Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
I agree but film students and software engineering students are expected to qualify and make minimal advancements toward a degree to remain enrolled and no one is suggesting that we pay them for performing in plays and completing course work. In fact no one ever speaks of a "pretense" regarding student actors or student engineers. Giving up the "pretense" usually comes just ahead of suggesting that players should be paid which I'm opposed to but that is an entirely different discussion for another thread. I'm in favor of treating athletes exactly the same as the other students and at the point academics become a "pretense" it is time to go pro.
My point was directed more to rebutting the concept that certain guys shouldn't go to college (I think you mentioned Kobe and leBron) if they are mostly (or even wholly) interested in going pro ASAP. I have a contrary view. I like the system that sets up incentives for guys to go to college, in part because I like the college game, and in part because I think just about everyone benefits from a liberal arts education. Of course they have to meet the required academic standards. But I think Kobe and LeBron would have gotten something very valuable out of college. No one should force them to do it. But I like the incentives in place to encourage college.

The "pretense" I speak of is the one about how elite college basketball players are also supposed to be very serious students of economics or italian. With some renaissance-man type exceptions (including a bunch of them at Duke-- like Langdon in my day, who was a very smart dude and serious student) that's not the case and it's not bad. That's my point about engineers and filmmakers-- they aren't on campus primarily to study economics and italian, but they may study those things, take them sort of lightly and get Cs in them. That's not bad! They are enriching campus life in other ways.