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Corn Flakes: Mizzou Protests - How Will They Affect Other Campuses?

Recent protests at the University of Missouri have shown that college football players have more power than they might previously have realized. Will this spread to other campuses?

Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

I don't know if you've been paying attention to what's been happening at the University of Missouri this week. I found what's been going on pretty fascinating at least from the "What will happen to Mizzou" perspective.

You probably know the university president and chancellor of both resigned over the protests. There's been a lot of controversy over the subject about whether or not the racial incidents that prompted the protests really happened. That and the fact that the student who started a hunger strike is not from a deprived family but in fact from a pretty wealthy family, although that sounds like we're saying that someone from wealth has no right to protest about anything.

I realize this is a sensitive subject. I also realize I have no right to speak about the racial incidents because I'm not black and I'm not from Missouri nor did I attend the University of Missouri. I cannot speak as to whether racism is prominent on the campus or not. Since it is a sensitive subject I'll ask you to be careful in the comment section and not become too political and be respectful of other people's views.

In a broader sense, there is a disturbing trend in today's world in that it takes so little to outrage us; for us to be offended. Social media has made it so that any whack job to make any stupid statement no matter how outrageous or idiotic it may be and it's taken at some sign that this is a reflection of humanity as a whole.

It seems as if we're willing to allow madmen to control our lives. We continually find incidents where someone is threatening someone's else's life on twitter and we are continually outraged by them despite the fact that we know that they're going to continue because there truly are some people who just want to see the world burn. We know this yet we're outraged and I believe it's because we want to be outraged. We enjoy it, probably a little too much.

These last two paragraphs aren't about the University of Missouri incidents but about our current society in general and they are the reason why my recent attitude toward social media is that it's a shithole that's best to be avoided.

Two specific areas about what's happening at Mizzou interest me.

As I stated before, one of those is "What will happen to Mizzou". It will be very interesting to see what effect this has on the University of Missouri in the future. Will this make students more willing to attend the University or less? Will make it easier for Missouri to attract good professors or less? If you are a Mizzou alum or about to become a graduate, do you think your diploma will be worth more or less (and you probably have all that student loan debt to pay)?

Also of interest is what happened with the football team. A student at Missouri started a hunger strike but it appears in the protest was not taken seriously until the football team threatened to not play its game this weekend against BYU. Whether or not Missouri plays BYU is inconsequential. Mizzou is going to get killed either way because they're a crappy football team. Whether or not it would cost them $1 million to get out of the game; who cares, it's not our money.

What I wonder about is how much this newfound power of student athletes will spread to other campuses. I think it's a stretch to imagine that any high-performing team will perform any sort of protest like this because they don't want to cost themselves a shot at a championship or bowl game because we like to have nice things. That doesn't mean that your good team won't find itself in a bind because another crappy team suddenly decides they aren't going to play that weekend.

Whether these protests have any substance doesn't matter, in a way, it's what people do with their newfound power that will be interesting to watch going forward. College football is making more money than ever while at the same time student athletes have more power than ever. NCAA is under attack from multitudes of lawsuits while the next round of TV contracts hangs in the balance.

We are potentially on the verge of exploding college football and having to rebuild it all from the ground up. We certainly live in interesting times.


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