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November 18, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-18

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 18, 1993

(The ortjctt#14ww^wwFtn 4br
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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Sharp .TsAY


" -


Al bom, money, and the Fab Five

On Friday, before I went home, I
stopped by the bookstore to see what
new stuff was out. On the shelf (and
against the walls), I saw more than
200 copies of
Mitch Albom's
new book en-
titled "The Fab
Five." I guess
Mitch decided
that the.Fab Five
was too great notI
to put into a .R ,I ,O
book. I had a few
hours to kill, so IS
read it. I don't
know any of the ball players, so I
can't say how accurate it is, but Albom
has skills and the book did a fair job of
covering their rise to stardom. I came
close to picking it up for my father as
an early Christmas gift, but then I
thought about it.
One of the things that Albom ad-
dressed was the fact that although the
athletes made millions of dollars not
only for the University, but for jersey
makers, t-shirt designers, even bas-
ketball card companies, they don't
see a cent. Albom told an interesting
story about Webber going out to lunch
with a football player and having to
scrounge around in his pockets for
money to buy lunch, while next door
to the restaurant was a sports store
with his jersey in the window. The
only reason the No. 4 jersey sells like
it does is because he wore it. And he
doesn't (well, didn't) see a penny.
Well, that's not really true, some
argue. They do get something out of
the deal. Like, for example, a free
A free education at a school like
Michigan is no joke, so you figure
that's the equivalent of about maybe
$40,000 plus the benefit of actually
having a degree with MICHIGAN
stamped on it. There is also the
monthly allowance to consider. The
basketball players do get a stipend of

about $600 a month, which adds up to
about $28,000 over four years. So the
total package is worth about $70,000,
which is a nice bit of change if you
think about it.
But what does the school get from
the players in the meantime?
It's been said that one football
game raises enough revenue to pay
every Michigan employee's salary for
an entire year. I know that the basket-
ball team doesn't bring in that much
loot, but I'm sure they still bring in
massive dollars. From season tickets
alone I figure that they make about a
cool million (gross not net). And then
take into account the various TV deals
that the school has (through the Big
Ten) with ESPN, ABC, NBC, and
Viacom, plus the revenue generated
from the paraphernalia (t-shirts, bas-
ketball cards, jerseys, etc.) mentioned
above, and we see that in the end the
money that the team produces for the
school and assorted businesses dwarfs
the money the individual team mem-
bers get even if we take a four-year
education (which is by no means guar-
anteed) into account.
Harry Edwards, sociologist from
California, says that this system is
very similar to that of slavery. Look-
ing at the relationship between the
athletes and the schools they play for,
I'm inclined to agree with him. Play-
ing for up to four years for a school
that gives them enough to survive, but
little else, student.athletes, especially
the Wheatleys and the Roses, are
among the poorest treated students on
campus. These players give their bod-
ies for the school they play for, not
just their playing skills. I remember
hearing a former Michigan football
player talk about how the doctors said
that he could no longer run, jog, or
even cut the grass because of the
damage that his legs suffered when he
played football for Michigan. And
what did he get besides a Rose Bowl
ring? Nothing.
When Albom wrote this book,

rather than just giving us insight into
what made these five ball players
special and unique, he becamethe
latest to jump on the bandwagon, get-
ting paid massive dollars off of their
lives and bodies. I've been foqing
on the money thing because I know
this is the most glaring example o
how the athletes are getting dicked,
but it's, not just about money, but
control. Control over their lives and
their bodies. Money may imply a cer-
tain amount of control, but even
though Webber is getting his dollars
now, his "rights" are still the posses-
sion of the Golden St. WarriorsI'm
sure that the athletes realize thesitu-
ation they're in, and that's probabl@
one of the reasons why Malveaux,
Collins, and others left the football
team. They're also probably under
the assumption that there is nothing
that they can do about their situation
except quit.
They may be wrong here.
Can you imagine what would hap-
pen for example, if the basketball
players decided to boycott the season.
Alumni would trip, the media would
trip, and students would trip, but you
know what? Given the skill that this
team has particularly, I can't see them
not getting what they asked for. In
fact this has already happened on cam-
puses in North Carolina (where the
football team decided to boycott a
bowl game unless a cultural center for
African Americans was created), and
out west (where the first college foot-V
ball players' union is being created).
I don't know what the likelihood is of
this occurring here given the "Michi-
gah tradition," but I do know one
One day the players will see some-
thing like Albom's book, and decide
that they're tired of getting played
and not getting paid; And although
getting paid won't solve their prob*
lems, realizing that they need to get
something for what they give the uni-
versity, will be the first step.

