Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hue And Cry Noticeably Missing

From Deadspin:
Mallory Pugh, the blazingly fast and wildly skilled winger who played with the U.S. women’s team in the 2016 Olympics, is leaving UCLA to turn pro, according to a statement released by the school. The 18-year-old enrolled at UCLA in January and would have begun her freshman season in the fall. Instead, she decided to take her talents to the professional ranks before she ever played a competitive game for UCLA, which isn’t too much of a surprise considering U.S. Soccer just reached a new collective bargaining agreement with the women’s players, guaranteeing some players upwards of $200,000 a year. Turning pro means she can cash checks from U.S. Soccer as well as pick up endorsement deals.

A freshman (and only a freshman because she enrolled early) leaving to turn pro? Well, I expected a flood of editorials saying that she needed to stay for the college experience, that she wasn't emotionally mature enough to turn pro. What if it doesn't work out? She won't have anything to fall back on because she didn't go to college!

Instead: crickets.

Are the usual members of the outrage cotillion not upset because it's a white woman instead of a black man? I'm sure that's part of it, but I don't think it's the most important part.

The most important part, by far, is money.

Pugh going pro in women's soccer isn't going to cost the NCAA a penny in the larger scheme of things. Nobody cares if she's prepared, emotionally and physically. It's not something that anyone would even think of mentioning.

Young men and women graduating from high school and playing pro tennis, or pro golf? No one cares. No one would even think to bring up the argument.

High school graduates going to play minor league baseball instead of college? No problem.

Let's go to college football and basketball now. The money sports, the two sports where the revenue from television rights is absolutely gigantic.

Oh, now there's a problem.

Anything that would hurt the quality of the product that television networks pay for--well, it's all about the kid right? And the kids just aren't ready for the pros. It's actually exploiting the kids to let them skip college and go earn a living.

Good grief.

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