U of M: A Friend of Student-Athletes?

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One does nothing who tries to console a despondent person with word. A friend is one who aids with deeds at a critical time when deeds are called for.”


I hadn’t addressed the Regents of my alma mater for a couple of years; and, what with a few new faces on board, I signed up to stand up for student-athletes – my sixth address to Them. The entire address was recorded by my intrepid webmaster, Jason; but let me make a few comments here before I let you go click.

I’ve learned a few things from experience. One is not to repeat extremely offensive cuss words, however in context, over and over again, in a public address; even if you enjoy the dramatic effect of being edgy. You’ll lose a large dollop of your audience, unless you’re at a beer hall or a porn convention or a bachelor/bachelorette party.

So here are the rule changes I proposed that The University of Michigan should advocate at the next annual meeting of the NCAA in Indianapolis this July to truly honor the NCAA’s Core Purpose:

  1. Eliminate the need to obtain a waiver when a student-athlete transfers colleges in order to compete without losing a year of athletic eligibility. Even a student-athlete who is raped by a teammate must grovel before the NCAA for such a waiver. It is cruel rule that says loudly, “You are a cash cow, and nothing more to us.” (Read Still Kicking: My Journey As the First Woman to Play Division I College Football by Katie Hdina for more information.)
  2. Require coaches to stay through the Bowl Season and End of the Year Tourneys or lose the right to coach for one year. Let’s see how they feel about it. It is very traumatic and cruel for a student-athlete to lose their coach in the last days of their college career out of pure self-interest and greed – values not endemic to the Core Purpose of the NCCA from their Mission Statement with reads, “Our purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.”
  3. Make signing a contract with a pro team the threshold to lose academic scholarships and eligibility. And, I would argue, it would be beautiful and magnanimous if the academic scholarship was kept in tact, as it would encourage professional athletes to finish their degrees, and, in turn, inspire others to finish high school and get a degree or two or three.
  4. Change the National Letter of Intent Day to later in the high school year so as to not negatively impact Bowl Season, etc. Coaches need to coach their present teams first and foremost – not cut and run to other colleges and other tasks like recruiting for the next season. For this to happen, the Day must be pushed out at least a month for all college sports from the end of Bowl and End of Year Tourney Season.
  5. Make changes to college wrestling so student-athletes no longer have to “make weight,” sacrificing their health by dehydrating themselves in draconian fashion, etc., in order to compete. I suggest using a 30 day average weight. If that doesn’t work, then think of something better; but it’s a good start. If we don’t lead on this issue, no one will. Not high school wrestling coaches, not the WWF, not Hulk Hogan, not any of the McMahons. We are U of M. We must stand for something. We mustn’t stand for letting the Core Purpose of the NCAA remain mere boilerplate.

After my address, a few speakers asked The Regents to reconsider putting the historic Inglis House up for sale.

I agree. I don’t believe in erasing history. That’s Orwellian af.

Jason and I cut out after three straight addresses on the same issue, interviewing some Ann Arborites about their thoughts on 420: the holiday itself, medical marijuana, and all-out legalization.

It was fun and that video is embedded right below my videotaped address to the Regents.

If you agree with me that U of M should advocate for one or more of my proposed rule changes to NCAA policy, rendering the Core Purpose of its existence a joke, you can contact them at: http://regents.umich.edu/about/regents.html




The meeting had a lot of protesters and speakers there objecting to U of M putting the Inglis House up for sale. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


U of M’s Regents recently put the beautiful and historical Inglis House up for sale. What were they thinking? Be a guardian of Ann Arbor’s architectural wonders! (Photo: www.aadl.org)

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