Friday, August 01, 2008

American Athletes Bypassing College for Europe

Will This Become Another Excuse For Black Students To Underachieve?

I heard the story of Brandon Jennings last week, and although i'm not much of a sports guy, the story sparked my interest. Straight out of High School, Jennings decided to sign a contract with an Italian Pro Basketball team rather than attending college and playing in the NCAA. His story seemed to be an example of how Black youth could devalue education without feeling if they needed any more excuses. Doesn't this run counter to the values that parents (good ones) teach to their children throughout their youth?

We already know about the achievement gap for Black athletes who stay in the United States and choose to go to College instead of going pro. Many Black athletes do not graduate. Now a pathway seems to be widening that will allow them to bypass College altogether. And Jennings actually believes that this is a positive development and that he can be a trendsetter for others like himself. Modern Black culture has already conditioned him not to value education. That's the sentiment I got from his Press Conference. Fast money, cars, women, and the Rap lifestyle of "bling" and no substance has replaced more traditional values for our youth. Is this the future? If it is, perhaps I should go ahead and have a vasectomy. Because that is not the kind of World that I would want my kid to grow up in.

Yeah, Brandon Jennings was offered a nice multi-million dollar contract by his Italian team, but will he be able to manage his own finances?

Source Page for Audio Story


zinjanthropus said...

Not every person is college material. Years ago a decent person could finish high school and get a job working on the assembly line at Ford or similar. The concept of going straight to work instead of college is not new. Nor is it as reprehensible as many would propose.

Just as many phds can't change an alternator or pour a sidewalk, Many honest, decent, hardworking people with high aptitudes for auto mechanics, hydraulics, construction, and yes, basketball might not be cut out for the rigors of biology, expository writing, and calculus.

Different therefore equal? Perhaps.

In my mind, what needs to be examined is the idea that universities need to fill valuable admissions slots with people who wouldn't otherwise be allowed to attend.
Here we have 4.0 students arguing over affirmative action when not many are complaining about the 2.1 athlete.

In my mind, what needs to be examined is the idea that many of the jobs that are still valuable and respectible in our socitey have now been somehow devalued. Joe Blow is a loser because he's a good plumber making 75grand a year instead of a mediocre doctor making 70 with less stress and better hours?

College is not the "end all". Not for many people. This from a guy with two bachelors and half a masters.
In my mind, a great society is strong because it has both strategists and grunts and both are respected.

rikyrah said...


Here I am feeling positive about the Youth - check my latest post. I understand your feelings AI, and I admit, I have little to no sympathy for him if he loses his earnings because he doesn't have enough sense to manage them.

I agree with the above poster that everyone isn't cut out for college, and if Black youth were enrolled in vocational training, I wouldn't have a problem with it. After all, plumbers, electricians and carpenters make serious money. But, that's not the case.

AI is right that this current generation has a gap between understanding that education- formal or vocation - is one of the tools, to just be able to make it these days.

The Angry Independent said...


Welcome back!!!

Loved reading that post.

I'm not all gloom & doom. Sorry if I come off that way. In my zeal to want to see Black folks do see the image of Black people restored to something more respectable & meaningful... sometimes I get into these phases where it seems as if I am only pointing out the negatives. (that's partly because there are just an abundance of horrible events taking place...seemingly every week.)

But I do that in the futile hope that a sense of urgency might kick in for someone...someone who might be in a position to do something.

I do positive posts as well... but probably not enough.

People sometimes accuse me of hating "blackness" (whatever that is supposed to be these days)...but I have to disagree. I just hate the part that makes us all look bad.
In fact, I try to celebrate the best of what Black folks have contributed.... although I do it in my own way.

Everytime I produce a Jazz/Soul music playlist... I am providing a form of Black history.... showing Black people at their best.

I try to do the same with the sidebar spotlights.

But like I stated... I am probably not doing enough to point out the positives.


You are probably scared of being outed, lol....but feel free to post a photo or two from the vacation.