Stan Van Gundy Speaks Out Against the College Athletic System

by August 28, 2011

With a daughter currently attending the University of Miami, Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy can’t avoid hearing about the recruiting scandal and, in typical SVG fashion, he’s speaking his mind. Via the Miami Herald: “Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was on the University of Miami campus the other day, dropping off his daughter for the semester. Sports scandal swirled all around the school, though it wasn’t obvious on the manicured campus. Soon, Sports Illustrated would call for the disbanding of Miami’s program (again), and eight kids would be nationally stigmatized as cheats. Van Gundy has this way of untangling all the mythology we’ve draped ornately around The Church Of Sports Business, so here’s what he noticed while standing between the library and the athletic department on the grounds where his daughter will learn: a monument to hypocrisy, far as the eye could see. Higher learning is in bed with higher earning, pious pimps acting as priests and police while trying to govern the prostitution, all while pretending those young bodies aren’t actually getting screwed. ‘The system is set up for everybody but the kids while pretending to be about the kids,’ Van Gundy said. ‘Athletics and education should be separate. Colleges shouldn’t be farm systems. It doesn’t make any logical sense. But the schools don’t want to be blatantly in the situation of being professional sports even though they already are professional sports. They just want to disguise it, so they hide behind education. But, really, all you want is enough of your athletes to graduate so it looks like that’s what you care about. Anyone around sports knows it is all a bunch of bull [expletive]. I am not calling college coaches or administrators hypocrites. I believe that, in general, they care about the kids and education. But the system is wrong. Being a farm system creates problems that are beyond the control of even the best and most well-meaning administrators of which [UM’s] Donna Shalala would be at the top of my list.’