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  • abinferno
    replied
    Re: better pay

    Something that I can't stand are the anachronistic NCAA compiance rules. There's absolutely no reason that if a college student wins prize money in a championship event that they shouldn't be able to accept it and retain their eligibility. If Nike wants to give a contract to a collegiate runner, let them. "Amateurism" is the biggest hypocritical farce in place in collegiate sports right now. Since it has been taken out of olympic competition, NCAA should follow suit.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    My recollection (from my research, not my age!) is that timing by the mid-1870s was already in 1/4 seconds and 1/5 seconds. And watches then were actually reasonably accurate.

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  • michael lewis
    replied
    Re: better pay

    No problemo. btw I have a question, when did timing of races first happen, and was it in fifths of a second (or halves

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    I hear you and apologize if I misinterpreted your comment. It is a sad fact, however, that altogether too many people DO think that t&f began in 1896.

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  • michael lewis
    replied
    Re: better pay

    "Historical fallacy #1: The sport DID NOT begin in 1896."

    "You think foot races are going to stop being popular for the first time in how many thousand years?" - what I posted on THG crisis forum earlier today.

    I was using the modern Olympic time period to make a point. Wasn't saying the sport started in 1896, and that can't be inferred from what I said.

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  • gh
    replied
    Re: better pay

    >A proposed
    >formula for motivation: money + everything else
    >that makes an athlete want to win. So "desire
    >to win = $motivation + *motivations* "
    I
    >agree that $ is now so big in athletics that
    >it's arguably = or > *motivations*.>>

    I'd say you're basically right on that, but with one modifier. For those in the U.S. collegiate system (or say, anybody else in the world up to the age of about 21) it's more about winning an Olympic gold than anything else. Once you've competed in an Olympics once, no matter how well you do, it's probably all about money. Which is why in the "old days" people would so often retire after the Olympics.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    Historical fallacy #1: The sport DID NOT begin in 1896. That's perhaps the greatest of the all-that-matters-is-the-Olympics myths. The sport has complex roots, which include: the professional activities of the 1860s/70s; the beginnings of independent athletic clubs in 1868 (beginning with the NYAC); and the rise of collegiate competition in the early 1870s. The modern Olympic revival was parasitic on or (perhaps more kindly) grew from this earlier activity and--for better or worse--displaced this vital earlier history in the public mind. Given these complex roots (each of these three contributing factors has its own character and agenda), the nature of the sport has been correspondingly complex: a mixture of a "simple" love of competition, the pleasures of group association and camraderie, and "pure" entreprenurial capitalism (the desire to make $$). The fabric of the sport today is still woven from these threads.

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  • michael lewis
    replied
    Re: better pay

    "The "problem" of track athletes seeking an edge lies precisely in the fact that there ARE incentives to be the best--financial incentives, the incentives of prestige, etc. Few people, I would imagine, seek "an edge" in backyard games of badmitton or croquet. The "problem" you are trying to correct lies precisely in the fact that, at the highest level, there's something REALLY at stake in t&f competition. We have met the enemy and he is us, etc."



    A proposed formula for motivation: money + everything else that makes an athlete want to win. So "desire to win = $motivation + *motivations* "
    I agree that $ is now so big in athletics that it's arguably = or > *motivations*. And once you've reached that stage in the game it's hard to conceive reversing the process. However, your argument doesn't explain how the sport grew from where it was in 1896 to where it was in 1972. Particularly where the participation of women is concerned. In the US the collegiate system could be said to have been the pre-professsional analogue of a monetary motivation, but obviously when you look at the worldwide growth of athletics over the first 8 decades of the 20th century there has to be some innate love of competition driving the sport.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    Right.

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  • dl
    replied
    Re: better pay

    Marxism aside, the problem with such an idea is that even if you try to set it up, better athletes would be paid more under the table. The track world is one of pure capitalism, good or bad.

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  • larwood
    replied
    Re: better pay

    Maybe we could write Jim Ryun to sponsor a bill
    to rescind the recent tax cut and use that money to pay all US track athletes a million a year.
    They would then have no incentive to cheat (or even to train for that matter). We may be lousy
    but at least we are clean. I am sure Ryun would do it since he is such a smart fellow and always
    does the right thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    "...why not make a system good enough so the majourity of the athletes get paid a decent amount win or lose..."

    Brad: This is a dream of a socialist utopia--Karl Marx would have embraced this wholeheartedly. It also doesn't make any sense at all. Why not pay all painters or poets or flute players "a decent wage" regardless of whether they're any good or not? The "problem" of track athletes seeking an edge lies precisely in the fact that there ARE incentives to be the best--financial incentives, the incentives of prestige, etc. Few people, I would imagine, seek "an edge" in backyard games of badmitton or croquet. The "problem" you are trying to correct lies precisely in the fact that, at the highest level, there's something REALLY at stake in t&f competition. We have met the enemy and he is us, etc.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    Although this is a nice idea, it ignores the principles of basic ecnomics.

    Athletes are paid well in sports that MAKE lots of money.

    Track does not.

    That being said, how could we have a system in which all athletes are paid? Unless track has some sort of huge spike in popularity, this will not happen.

    Even many high-quality runners have to struggle to get $15,000 per year contracts from Asics.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    The bottom line is the bottom line - there really isn't that much money in Pro Track. Only the very best (and not even the best in some events - Hammer much?) can actually make a living.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: better pay

    There probably isn’t enough money available to pay the majority of athletes. Even if there was, the winner would still get paid the most. If the loser could take drugs, become the winner, and help the bottom line in doing so, they would. A simple cost-benefit analysis on the part of the unscrupulous.

    Anyway, what sponsor would want to subsidize crappy performances?

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