GOOD

Joe Paterno, Ike Turner, and the Trouble With Legacies

The confused reaction to Paterno's death echoes the public response to Turner's in 2007.


It didn’t take long after Joe Paterno’s death was announced Sunday morning for the inappropriate reactions to start streaming in via social media. “He was great man!!” basketball superstar LeBron James decreed. “The media killed him,” diehard Penn State fans opined. “Burn in hell,” dozens of other people suggested.

Soon, compiling and analyzing these reactions became a parlor game among sportswriters and media critics, with Deadspin compiling a list of all the ridiculous theories on what killed Paterno (including a broken heart, scandal, "society"). In a series of tweets, Bethlehem Shoals—an editor at The Classical and one of the smartest modern-day commentators on sports and society—took James to task for his lack of tact in glorifying a man who allowed child rape to continue unfettered. In the process, he brought on his own series of angry tweets, one of many tempests in teapots that wracked a social media world collectively grappling over how to memorialize a man who was a great football coach and philanthropist, but who chose friendship and football over reporting a crime of epic proportions.

Keep Reading
Articles

Do College Sports Affect Students' Grades? A Defense of the NCAA

A new study linking students' grades to the football team's success is one of many ludicrous claims about how college sports are ruining America.


Last year is likely to go down as the worst in the history of college football. When a Yahoo Sports investigation in August revealed that a University of Miami booster had provided illegal benefits to players for years, it seemed inconceivable that the scandal would only be the second-worst to hit the NCAA in 2011.

Then, just before Christmas, a trio of economists declared that “big-time sports are a threat to American higher education.” The National Bureau for Economic Research published the study, which examined the relationship between a university’s success on the football field and its students’ grades—not those of the players, but their classmates and fans. Using data from the University of Oregon, where they are based, the three researchers concluded that students—especially male students—earn lower grades when the Ducks are winning games. “Our estimates suggest that three fewer wins in a season would be expected to increase male GPAs by approximately 0.02, or to reduce the gender gap by seven to nine percent,” the authors write.

Keep Reading
Articles