For those following the Vikings/NFL and NCAA Men’s Basketball closely these won’t be new topics. But controversial stories with potentially long-term ramifications came out in recent weeks.
Kluwe vs Vikings
This story has dragged on for longer than it should have, but with today’s news that former Viking punter Chris Kluwe will not file his lawsuit against the team and would rather talk it out brings up some interesting storylines. It appears that Kluwe has felt the backlash from his supposed supporters who believe in gay rights and gay marriage. Here’s a great analysis from Outsports. His issues with the Vikings go well past his dismissal because of his views. Kluwe now claims that this case is about opening up the Vikings for covering up illegal activity and a total lack of transparency. How we got here, I don’t quite know. MPR maybe does. But Kluwe’s a very smart guy, son of a doctor and biofuels executive. My take is he’s mad he got let go by 2 teams, looked for someone to blame, noticed the timing of being released came after his controversial stance and appearances and figured he should get something because of it. He fails to assume any personal responsibility for being let go, such as his downward production, rising age, and relatively high salary for his position. That’s not to say the Vikings are a clean organization always on the moral high ground. The contrary actually, they rank 2nd in NFL arrests since 2000. This is the reason I’ve failed to fully commit to Purple Pride. The Vikings are well-known has having troubles off the field. However, both sides need to move on. Kluwe rescinding his lawsuit, for at least today, is a good sign they will.
College recruit goes overseas
Last week, Emmanuel Mudiay, one of the top-ranked players coming out of high school last year, made news by de-committing from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and legendary coach Larry Brown. Mudiay opted to sign a reported $1.2 million dollar contract to play professionally in China. His signing at SMU was a surprise to many to begin with and gave the impression that SMU was on the rise. Mudiay cited family issues, not grades as was initially reported, as his reason to go overseas rather than play in college. The reason he gave was that he wanted to provide for his family and mother. This is a completely reasonable and noble reason to skip college. Many of us would do the same if millions were at stake and our family was in dire straits.
What I find interesting is how this affects the group who demands college players be paid because so many others make money off athlete production on the court, field, etc. People have said for years it’s not fair and could be illegal for players to risk their bodies and health but yet never see a dime. “How can coaches, presidents, athletic directors make so much off young people?! Pay the players now.” This group makes it seem that there are no other options and the marketing players receive in the NCAA is the only way to the professional ranks. Listen, it’s the players/students choice to go to college. If you do, there are rules in place and you have to follow them. But there are options. If you don’t like playing for free in the states under the guise of the NCAA, feel free to go overseas, or to the NBA’s D-League. Make money for a year and enter the NBA draft. That is allowed. If you don’t like the NCAA rules, don’t go to colleg. And the best result for all would be enough players skip the NCAA ranks, play overseas where no one can watch and ratings, attendance, etc go down. That would FORCE the NCAA to change their rules. Until then, this is what is in place and make your decisions accordingly.