever and never loads for me.

I wonder if their analysis also considers how often scholarships are even offered in certain sports. If you're offering 60 scholarships in football and one in water polo, the amount of the individual scholarship becomes largely irrelevant.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:15 AM on August 11

lil_brown_bat, you can't ask someone else for a citation to back their opinion immediately after using "there are those who say" when talking about Ralph Nader.

posted by mikemacman at 10:57 AM on August 11

Really? I though "there are those that say" was a pretty common trope. I also thought she was looking for a citation because what dfleming said seemed counter-intuitive. I wasn't aware/ hadn't really thought it through either. It makes a lot more sense now.

I'm always for allowing someone to ask for a citation. Except maybe cops.

posted by yerfatma at 11:32 AM on August 11

lil_brown_bat, you can't ask someone else for a citation to back their opinion immediately after using "there are those who say" when talking about Ralph Nader.

Well, sure I can. What's to stop anyone from saying, "What's your opinion about Ralph Nader's motivation based on?"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:44 PM on August 11

I wonder if their analysis also considers how often scholarships are even offered in certain sports. If you're offering 60 scholarships in football and one in water polo, the amount of the individual scholarship becomes largely irrelevant.

They didn't publish the full analysis, which is why I went with "sort of." The major point though is the average scholarship for an NCAA school is significantly lower than the average tuition, negating the idea that poor kids are, on the average, getting to go to school when they couldn't afford to in the first place. It happens for those who are on a full ride, but the article says that's fewer and fewer kids.

posted by dfleming at 09:37 PM on August 11

dfleming, agreed that the free ride (athletic or otherwise) is more and more a myth...part of the myth of the American meritocracy, I guess.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:00 AM on August 12

I go under the presumption this list of scholarships by sport is current. As a former sports writer, yes, scholarships in many sports at schools are split, e.g., 10 for 16 players. I do have a problem, however, with a blanket condemnation because of possible abuses by the top 15 or so NCAA Division 1 basketball / FCS football schools.

I tried posting this as a link, but it didn't work. I love how it refuses to acknowledge "soccer."

http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/scholarships_by_sport.htm

posted by jjzucal at 11:13 AM on August 12

The Minnesota Timberwolves, Unsafe From Any Seat.

posted by tommytrump at 09:30 PM on August 12

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