90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says NCAA ‘Exploits Players’

On our Oct. 16 conversation with NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the basketball legend (and author) said he’s disturbed by the state of college athletics in the modern era. A towering player for the 1965 – 1969 U.C.L.A. Bruins, Abdul-Jabbar — then Lew Alcindor — used his basketball talents as a way to help him become the first member of his family with a college degree. The system today doesn’t provide for that, he said.

“I think that people see having a sports career as an end in itself and it really isn’t. So many young people that get the opportunity to go straight from high school, get to go from high school to professional athletics, and when their professional career is over, they have a hard time because they don’t have the educational foundation to enable them to do other things. So I think that the athletes themselves are not getting the full benefit of what they should.

“The NCAA athletes are exploited, and they should get paid. So many of them, you have a situation where, let’s say a young man goes to a college to play football and he gets hurt while he playing football. He can’t continue to have a scholarship. his scholarship can be rescinded and there is no insurance program that will protect them, enable them to finish their college career. They went and held up their part of the deal and went to the school to do what they were asked to do and as soon as they get hurt, the school, you know reneges on its commitment. And so, there are a number of abuses like that that they don’t sit well with me. I think that so many of the college athletes that make so much money — it’s a $6 billion dollar a year industry. So many people  see college athletics as a very benevolent extension of high school athletics. Where a quarterback and a cheerleader have a romance and celebrate their victory at the malt shop. That’s not happening anymore. Those days are over. This is a business here. And making all that money and producing all that money and not getting a chance to participate in all the financial rewards is really exploitation.

“…The whole ideal of college representing a place where athletically and intellectually human beings can reach their highest peak, I think that should be the ideal and its gotten  long way from there.”

Is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar right? Should college athletes be paid for their work? Or is the system a pure place for amateur student athletes that would be tainted by more money? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

Mar 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 4, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

 
Mar 4, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP)

Hillary Clinton’s week of bad headlines: about her emails and foreign money going to the Clinton Foundation. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment