PAY FOR PLAY: SHOULD THE NCAA PAY ITS PLAYERS?

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“What is wrong with payment?”


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been a strong organization that has served as a platform which has launched the careers of so many well-known athletes. But the topic in recent years have came up regarding the payment of athletes for their performance in sports. Should they be paid for their skill or shouldn’t they be paid? It makes sense considering how much money the universities and the NCAA make off these athletes. Others say they are receiving a free education so what’s the use of giving them payment as well. Well, let’s observe both sides of the argument and see the point of view from both perspectives.

On the side of paying athletes, a reason to pay athletes is because the value of a college education versus the what they are making the university does not equate. Meaning, an Ivy League education is of the highest value, and that is only a few million dollars. Not a few million dollars per year, but that is the value over the person’s entire career in life. In addition to that, the university is pulling in major television, internet, and endorsement deals, meanwhile athletes make nothing. The athletes are the ones people are coming to see. So why are the main people who are the reason for this monetary gain not being compensated. Even the coaches are pulling in salaries, some of which making 5, 10, even upwards of $20 million in a year as a coach. With all that has been said, athletes typically spend more time playing their sport than going to class anyways, why not compensate them?

But what about the other side of argument. How come athletes are being paid? For starters, paying students to go to school sets precedent where now they are not attending to receive schooling, but income. They are far less inclined to learn anything if you are already on your day job. In addition, paying to play does not translate into anything in the work environment. The majority of athletes will not be going pro in sports, so what job can they get with college athlete on their resume. But an even bigger issue is the competitive nature of recruiting for sports. Whereas prior to payment, Ivy League schools would now start to get in the business of sports. They have more capital than a lot of other schools, so they would dominate given they have such an access of finances. As well as other public and private institutions with much larger endowments; they would monopolize NCAA sports.

In my opinion, even with the the amount of money coming it still would be a problem to pay. And my argument is not them receiving a free education. Why, because an education is not what gets you employment in society. Think of it as baking a cake, a college degree is just icing. Everything that goes into making that cake is you not your education. My issue would be the players with funding to come into the sports game monopolizing the system. Even with an implementation of a sports cap, you would still have New York Yankee style recruiting, out bidding other schools for athletes. So in the end, paying athletes could actually hurt the NCAA. Not just monopolizing, but sports agents would come into play, endorsement companies that serve a system would now be in athletes interest. And athletics would no longer be team sport, rather a chase for dollars. So as irritating as it may seem, paying collegiate athletes could hurt sports competition rather than help.


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THE AARON HERNANDEZ EFFECTS: HOW LEAVING A LIFE BEHIND IS HARDER FOR SOME

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“Why some can’t adjust to change.”


Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez has been talked about in the news as well as the sports world since his conviction on murder charges. But this past week, Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell. Now questions linger as to what was going through his mind toward the end of his life. He had just the day prior was found not guilty two separate murders in other states. But the suicide came out of nowhere. But more than the suicide or even his murder charges, everyone want to know, how did he lose it all? What was it about the NFL that he couldn’t adjust to his knew life.

To the dominant society, it seems odd that a multimillionaire can’t just fly straight. But when you grow up a certain way, some people just cannot adjust. Meaning, just because you have a lot of money does not mean you’re going to change who you are internally. If anything, money just magnifies who you really are as a person. So whatever you were prior to the money, you’re more now. But still, the average Joe feels like Hernandez had life in his hands. Big NFL contract, married with a child, nice home; everything seemed right. So what was it about the street life he couldn’t shake loose.

Well, if you didn’t grow up in the street or knew someone that deep in the street, then you won’t understand how Aaron could become who he was in life. There is aspect of the street lifestyle that is within you already. Just as there are some people who can’t take part in the activities in the street. Not everyone is cut out for that life, but some are cut out. Hernandez was lured in after the death of his father. When a boy loses his dad, it’s much easier to pull him into the street because he is now looking for guidance. And if there is no one who can tell him in the street he’s headed down a wrong path, then the flower blooms how it wants to bloom.

So in the end, Aaron Hernandez is not the first pro athlete to fall victim to himself. A lot of guys have not been able to change their ways. Some men have even turned to abusing narcotics and alcohol because they can’t adjust to the new life they have. What’s sad is that more young men each and every year are suspended from professional sports leagues. And until they learn to leave old ways behind they will always have problems in life.


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RUNNING ON E: EVER WISH YOU HAD MORE TIME FOR YOU

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“Ever need a filler up?”


Have you ever came home at the end of the day and your body was exactly on E. You wake up in the morning on full and by the days end you have nothing to give. Some of us even wake up with equal or less than half a tank of gas. What are you to do to when you have such a lack of energy? More so, how do most people come to this point in their lives of little to no energy on a daily basis? It can be a multitude of issues ranging from children to employment. It can be running an errand or constantly worrying about bills that need to be paid. But for the most part it is children and employment.

