So … 32 football players can force a university president to quit?

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A group of 32 black football players at the University of Missouri — acting with the blessing of their white coach — announced Sunday that they would refuse to play or practice until UM system President Tim Wolfe resigned. The football players had been angered by Wolfe’s failure to respond to a series of racist incidents on campus, and their boycott threat was apparently backed by many of their white teammates.

As of Sunday afternoon, Wolfe was refusing to resign. This morning, after an emergency executive session of the university system’s Board of Curators, his decision had changed. The president is gone, the team will be back at practice this afternoon, and Mizzou will play its next game as scheduled against BYU, avoiding a $1 million penalty had it forfeited the game.

The remarkable incident raises an awful lot of questions for which answers are difficult:

1.) Was the boycott justified? I’ve never set foot on the Mizzou campus and have no idea what the environment there might be. You probably don’t either. However, it’s hard to believe that football players would have taken such a dramatic step unless they shared a strong, widespread sentiment among the black student body that something had gone awry. It’s also pretty evident that Wolfe had failed for weeks to take the concerns of black students seriously, doing little to meet with them, hear them out and take action.

Here’s how Koran Addo, who has been covering the story for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, described the sentiment expressed to him by black Mizzou students during an interview with NPR:

“This is a very segregated campus already. Black students kind of stick together. They stick to each other. They don’t feel welcome in the overall community. They say that they can’t even walk near the fraternities on campus because racial slurs are being directed at them at all times. They say they can’t go to certain restaurants on campus or even closely off campus because, you know, they feel this sort of hostility toward them. So it’s a general feeling of black students feeling unwelcome on the Mizzou campus. And their concerns have not really been heard by the administration. The administration is aloof. The administration is not taking their concerns seriously.”


2.) What does it say when 30 kids on football scholarships can bring down a university president in just a day? It says that football is king of the campus and wields way too much influence, but that’s something we’ve known and pretty much accepted for a long time now. At the University of Georgia, for example, the embattled Mark Richt makes several times the salary of his nominal boss, university president Jere Morehead, and until recently at least, Richt had considerably more political clout as well. Even UGA’s defensive and offensive coordinators make more money than Morehead. And as the AJC’s Matt Kempner reported this weekend, “(UGA’s) football program generated nearly $87 million in revenue in the last fiscal year, far above its $26 million in expenses.” That buys a lot of influence.

3.) The real impact of the Mizzou story is that football players — the Saturday heroes, the men who make the dazzling runs, the bone-crunching tackles and humiliating fumbles, the men who suffer the knee damage and concussions — actually decided to use football’s clout for their own purposes. I suspect that a lot of people who see nothing at all wrong with football’s dominant role in university culture will now be yelling “How dare they!?,” outraged that mere players have leveraged its prominence for something other than a million-dollar raise or a new indoor practice facility.

4.) Basically, the Mizzou players have realized that they have market power, and they are doing what American culture tells them to do with such power. If the school is going to use them to build its brand, fill its stadium, attract students, generate tens of millions of dollars in TV revenue, grease alumni donations and make other contributions that far outweigh the value of the education they are given, well, there’s a thing or two they want in return, such as the basic respect of being heard.

5.) We’ll also probably hear a lot from the “How dare they!” crowd about the contracts that student athletes sign in return for their scholarships, and how Mizzou players violated that contract by threatening a boycott. But again, you don’t hear that talk much when a coach abandons his team for a richer contract elsewhere, even after he recruited players to the first school with the promise that he would be there to lead them. And you don’t hear it when players are stripped of their scholarships because the school needs it for a younger, more promising prospect. What we’re seeing in the Mizzou case and a few other examples is the beginning of a resetting of the power differential between the schools and coaches on one hand and those whom they recruit as players on the other. And it’s long overdue.

Reader Comments 0

1713 comments
lvg
lvg

Black Thugs Matter!

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

Reached my 5 free limit...after reading only 3 articles.  Am pissed.  No apologies.  I don't expect anyone to see this, but since I can't post anywhere above this.  This is my goodbye, it's been fun, we're being treated like dirt.

Eric_C
Eric_C


If Mizzou had something to play for, this would have never happened.  Yep, football rules.  If a championship is on the line, racial discrimination takes a back seat...guaranteed.  It's all about the money. 


chuckie99
chuckie99

He was a fool for resigning and now they are going to demand more and more give me this or I won't play.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Short sheetz for the GOP, no doubt. jay could use some new Lenins.

schnirt 

fedup52
fedup52

Were the lungs the seat of wisdom, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly would be wise, but they are not and he is not. So it is not astonishing that he is doubling down on his wager that the truth cannot catch up with him. It has, however, already done so. ..........

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bill-oreilly-makes-a-mess-of-history/2015/11/10/03ef0d94-87d9-11e5-be8b-1ae2e4f50f76_story.html

.............................................  This from George Will.  Kind of reminds me all the CON BLOGGERS over here

jellyphish
jellyphish

@fedup52 They wanted him out because they are a mob and behaved as mobs behave.

jellyphish
jellyphish

@Nick_Danger @jellyphish @fedup52 What additional facts?  I've seen the video of the mob at mizzou threatening the reporter.  They were behaving like animals but that's what mizzou gets for lowering it's academic standards to admit cash cow athletes.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Every time that I see Hillary on TV, I want to reach in and strangle her.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany Good luck with that sweetie.  Hey tell us about your outrage when Carly let the clowns call Obama a muslim and more and Carly said it was not her job to defend the President.  You think it is Hillary's job to "defend" Carly from a joke? 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@KUTGF Prosperity Jesus tests the weight of your wallet.

jellyphish
jellyphish

@KUTGF @jellyphish @DownInAlbany I know that by his actions.  It's pretty clear.  He was also raised by atheists and his best friends were atheists, but mostly it's by his actions.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@jellyphish @StraightNoChaser @KUTGF @DownInAlbany Look up and read the original post that we have all commented on then get back to me on who has made personal attacks.  That coupled with the fact that you have called the President an atheist.  Really?  One thing I give you credit for is that just like every Republican that post on here you can't keep tabs on your own BS so why the hell are you keeping tabs on me?  Stay in your lane.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@jellyphish @StraightNoChaser @KUTGF @DownInAlbany No but calling the President an atheist leaves no room for you to accuse anyone of personal attacks.  See how irrational your comment was?  Now thank me for pointing out how you are just like the other GOP bloviating idiots that visit here daily.  

