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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Basketball, more than a game?

“We have a major problem with the culture of athletics,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow. “It’s the tail that wags the dog.”

Recently, Rutgers University Head Basketball Coach Mike Rice was caught on video verbally and physically abusing his players. Multiple videos were taken over a two-year period from 2010 to 2012.

The video showed Rice hurling balls at players, shoving players and cussing at players when they would not perform up to his standards.

When I first watched the video, I was waiting for a 6’8” forward to knock this guy’s teeth down his throat. Sadly, this never happened.

A lot of questions have come up since the incident. Why was it allowed to go on so long? Why did the players not come forward sooner?

I believe the question we should be asking is why have sports become something so important that we will look past horrifying things just to win?

Most kids are taught from an early age to hold sports in a high regard, including basketball. These days, kids as young as eight years old will be on basketball courts year-round, every weekend. The culture of tournament sports is upon us and it’s a bleak monster that controls parents’ and kids’ lives all over the country.

I played tournament basketball all through high school. Luckily, I had a good experience, but I did see it negatively affecting players and parents all the time.

Tournament basketball has become a necessity if you want to have a successful basketball career and to get attention from the top colleges in the country.

Even though basketball is just a game, it is treated as if it is the most important thing in the world to some families.

The U.S. has made sports so important, that coaches are some of the most powerful and wealthy people. Major universities pay their coaches three times as much as their professors. If you do not see a problem with that, then you are probably part of the problem.

Sports have turned into a corporation, and the players are their slaves, players that would not hesitate to push someone from another team because of a hard foul or shout at a referee for a bad call. But when it comes to coach, they shut up and listen like mindless robots.

Basketball has become so powerful and the source of so much money that it controls colleges across the country.

This is not the fault of the players. Its parents’ fault for teaching their kids that basketball is the most important thing in life. Instead of parents telling their kids to pick up a book, they force basketball or other sports on them.

Then they tell kids that winning is everything, just like I’m sure coaches parents told them the same. This vicious cycle created the basketball we see today, the basketball that generates coaches that will do anything to win and mindless players that will follow their lead.

Schools and parents support these behaviors. It has become just part of the game, and we sit back and accept it.

It’s time we become enlightened and do something about it. Coaches, players and parents need to realize that at the end of the day, basketball is just a game, no different than Yahtzee or Monopoly.

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