1/30/2004 Add a comment

Imagine your college's spec/prosbie/prospective student weekend but with private jets and Tigerettes (I'm a poet and I don't even know it). These three stories about Willie Williams' trip to fsu auburn , and miami make fascinating reads. Willie, for those who don't read the Parade HS football all-american special (do they still do that?) or watched FSU vs. Miami in the diamond nuts bowl, is one of the top HS prospects in the land. Williams basically narrates these 'articles', and we get a good sense of his voice, an interesting mix of naiveté and worldliness that permeates big-time college athletics. We also learn that he hates spinach dip because `I ain't no animal, and I ain't going to eat no plant.' If at any point he has sex with twins, a la Ray Allen as a young college recruit, he politely keeps it to himself.
The seemingly arbitrary criteria he bases his judgement on (is the broken shower in the auburn hotel any indication of what four years of college will be like?) feel like petty justifications to cover his prejudgements. Or maybe I'm reading it too closely. Overall, we find that it takes a lot of lobster tails to convince someone to make you millions of dollars and not get paid for it. A system is perfectly designed to produce the results that it produces, and if these stories represent the results of big-money college athletics, something in the system needs to be changed. Ian