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@DownInAlbany 

It does no good to scream at the people on your television.  Scientists have proven they can't hear you.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

"Lee, please, tell us more about how you rank the world's religions. 

Where do you rank the Jews, for instance?  Worse than Christians, but better than Sikhs, I'm guessing?"


Nick Danger,


Why stop with Lee or with the cons . Heck, let's ask Buddhist monks in Burma what they think of Muslims. You know, the same Buddhist monks who want Muslims expelled from the country. And yes. Its Buddhist monk leaders who are leading the charge. 


"Whoever rules Burma will have to deal with this: a violent conflict between Buddhists and a Muslim minority called the Rohingya. The government doesn't consider them citizens. Three years ago Buddhist mobs torched Rohingya villages when Muslim men were accused of raping a Buddhist woman. More than 120,000 ethnic Muslims fled to government-controlled refugee camps. International human rights workers say they're more like concentration camps. Some aid workers have called this ethnic cleansing. The camps are usually off-limits to outsiders but our team managed to slip in. We found desperate people with little food, less health care. There is no lack of fear."


"When you think of Buddhism, you're likely to think of peace and tranquility. So we were surprised to know some of the biggest inciters of violence against the Rohingya are Buddhist monks.

One of the most outspoken and influential is Sayadaw Ashin Wirathu. He is anything but peaceful and tranquil. Listen to what he said to us."


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-burma-aung-san-suu-kyi-60-minutes/

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Doom Classical liberal Lee offered his opinion on the relative rankings of religions.  He apparently doesn't like Seventh Day Adventists much, but he likes them better than Muslims, apparently. 

As for your post, tl:dr.

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Doom Classical liberal Burmese Buddhists practice their religion like a lot of the Christians around here practice theirs.


Most actual practicing Buddhists around the world are condemning the actions of U Wirathu and his followers. Likewise with the actions of Thai Buddhists who are acting similarly toward Muslims in their country.



FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I, for one, am happy to let Carson have his day in the sun, even if that means he turns into a raisin. "A Dream Deferred".

This is America, after all.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Given the 5 freebies a month, will we be able to remain on say....this open thread for as long as we want? If so, we can fight till our heart's content, or we have a heart attack...whichever comes first.

It's obvious most of us won't pay to play.

schnirt 

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@FIGMO2

You're a moocher? Just wow.  All this time railing against progs and freebies but when push comes to shove fIGS gets shoved.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Eye wonder @FIGMO2

I'm not the one forcing people to pay. That would be the AJC.

Speech should be free.

Whether I can comment or not makes no difference to me. I can take it or leave it.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@FIGMO2 (Hint:  Google "how do I get around a paywall."  It's not hard.)  ;-)

Paul42
Paul42

@Squirrel_Whisperer @FIGMO2 @Eye wonder

Yep.  Content providers originally thought they could attract a large audience by giving away their work (and the work of others) for free.  Revenue would come via advertisers, based on readership.

That didn't happen.  Content providers are way behind the ball, but they're moving to reverse the trend.

Pay to read.  

Good move.

Ironical, isn't it, that so many bloggers who condemn others for making decisions based on getting 'free stuff' are the same ones who are so upset about..... not getting free stuff?

Squirrel_Whisperer
Squirrel_Whisperer

@FIGMO2 @Eye wonder Can't really blame any newspaper for going to a pay system. After all, we'd have to pay for a hard copy paper. Technology has dramatically changed the newspaper business.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

I just saw where MSNBC will lead with this breaking news tonight....apparently, they have found where, in 1992, Ben Carson returned a rented VHS tape...without (get this!) rewinding it!  I think they may have FINALLY cornered him!

Paul42
Paul42

@DownInAlbany

Nothing you've posted countered the impression Dr. Carson is not only woefully ignorant of major national issues, but he's demonstrated no inclination to improve upon that.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@DownInAlbany


It gets much worse. He lied to the video clerk at the store about rewinding it. Right now CNN is interviewing people who were in the store in 1972 when Carson returned the video. Several can attest to seeing the video and noting that it had in fact not been rewinded. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@DownInAlbany @Paul42 You are now claiming that Dr. Carson doesn't have time to say things?  LOL!  You'rereally out of excuses here, aren't yoi?

Paul42
Paul42

@DownInAlbany @Paul42

So the reason he hasn't taken the time to figure out the difference between the debt ceiling and annual budget deficits is because bloggers are discussing his views on life in everyday Egypt?

Good to know - 

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Paul42 @DownInAlbany

He is taking a page out of the Palin playbook - dupe the unwashed con masses and emerge much richer for having done so.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@KUTGF 

Nah, it's Michelle Obama's "Whitey Tape".  LOL!!!!

C_Casselberry
C_Casselberry

@Nick_Danger @DownInAlbany @Paul42 

Here's Ben's most interesting quote about accusations that he lied (that's what it called if you seek a job and tell fibs on your resume to make your self more attractive to your employer) “I have no problem with being vetted,” Carson said. “What I do have a problem with is being lied about." So Ben has a problem with others lying about his lying? Got it.