Friday, September 16, 2011

Pay for play


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

I read with great interest recently a report that high school athletes will have to pay money to play sports for their schools. Why? It's because there's not enough money to hire coaches. So, let me understand this—the coach of the team is to be paid by his/her players. Does that not conjure up some questionable scenarios? In my life experiences, money talks and bulls--- walks. There might be a new dynamic this fall in the sports programs at some of Idaho's high schools according to the wealth of some and their families. It could go something like this:

"Coach?"

"What?"

"I've got $500 here that says the tight end position is mine this season."

"What are you trying to do, bribe me?"

"Yes, I am."

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"Well, it won't work. I've got four other athletes going out for the same position. The best one makes it."

"That's a very noble sentiment, coach, but those guys are paying "you" $100 apiece. I'm offering five times that."

"Look, get out of here! You can't buy ... "

"$1,500."

"Hey, I've got my pride and ... "

"Two grand!"

"Two grand?"

"That's right—cash, now."

"Let me show you to your locker, son."

But, that couldn't happen, could it? The last time I heard about "pay to play" it was in the 1950s and involved record producers paying disk jockeys money to play their clients' recordings. It was called "payola" and a lot of "jocks" went "away."

Hey, nice talking to you.




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