From the New York Times:
On June 29 in Omaha, Scott Weltz, a former U.C. Davis athlete-turned-volunteer coach, upset the two favorites in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke to win the event at the United States Olympic swimming trials. The night before in Eugene, Ore., Kim Conley, a distance runner who competed and coached at U.C. Davis, erased a 20-meter deficit in the homestretch to claim a spot on the American track team with a third-place finish in the 5,000 meters.Note, towards the end of the first page, one of the athletes mentions something that really makes me both angry and sad:
“...How do you justify calling yourself a professional athlete if you can’t earn a living off it yet?” [Kim] Conley said, adding, “Now I feel like I can justify what I’m doing. ...”
Yeah, because now she has "Ghetto Pass" as an official Olympian who gets a "stipend" now. Note that this stipend is less than actor would make straight out of drama school who participates in a successful 30-second Cheetos commercial that goes national.
That is heart wrenching quote especially when you think about all the "non-profit" governing bodies who charge a yearly fee so these athletes can be eligible to compete. We see these governing bodies generate obscene amounts of money for themselves off the fruits of the athletes labor and their love for their country yet they provide so little in return.
Here I go off on another tangent: I just don't get how a non-profit is allowed to collect money from the subject of their non-profit? If you are helping the poor, you don't charge them a fee for your largess.
If I may set up a "straw man theater" here as an example: Imagine that I have a non-profit and the subject of that non profit is teaching the illiterate how to read. Imagine that I charge these non-reading individuals a $40-fee-per-year which will allow them to compete in very special reading-&-writing competitions for both ribbons and medals. Of course these peopole will need to pay additional fees to enter and don't forget that I will need to certify their teachers for a fee too. Then to ensure the competition is really fair I will certify their competitions for a fee as well.
Oh, I also forgot to mention that their schools will HAVE TO BUY special teaching insurance from the insurance company which I indirectly own as well.
Now, if these kids are the best in the field, the crémé de la crémé, the top-100-out-300,000, I will pay to have them sent to a very special "spelling-bee" which occurs every 4-years whereas they can win a gold-plated medal or two if they win their event or events. This event will be televised which I will also received a fee.
In some cases I pay for their education but only in a rare few, say like less that 1%. In some cases I pay them a living wage, but less then a few-hundred-students-or-so. Now, with all my "students" in place and my operations model made known, am I really a non-profit?
The government says I am and that is why Ikea, USA Swimming, "...FishScam.com, a site dedicated to informing readers that high mercury levels in fish are not bad for you, as well as SunLightScam.com, which claims that tanning beds pose no health hazards..." and believe it or not all the above are non-profits too. Oh, they were started up by the same rat and guess who his biggest donors were? (These sites have been taken down after being "outed" on MSNBC.)
So perhaps we should encourage the non-profits to throw these two "underdogs" a "bone?"