Mind Over Sports

I’m all for paying athletes, but with a $1000 per month cap.

Posted on: November 19, 2019

In the summer of 1950, while attending the University of Missouri, I played basketball in the Catskills Mountains in upper state New York. Two of my teammates were from CCNY and Long Island University, both of whom were later convicted in a court of law for shaving points.
It was common at that time in the Catskills that for every game there was a pool that included a sizable amount of cash and the winner of the pool was the person who could correctly predict the total number of points that would be scored in a particular game. For example, if someone had the number 121 and the final score was 61 – 60, they won the pot. And they always shared the pot with some of better players on the team, of which I was not one. It never occurred to me at the time that some of my teammates might be controlling the outcome of the game for financial gain, but I’m sure that was the case. It was a breeding ground for their behavior later. And I recall during the end of each game the public address announcer would constantly mention the score and also mention the total number of points at that time.
As for paying players, I’m all for it. But I would put a cap of $1000 per month on the amount a player could earn so that an over-enthusiastic alumni couldn’t lure a player away from a team, or get involved in attracting a top player to a particular school by offering that player a sizable amount of money to become involved in his business as a spokesman on television, or whatever.

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