On the John
Originally published in the Indiana Daily Student on February 19, 2004
Four years ago, my dad and I took a little collegiate road trip to help me decide where I wanted to go to school. As an eager, young journalism student who spent senior year as co-editor in chief of the high school newspaper, I was considered a “blue chip” journalism recruit. Even with the number of agents who called my parents urging them to let me go pro (“I can’t give you any names, but there are several big time papers interested in your son right now”), we decided I should see what college had to offer.
As it turns out, all the stories were true.
At the University of Wisconsin, the J-school head handed me a UW duffle bag filled with customized UW newspapers featuring my own column and my head shot. The University of Illinois promised me an editor position and free faculty parking passes.
Then I came to IU.
They started with the usual offers and temptations, similar to those at Madison, and Champaign. But later that night, I left my parents in their room at the Union and went to a house party with some journalism students I’d met that day. When we arrived, I was immediately given free beer and pot, but before I could get settled, they told me I had to meet some of their “friends.” I was escorted into a back room where four or five older girls were waiting for me. “I can’t wait till you’re going to school here. I’m going to read everything you write. Everything. I hear journalists have really big…”
No, I’m kidding.
But seriously, wouldn’t it be money if the rest of us got recruited like athletes? The University of Colorado has taken some heat recently for supposed “recruitment orgy parties” for potential football players. Well, they should. Football players have no problems getting chicks. How about a little love for the chemists, philosophers and the kid who plays the cello? I mean, it must be a bitch lugging that thing around.
Some may say I’m skirting the real issue — making light of a serious problem. “It is wrong for coaches to use sex as a recruitment tool,” they say. “Can’t they just give away cars and money like they used to?” Well sure, but cars are so easy to spot. Also, with so many athletes leaving school early, a coach would be crazy to give a kid a car when he knows he’s leaving in two years. With sex, it’s a one-shot deal. Plus, there’s less paper work.
Personally, I think using sex to recruit kids is a useful tool. It forces them to make the tough decisions. Who among us hasn’t made a poor long-term decision when tempted by exciting short-term payoffs? It starts when we’re young.
“Mom, lemme stay up ’till midnight, and I swear I’ll mow the whole lawn tomorrow. Honest. Pleeeeeese!”
Sure, the extra time up is fun, but it’s usually not much more than Nick at Nite and a lot of ice cream.
Midway through that mow, you’re wishing you’d gone to bed early.
And so it may be for some of these Colorado players or any other athlete who goes to a certain school because his penis told him to.
Sex can play crazy tricks on a man … crazy, wonderful, sexy tricks. And if you are a man with enough willpower to make decisions with your head instead of your other head, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.
ADVICE FROM THE JOHN: Life’s too short to pretend that you dislike the CDs you bought in middle school. They’re still great, and you know it. Dust off that copy of “Cooleyhighharmony” and revel in youth.
Copyright 2004, jm silverstein