The Dynamic Complexity of SPRTS

The Dynamic Complexity of SPRTS - Slagh 1 The Dynamic...

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Slagh 1 The Dynamic Complexity of Today’s Athlete Salaries
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Slagh 2 So whatever happened to those good old days? Like back in the day when one could see Bob Dylan for $6 or a when an afternoon at the ballpark didn’t mean going without groceries for a week. Or how about when the average American could look up to his or her favorite sports hero and wonder what it would be like to live in those shoes for a day, making the big hits or hitting the game-winning shot—instead now reveling in awe of the fact that someone like Michael Jordan in his prime earned the average American’s salary in about four minutes of one basketball game. Let us not forget that is not counting the huge amount of money pro athletes receive from endorsements and advertisements nowadays. Today’s athletes are national icons, with their giant salaries and unmatched talents. Even those professionals that are paid to ride the pine; the ones with less glamorous jobs who are basically just there to fill out a team are also compensated at high rates—the minimum salaries for the NBA and MLB hover right around what our president makes in one year, and the NFL’s yearly minimum nearly doubles it. Surely though, there should be no cause for alarm, because these are the best of the best, and are here for our entertainment, right? Not so fast—this model has a few problems. There has been a large growth in today’s athlete salaries, and that increase is starting to cause a few problems. From the period between 1988 and 1998, the highest salary in the NBA and NHL jumped 500 and 1000 percent, respectively. This is cause for alarm, and the fans—the ones whom sports are supposed to entertain—are going to take the hit. This increase raises a few key problems: first, that sports are becoming more and more corporately sponsored and the real fans are being locked out of the live event and left to watch the big games on the big screen, secondly, the current system of rising
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Slagh 3 athlete pay does not encourage better competition nor promote a better product, and thirdly, the current system puts too much pressure on young athletes, setting them up for failure and a rough future. Several ideas from Peter Senge’s systems thinking can help better understand why this problem is occurring, and what can be done to fix it. Well how did things come to be as they are today? Well, back in the days of the early 20 th Century, sports teams were few and far between, and the athletes would not make much more than the average American. While one could make the argument that a person would get more additional job satisfaction from playing a game for a living, these pros paid their dues just like everyone else. Although competition was not as fierce as it is today, athletes had to be the best to even have the opportunity to travel and play sports. With a relative lack of diversions and leisure activities in this early century society, sports
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course PLS 200 taught by Professor Idk during the Fall '08 term at Michigan State University.

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The Dynamic Complexity of SPRTS - Slagh 1 The Dynamic...

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