The New Republic has an interview with President Obama where the newly re-minted commander-in-chief discusses, among other things, violence in football. The President makes some reasonable observations about the sport and the changes he foresees—less exciting for us, safer for the players—which I think we can all get behind. Less exciting football is still better than no football, and as President Obama mentions, it will lighten the load on our conflicted consciences.

He then turns his attention to the NCAA.

I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That's something that I'd like to see the NCAA think about.

Of course, it took the NFLPA a long time to start taking care of its own—and that is a union's raison d'être. If a professional union needs years of public shaming to snap into action, then the seemingly shame-immune NCAA—whose entire purpose is antithetical to that of a union's—will surely be less-receptive to the President's nudging than the last time he spoke about the NCAA.


Barack Obama is Not Pleased: The president on his enemies, the media, and the future of football [New Republic]