White power structure presents black athletes award they may keep - or not.

 

The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, December 12, 2010. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at PsychologyToday.com.

It's the Annual Dual America Award!

Cam Newton with Heisman TrophyFootball's annual Heisman Trophy was awarded yesterday - to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, clearly the best collegiate football player in the country.

His dad wasn't there. Why not, you ask? Because the NCAA determined the elder Newton tried to extract money for his son to play college football. (There is also an ongoing investigation of Cam himself.)

Shocking! Horrifying! I'll bet that has never occurred before, ever!

Well, except that professional football player Reggie Bush was forced just this year to return the Heisman he won at USC - at the same time that the school was severely sanctioned - for the illicit benefits he received to play football there.

Shocking! Horrifying! I'll bet that has never occurred before, ever!

Well, except following its coverage of the award ceremony, ESPN ran one of its "30 for 30" series - thirty big sports stories that have occurred in the 30 years of the network's existence. The documentary, called "Pony Excess ," concerned the SMU* football program in the early 1980s, when the team was clearly the best in the country, but was forbidden from playing in bowl games when it was discovered that its major stars were given cars et al. to incent their attendance at SMU.

Shocking! Horrifying! I'll bet that has never occurred anywhere else, ever!

Well, except everyone in the know consulted in making the documentary said that the other major schools in the Southwest Conference (now defunct) had been actively bidding on the same players.

Shock. . . .

Oh, cut the crap. Here's the way it works. Major universities sponsor football programs because these are the best ways to maintain contact with alumni - and to inspire them to donate to their schools - and at the same time to distinguish themselves in American higher education (can't everybody be a Harvard or MIT) - drawing students and various kinds of investments - as well as being a source of on- and off-campus pride (unless they are being sanctioned - which is really just a temporary setback - cf. USC, SMU).

Now, how do you get one of these programs, you might ask? You hire a coach at a fantastic salary (much higher than university president salaries - Mack Brown, at the University of Texas, a public university, receives over $5 million a year in total compensation, albeit only half of that as salary, which still places him well above any other public employee in the state), build a humongous stadium, and induce 18-year-olds to play football there.

Who are these 18-year-olds, you ask? They are very talented high school athletes known to everyone around the country who are then recruited by the big-salaried coaches to anchor their massive money-making football programs for a few years.

And, oh yes, these players are often from rural or urban backgrounds - quite impoverished - who would never otherwise attend college.

Flash quiz: To get you back in the collegiate mood, here is a surprise quiz.

  • What race are college football coaches and alumni "boosters?"
  • What race are nearly all recruited football stars?

(Study aids: watch or read "The Blind Side," or click on "Pony Excess" clip above.)

I wonder how that works out?

Welcome to the annual Dual America Awards, where well-off, educated America reaches down to poor America to pluck its most promising athletic products, induces them to play football for them at great profit to themselves - and some profit to the ballplayers (very few of whom will become professional athletes), and then picks the very best of them for an award - which they may or may not have to return, depending on the nature of their compensation.

* SMU, Southern Methodist University, located in Dallas, was chartered by the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church, and is the home of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Picture: Cam Newton with Heisman Trophy