Kevin Ware, Mike Rice, NCAA

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Will Leitch, contributing editor at New York Magazine and senior writer at Sports On Earth, talks about what Kevin Ware's injury and the firing of Rutgers coach Mike Rice say about March Madness, the NCAA and sports culture as a whole.



Will Leitch

Comments [19]

PETUNIA from nyc

I feel bad for this agricultural institution that provided tomato seeds to my classroom when I was little. I hate that sports are ruining their fine reputation.

Apr. 04 2013 05:00 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

@d kaplan from park slope

"not to condone those actions at all, but imagine if the engish teacher cared about the success of his/her student the way the coaches usually do"

Sorry, D, but that comment is pure fantasy. All a $700K coach cares about from his players is winning...and the only way he controls that is through playing time and access to scholarship money. The player wants a pro contract...or at least a tryout. The relationship has about as much to do with personal development and leadership as pimps care about the moral and physical wellbeing of their stable of lace. I'm not talking about all coaches...Just the high dollar ones. There is no more exploitive relationship on earth than that of a high dollar coach to his scholarship student. The entirety of the money - and most of the power - lies with the coaching staff. Not the athletes. We need to pay them for the work they do and stop pretending the scholarship opp'ty is enough compensation.

Apr. 04 2013 03:28 PM
mike astoria from astoria

The amount of time we are spending talking about this college sports incident is pathetic. But, it reflects the increase in sports infatuation in this country. Sports are a distraction, they are the lowest form of entertainment. On the school level they mostly suck money energy and focus away from academics and they promote the worship of the physical performer as hero/pop star. This infatuation with sports is a sickness. We should ban sports on the college level, sports allow people to get through their lives without looking at themselves and their world honestly and it prevents them from changing their world. Watching Sports is a pathetic waste of human energy. Please lets not waste time talking about other people putting a ball through a hoop.

Apr. 04 2013 10:55 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

I fell in Vietnam while jogging and had a compound fracture of my arm. When I looked back while lying in the road, I saw my forearm bone protruding from my arm. It was weeks before I could summon up that memory without shutting my eyes in reaction.

Apr. 04 2013 10:48 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Sure it's a contact sport, but Mike Rice was a state employee. Government workers should not be allowed to intimidate, insult or physically harm anyone. End of story.

Apr. 04 2013 10:43 AM
steve from queens

Brian, let's not be naive about any of this. what has happen here and what the president of Rutgers said about his responsibility in the aftermath is no different than what goes on in corporate America in similar instances. In corporate America, if someone makes money for a company, they can make slurs and make racially based comments and can make sexually suggestive comments and the company will protect them (and make the victim out to be the problem) and the job of the HR Dept and the President of the Company is not to find justice for the victim, but to protect the company. So what the president said about "my job is to do what I have to do to protect the university" only sounds wrong because he said it - anywhere else in America, people in his position think it, they don't say it.

Apr. 04 2013 10:41 AM
d kaplan from park slope

not to condone those actions at all, but imagine if the engish teacher cared about the success of his/her student the way the coaches usually do

Apr. 04 2013 10:39 AM
Cynthia from Brooklyn

I'm wondering why more basketball players don't sustain similar injuries to Kevin Ware's?
These big heavy guys jumping high and coming down hard.

Apr. 04 2013 10:39 AM

This sort of thing is endemic in school sports. I had coaches as early as junior high, exhibiting identical behavior.

Apr. 04 2013 10:38 AM
mick from Inwood

A Quote from the New York Times Business Day, January 27, 2012:
"In any given year, only about half of these “big time” men’s programs turn a profit (see chart below). The median men’s program generated net revenue of just $1.1 million in 2009-10, and lost money in three of the six previous years. In the context of overall university budgets — a typical university with 12,000 students spends over $440 million annually — this would hardly seem to be an irresistible amount of money. It is also worth noting that the net revenue figures for athletic departments over all, which include women’s sports and reduce the potential for massaging the allocation of general expenses across programs, look considerably worse, as do the numbers for men’s programs outside the F.B.S."

Apr. 04 2013 10:38 AM
Tom from Port Washington, NY

The money situation is pretty complicated. Yes, the Big Ten pays out more in TV revenue to its schools than any other conference, but at the same time the number of Division I FBS programs that actually make money is small, about twenty or so out of 120+. Schools invest in FBS football because they believe the overall balance sheet will improve, due to exposure, even if the football program doesn't break even.

I bet if Mike Rice had a better record this season he'd still be coach.

Apr. 04 2013 10:36 AM
Allen2saint from NYC

Would like to hear a comment about the fact that when Ware went down, only ONE, ONE team mate ran to his side. The rest stood, or in some cases collapsed, in their own self absorbed "disgust." Who cares if they've never seen this type of injury before. I thought it was appalling.

Apr. 04 2013 10:35 AM
bernie from bklyn

while listening i was wondering- why isn't this reporter talking about the lawsuit that brought this on? he mentioned a lawsuit completely out of context. and then i saw that he's a reporter for new york magazine and now it all makes sense. there is no worse example of journalism than new york magazine...i wouldn't line my birdcage w/ that garbage. why is this guy on the BL show?

Apr. 04 2013 10:34 AM
antonio from baySide

Let's face it, do you think most coaches could be as cerebral as say, "Bill Bradley?"
Most players don't have that capacity yet, to appreciate that kind of interaction. They have been herded to be robots to be perfect at what they do, and that usually means anything cerebral is left outside the gym...

Apr. 04 2013 10:32 AM
Bob from Westchester

I have heard that injured college athletes often lose their scholarships if they can no longer play. Is this true, and if so how is it fair?

Apr. 04 2013 10:29 AM

in brief they fill the function of warrior-heroes, also a simple distraction

Apr. 04 2013 10:29 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I will say it again. Most team college athletics is the equivalent of modern day share cropping.

A good soccer player in Europe, signs schoolboy forms with a professional club, around 16-17 and starts learning his trade. By the time he is 22 - he is a multi-millionaire. If he were a US basketball player, he would be eating ramen soup.

If you are good at something - you don't do it for free.

Apr. 04 2013 10:29 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, what's the difference between Rice's behavior and Knight's?

Apr. 04 2013 10:28 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

I am a Rutgers alumni...I agree that it was past time for RU to go but I can understand how the AD felt it was in the University's better interest to treat it as an HR matter rather than dismiss Rice out of hand. The politicians (in my view) are jumping on an easy call -- and not showing much spine here as the fine and suspension were announced back in December and they did NOTHING to out WHY. Once their noses were rubbed in it, they responded. Too little, too late.

As an alumni and NJ taxpayer, I have to ask when will the 'circus' - college athletics - be allowed to trump the substance of the university's mission? The top three salaried NJ State employees are the coaches of Rutgers football, women's and men's basketball. Is this an appropriate way to spend my tax money?

If I had the power to make the call, I would have these salaries AS WELL AS THE SCHOLARSHIPS and EXPENSE for the moneyball sports - football, basketball and sometimes soccer - come out of the Alumni funding. Thus, RUTGERS could add men's swimming and diving, crew and fencing back on to their varsity sports.

Apr. 04 2013 09:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.