Starting with children, children are an adjustment to people’s lives that forces you to restructure your whole entire existence. Especially when the children are so young. When a child is an infant, your every moment you are free must be spent with them to build a form of familiarity. So not only are you trying to balance a job, but you need to spend unpaid free time with a child. You’re feeding them, playing with them, rocking them to sleep. And if they wake up crying you must be the one putting them back to sleep. Is there any other area where people feel they are running on empty? And there is, it’s from the previous paragraph: employment.

When you get up in the morning from the sound of that alarm, the first thing you think is same shit different day. Some of us like I said before are waking up to half a tank of energy. Others are close to E, yet they have to find some form of energy to raise themselves to half a tank or more. So how is that possible? How is it possible that we operate on such a low amount of energy and still make it to work and perform our task? Some people say luck while others feel it is a blessing. But I think it tends to be more than that. It is survival and you’ll be surprised the things you can do, especially in desperate situations. So how do you change course? How do you shift your life so that you can operate on full or close to it?

A lot of us operating on low energy has to do with the quality of life. People with a poor quality of life typically operate on lower levels of energy. But the desperation to survive keeps them going. Hanging on by a thread, but nonetheless still going. Now is that anyway to live, no, but for some it’s the only way to live. Or it may be the only way they know how to live. But it is going to take more than just what you know, to live. Like in a previous topic, I stated tapping into your inner talent. That requires self awareness; the self awareness which will take you from the running on E feeling. But tapping into inner you requires years of work, skill, keeping your eyes open and watching society around you. Nature will show you the way and your feeling on running out of energy will show you how to slow things down.

UNLOCKING TALENTS: EVERYONE HAS THEM YET FEW UTILIZE THEM

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“Why most of us will miss the opportunity.”


When we are all born, it’s hard to gauge what we’re going to be as adults. But nonetheless, I think we all have something that we are born with that makes us not only us, but could make us successful. Unlocking this means having some level of self-awareness. When you become self-aware, then you’re able to unlock this inner talent. In addition to unlocking this inner talent, one must also work at this talent to define greatness. So why don’t we have more people who are able to become successful in life? Better yet, why are so many people unable to tap into this inner talent that we possess? And to me, a lot of it has to with fears.

That’s right fears! I know we always hear the same thing over and over again. You work hard, but what does that really mean? You can work 10 hours a day, 7 days per week, for years and not attain what you work toward. To me, what is for you is for you. You shouldn’t pursue the dream, but the reality instead. Meaning just because we want to do something does not mean it is for us. It may not be that inner talent you possess. And most people are wired to conform out of fear; fear of failure is major and fear of letting others down. We don’t want to try something, fall and not be able to get back up. So we live in a trance in our daily lives until we die. Hoping something will happen, a stroke of luck that will set us free.

But the fears are so detrimental because if actually pursued what you were meant to do, it could actually create a positive externality in society. For example, you want so dearly to be an actress, but you are a wiz at science. You could go on to become the Meryl Streep of physicians. Who knows, it could formulate into a Nobel Prize for Science. But we become afraid, or disinterested in that thing that resonates with us. You have people who become school teachers who are better litigators, or engineers who could be the next Vincent van Gogh. Missing the opportunity to unlock that talent is of great tragedy.

It’s a tragedy because people look at the top people in their field or another field and say, “How did you do it?” As if you’re this special human on Earth. The reality is they unlocked their talent because they are self-aware. It’s hard to describe because it is a non-verbal oh, ok moment. What do I mean by non-verbal oh ok. Meaning, something will happen in life that you will come in contact with, and you go, “Oh,” or you say to yourself, “Oh, ok, this is what this is.” It’s how your brain processes information. Once you realize how your brain processes information, you will become more self-aware. Then your thing, or talent will unlock on it’s own. Then people will say, “How did you do that?” It will be hard to described. You will want to explain, but it becomes difficult because unlocking that thing can be natural. Natural occurrences can be tough to explain at times how to perform.

In the end, talents are something all people in life possess. Yet so many miss their window to capitalize. For a lot of people it’s fear of pursuing out of failure or letting down others. But when you waste your talent you let down more people than if you don’t pursue. You let down a potential generation that could take a cue from you and build from there. But then there are the people who never unlock their inner knowledge. They spend their entire lives not knowing themselves. So they are unable to succeed in life and ultimately die not knowing and not going anywhere.


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UNAPOLOGETICALLY ME: FEELING BEAUTIFUL IN A BLACK BODY

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“Have your pigment ever made you feel less than?”


As a Black male growing up in the United States my mother taught me at young the uphill battle of dealing with a certain demographic of people. A certain demographic that might not like simply because the color of my skin. But what is not talked about as much is the lack of representation in me being seen as an exceptionable image of affection. Not just Black men, but also Black women as well. The images I saw of Black men and women were either overly sexual, or shown from a space of shame and unattractive physical appearance.  But who makes those decisions regarding on what’s beautiful in our society?

Well, since I was young the fashion industry was strong in promoting the image of that beauty to society. An image that has effected more women than men. The body type is expected to me lean and thin, while the woman is supposed to be tall with symmetrical facial features. The ethnicity of the woman is typically a White girl, 18 – 25 years of age. This image effects so many girls, excluding even more Black women, then it leaves Black women to look to other images. It’s why Essence, Jet, and Ebony have been so pivotal in the Black community.

