Fred Williams

Will the NFL be as powerful in three decades?

Don neglected to mention another pernicious effect of football on society. The so-called student athletes who attend often prestigious universities, and leave functionally illiterate, physically handicapped, and forever uncompensated. These "lucky" boys, plucked from obscurity to win a football scholarship all dream of being professional players. But the odds are something like 14,000 to 1. In the meantime, instead of studying, they are required to practice, work out, play and kiss up to the alumni donors. When they do take classes, they're frequently pass/fail seminars with a single one page paper required. All athletic departments keep lists of the easy classes and generous teachers. Students, being young, think they're scamming the system and would never tell. Yet they scam themselves. The much vaunted value of their "free" education is squandered. If they graduate at all (many don't) having slept through useless fluff courses, their skills outside of playing are non-existent. I'm talking about what's happening now, and has been well-known for more than 30 years. I'm specifically naming San Diego Mesa College, San Diego State, and Utah State as institutions that turn out functionally illiterate former players. This is my personal knowledge as someone who got cash to write their papers, and later helped them fill in unemployment forms, and sadly watched as they failed to find any position better than parking attendant. They couldn't even do physical labor, since their knees, shoulders, and backs were in constant pain from football injuries. These people were possibly not affected by CTE, and yet they may as well be for the practical outcome of joblessness, homelessness, and desperation. That's the most common outcome for former college players who were steered away from an education, and many former professional players who find themselves in pain and unemployable after the dream is ended and all the money is gone. This cost to society is criminal. Literally stealing the future from these hard working kids, in the name of entertainment and beer sales. Seeing John Moores once again on the path to defrauding San Diego with a sports swindle is sickening. If such a structure is built on the back of taxpayers again, it's only yet more proof that football makes you stupid.
— March 10, 2016 2:41 a.m.

Court blesses city attorney's email practice

Dorian...please tell us the story of Gerry Braunn. It will be fascinating to find how he rose from reporter at the UT to deep-insider. With the decline of middle-class journalism careers, more and more we see former writers attempting what Gerry has seemingly perfected. I believe a lot of readers would like to learn how he managed this, and the results. He's not the first (John Kern) to move from reporting on city hall to being an operative, but he's probably one of the most under-reported insiders San Diego has today. Please, tell us Gerry Braunn's story... As to the emails...if you're an elected official, government employee, or just someone with an IQ above room temperature who uses a computer occasionally, you ought to already know that emails should always be written so they could be published on the front page of the paper without embarrassment...or don't write it. Goldsmith and spokesmouth Braun can try to wave this away as a non-story, but as a former legislator and judge he ought to promote public policy and even (gasp!) morality before lawerly evasions and equivocations. In the end, they were required to release the emails. Frankly, if it were only Goldsmith, this wouldn't be such an issue. But we all know this is a nationwide (worldwide) problem. Using multiple modes of communication to circumvent public disclosure is an affront to democracy, open government, and everything Goldsmith has sworn to uphold. His example emboldens members of the city council to use Facebook and other tools in circumventing open government. As a judge, former legislator, and now city attorney, Goldsmith cannot hide behind fine words in support of principles he does not follow himself...unless sued by a tenacious litigant, where he'll drag his heels and make years of excuses instead of doing the right thing in the first place and simply releasing the emails when they were requested. After all, as Goldsmith's law enforcement friends say, "if he's got nothing to hide..."
— November 5, 2015 2:01 a.m.

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