sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 20, 2005

welcome, spring!
posted by soe 8:40 pm

In honor of spring’s arrival and my lovely walk back from Georgetown, I found this poem by Mary Oliver. (more…)

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ncaa ads
posted by soe 6:04 pm

As with many Nutmeggers (and others, I suppose ;)), I have been watching a lot of college basketball in the last week. Much of what I’ve seen has been inspiring — who can argue with the Vermont win on Friday, particularly given that their coach is retiring at the end of this season? — but one thing has not been: the NCAA ads.

We’re into the round of 32 now and I have seen 3 NCAA ads featuring current or former college athletes talking about how the majority of college athletes do not go into pro ball. Most of us watching realize that (even those of us who hail from Connecticut, where it’s been years since we had a year without a player going pro). My problem with the ad campaign, then? All of the ads I’ve seen so far have featured women.

Somehow I don’t think there’s that big of a perception problem amongst men’s tournament viewers that huge numbers of women athletes are neglecting their studies with hopes that they’ll be able to coast on their WNBA salaries instead.

So what is it the NCAA is trying to convey? There is a possibility they’d like us to understand that collegiate athletes — even those at the top of their game — are going to leave the world of sports behind after their four years are up and will go on to become average joes like the rest of us.

Or there is the possibility they’d like you to appreciate their lip service to the term “scholar-athlete” all the while refusing to believe that the young men and women (but especially men) you’re watching will not be the sports stars of tomorrow. And some of them may be. But if we’re going to put up signs that the men’s collegiate players are potential heroes of tomorrow’s professional game, then let’s not give lip service to the idea that only women leave the game behind and only men go on to stardom and glory.

So let’s see the Sue Birds and Diana Taurasis and the Lisa Leslies of the world get their opportunity to be heroes. And let’s see those male players who go on to honorable careers as scientists, teachers, businessmen, and fathers in the commercials lauding the student-athlete, as well.

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