So how has this effected me, or others that look like me? In reality, it has not done much to effect in how I see myself. But I have seen the effects on the attitudes of Black women in society. Verbal comments regarding any other woman’s appearance that is easily dismissed is elevated when directed toward Black women. So who’s to blame? Should it be the job of an industry or should it come from the people who are effected? Me personally, I have my own view on this topic.

As much as we want to blame fashion and entertainment, I don’t see these mediums changing anytime soon. So to say this is the reason only, then a group of people are in trouble. It has to come from the person/people because who are effected. Because I don’t think the people you want to care actually cares. So you have no choice but to take back your identity. If not you’re going to have a generation of males and females who lack self-esteem. Especially if you’re looking for other ethnic groups to validate your physical. To me, in the end, it has to come from you as the person. No one is going to care because it doesn’t effect them. So what happens in positions of duress; adjust? Adjust, and carve out your own identity.


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COPING MECHANISM: HOW WE DEAL WITH OUR OWN ENDING

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“How do you cope with your mortality?”


All of us have thought about what it would be like once we eventually pass away. But how do you properly prepare yourself for your ending is tough. No one wants to ever think that once they leave this place, this is it and that’s that. So what does most of us do; we cope. We find ways to cope with the idea of us dying one day. What are some of the ways that we cope as people so we can deal with the end of our lives? Some people live life to the fullest having fun, some people donate their time and money, while others spend their time pursuing various career endeavors.

People who live life to the fullest are the people who wake up everyday and have fun. They make sure they have enough to cover their cost of living and after that, it’s a party. They live by the ride ’til the wheels fall off type of lifestyle. Work hard and play even harder in life. This way you can have fun memories forever. This way once you reach the end of your life, you can look back and say, “Man I had a good time.” But some may say, there is more you can do with your life than just partying. There are other ways to cope with the end of your life.  What about spending your time and money to helping others in life?

These people volunteer their time to help others in a way that will not only help those in need, but also bring comfort to themselves. Another aspect of giving is the idea that giving their money is a way of coping. There is this inner feeling of euphoria that comes with helping people who are less fortunate than yourself. It’s that feeling that makes us not lose sight of why we should appreciate our own circumstance. If not for what I have been brought through it could easily have been me. So the giving up our time and money helps us look over life and say, “My time spent here is worth exiting in the end.” But is there another way that people try to cope with their end?

The third way I came up with is pursuing a career endeavor as a way to cope. This way with coping is saying to yourself, “After the lights go out, they’re out for good.” “So go for the gusto because it won’t matter after you’re gone.” These people start out at a young age working toward their goals, achieve their goals, so they can say they pursued everything they’ve ever wanted to pursue. So many people spend their days going to work coming home, and that’s it. But the career driven people spend their days chasing dreams so they can look to the end of their lives and say, “I got everything I have ever wanted.” “And now I can accept my ending.

In the end, we all have these ways of trying to cope with the end of our lives. Some deal by means in enjoying their lives, some by means of donating time and money, and others by means of focusing on a career. I, myself have mine, as with anyone else. There are many other coping mechanism, but the previous ones were just a few. Until we learn to accept our ending, then we will always find ways to cope with our mortality.

LIFE IN PICTURES: HOW MEMORIES ARE BROUGHT OUT OF IMAGES WE SAVE

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“We all love to reminisce about the past.”


Ever sit back and look at the memories of the past in a photo album. Reminiscing on all the good moments you have experienced in life. Even at times when you’re not in the picture you’ll tend to ask yourself, “Where was I when this was taken?” “I don’t remember this photo.” All sorts of the thoughts start to stream through your mind as to the time and location of the photo. Well, what is it, what is it about photography that brings up the most mundane of memories. It doesn’t even have to be a special occasion, just a photo is enough to bring it out of you.

Well, for starters, photos are usually taken in a time of great memories. When things take place in your life that have been meaningful to you, we remember those moments the most. Whether it’s a holiday or even a birthday party. One photo can spark so much that you remember from that day. You remember everyone who was present in the photo and not in the photo. But it’s also a time to reflect on the people who are no longer with us. I recently saw a photo of my mother and father when they were younger. The picture included my father’s mother, who passed, her friend at the time, who passed, my grandmother’s sister, who also passed. These times you are very nostalgic.

But what are other memories from the photos we take. Another reason we love to look through photo albums is to also reflect over life. Looking over how far we’ve come up to where we are thus far. We might look at a photo of ourselves during a rough time in life, then smile at how you’ve overcome those moments. For example, you might have grown up in a poverty stricken environment and now you have yourself a nice house beautiful family and great friends. These past photos with the newer photos you’ve taken makes you feel proud of the life you’ve carved out for yourself.

In the end, we love to look over photos of the past and reminisce of past experiences. Our lives take on so many twists and turns that these photos create a nostalgic moment that for a second get us thinking. All those good times, the people that are not here with us, and even the times that were bad that got us to where we are today. It is an all encompassing experience into why we love opening that photo alum.