Gangster rap no longer what it was

q n mmw

College Roundup
Guns serve a practical purpose

Years after the birth of gangster
rap and its rapid rise from
anonymity, it seems that the once-
informative mode of communication
has evolved into nothing more than
ignorant men making money through
preaching violence and decadence.
At the outset Ice Cube, N.W.A and
Public Enemy told of the hardships
that African Americans had to face
growing up in a violent environment.
The anger and passion were
inspirational and opened many eyes
to the prejudice and hardships that
had previously only been seen from
the one-sided perspective of the
media. Through music the frustration
was brought out into the open and
allowed many of us to see and hear,
first hand, things that we had never
really thought about.
Now in 1993 the same gangster
rap is preaching the same anger, but
Lester is an LSA junior and a
member of the Daily staff.

without the emotion that had made
their music so powerful years ago.
Many respected rap artists have
proven themselves unworthy of the
kudos they received. Flavor Flav, of
Public Enemy, was arrested last
week and enrolled in a clinic for help
with his cocaine habit. Dr. Dre and
Snoop Dog, two of contemporary
rap's most popular artists, are
pathetic. Snoop Dog just got arrested
for involvement in another shooting,
as did fellow rapper Tupac Shakur.
The message could best be summed
up by Dr. Dre in his recent interview
on MTV. When asked why he still
raps about violence and drinking
forties, he replied, "You see where I
live. You see what I got. I like
women and money, I say what the
people want to hear. Whatever it
takes." Well at least he's honest.
The most upsetting aspect of rap
music is the constant derision of
women. By degrading women, rap
music attacks one of the African
American community's strongest

allies in the fight for economic and
social equality. The ability to vote for
Blacks would not have been achievec
as early had women not helped in.
their cause after receiving suffrage
themselves. Nor would African
Americans have been as successful in.
the 60s in fighting for their civil
rights had they not been backed by
the rap-labeled "bitches." It serves no
purpose whatsoever to treat another
oppressed minority with such
All that modem rap does is
perpetuate stereotypes. How can we
hope to eliminate naivete and
ignorance when this is the constant
portrayal of African American males
on cable and on the radio. The music
may have filled the pockets of a few
selfish individuals, but it has kept the
fight toward racial equality stagnant.
Rap used to be educational as well as
entertaining. There-used to be a E
message contained within the w
rhymes. It must have been lost
amongst the flurry of dollar bills.

Forget hunters, forget the constitu-
tional babble, and when considering
handgun control, let us keep in mind
our core concern: violence in our soci-
ety today. Contrary to popular myth,
liberals and conservatives do not split
cleanly over this issue. Though their
research is buried beneath the mass of
conjecture an emotion clouding the
issue, several liberal criminologists
have found that handguns serve so-
cially beneficial functions like nonvio-

don't get beaten, don't get raped, and
don't get murdered solely because hand-
guns are legal.
While we rarely hear of these cases,
the media covers nearly all accidents
and gun crimes, even though they oc-
cur much less frequently. When this
one-sided news coverage couples with
machismo-drenched entertainment, we
may find it easy to hate guns and "gun
people" even though our input does not
accurately reflect reality. This negative
predisposition toward guns often fig-

solely because handguns remain legal.
The nature ofviolence and the sheer
pragmatics of our society, then, flaw
the logic behind banning handguns. A
law is not a magic wand that legislators
can wave and all existing handguns
would proceed on a one-by-one bases
through confiscation after they've been
used in a crime.
It would be nice if the solution to
violence and crime were as simple and
tidy as banning handguns, but this sim-
ply strips the mean of protection from

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