• 26

    Mar

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By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Should College Athletes Be Paid?

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...
English: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) logo. Source: http://www1.ncaa.org/eprise/main/Public/mlp/promotions_special_events/pe_web/promo_manual/memos/identity.pdf Converted by User:King of Hearts from :Image:National Collegiate Athletic Association logo.png using Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am encouraged there are presently serious discussions taking place regarding the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and their student athletes debate. Is there a more appropriate time to have a discussion regarding “paying college athletes” than during the NCAA’s March Madness College Basketball Tournament?  With billions of dollars being generated during the March Madness Tournament and questions are being raised why college athletes are not being paid, the NCAA is hard pressed to ignore the debate this time.

This is not the first nor will it be the last time that the NCAA is being asked why they are not paying their student athletes. The drum beat for students athletes to be paid is getting louder and gaining more support every year, because the NCAA revenues from the March Madness Tournament are getting larger while the graduation rates of the so-called student athletes are dismal. The students, who are drafted into professional sports, many of them without college degrees, are being asked to become proficient at playing their sport while neglecting to study and take classes to obtain their college degrees. This would be a wonderful scenario if most of the athletes made it in professional sports. The number of college student athletes who are successful in professional sports are minuscule in comparison to the number of young men and young women who enter the NCAA’s programs to play college sports.

Every year March Madness is one of the hottest topics in the United States of America during the month of March. This year, the billionaire and philanthropist Warren Buffet offered a billion dollars to anyone who would predict the final winners of the two brackets in the three-week basketball tournament. It took less than two days for Mr. Buffet to win his bet. No one to date has been able to pick the correct winners of the games played so far. This is why the tournament is called March Madness. No team is immune from an upset. Even President Barack Obama, an avid basketball fan, picks for March Madness was reported live on sports television. March Madness is BIG business.

One of the reason I am encouraged regarding the student athletes discussion is while on Meet The Press” last Sunday, Mark Emmert, NCAA President, remarked they (NCAA) are considering offering student athletes who did not gain their college degrees the opportunity to return to college and get their degrees at no cost to the students. This I believe is a start in the right direction.

Whether college athletes will be paid for their athletic prowess, which generates billions of dollars for American colleges, is not a simple debate to resolve. There are pros and cons on each side of the debate. My hope is that when the dust has settled from all of the discussions and lawsuits the students well-being will be one of the main priorities.

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  • 18

    Mar

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By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Value Your Relationships

Elephants In The RoomI am an advocate for adding value to my relationships. Too many individuals take for granted their relatives, friends, associates and colleagues. I am not an authority on relationships, but this I do know you must focus on how you can assist, uplift and inspire others, especially those individuals you call friends. You cannot think only of yourself and expect others to continue being a friend to you. One should seek to assist others first and then think about the rewards later. What a concept!
Mastering the art of long-term relationships can elevate one’s sense of his or herself. I am reminded of the story Herb Wesson, President of Los Angeles City Council, told concerning his rise to become the Speaker of The California State Assembly. He remarked that during a conversation –  in his freshman year as a California State Assemblyman – with Willie Brown, the revered and skillful Speaker at the time, Mr. Brown told him if his desire was to be Speaker of The California State Assembly he should set about learning his colleagues spouses’ names, their children’s names and their birthdays. Mr. Wesson accepted the tasks. He was astoundingly successful. Within a few years, he became the Speaker of The California State Assembly. To this day, Mr. Wesson understands the value of relationships. Presently, even though he is not the senior member – in terms of time served on Los Angeles City Council – he is the council’s president.

Mastering genuine long-term relationships can be difficult, but not impossible. It is an art I am striving to master everyday.

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  • 12

    Mar

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By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Gratitude

I am elated to report that gratitude has been essential in my life. I give thanks everyday to all the individuals who have helped me along my life’s journey. As I received success, I am motivated and inspired to pay my blessings and good fortune forward. My mother was a gracious Elephants In The Roomand generous woman. She taught my siblings and I to always help others. When I was nine years old, I asked my mother why one or two or three of our relatives were always living with us. She answered “son, your father and I are doing well and we can afford to help our relatives. You must always remember you have two hands, one to give and the other to receive.” That conversation with my mother has stuck in my mind since that day. And, it has crafted – to date – how I lived my life.
I have committed my life to lifetime growth. Learning from individuals I interact with on a daily basis is an achievement I humbly embrace. Because I am aware my successes were made possible through the generosity, teaching, love and forgiveness of others, the gratitude I feel daily is indelibly etched in my brain. So, when asked why I helped individuals, my answer is predictable. Helping others is good for one’s happiness.

I have had the opportunity to work with and befriend some amazing individuals. As a result, I have seen and been a part of successful ventures. Success, in my opinion, occurs when opportunity and preparedness converge. So, one should always be prepared, because one’s opportunity may be forthcoming. And, when it arrives, one should be grateful it did.

 

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  • 04

    Mar

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Saluting Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong´o at the the Mill Valley Film Fes...
Lupita Nyong´o at the the Mill Valley Film Festival (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)

Lupita Nyong’o won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. During the 2014 Oscars celebration, I observed she exhibited grace, beauty, intellect and consistency.  Throughout the Oscars’ season, the day that Academy Awards nominations were announced to last Sunday’s celebration, Miss Nyong’o became an international sensation. Her beauty and grace could not be overlooked.

Hot from her role as ‘Patsey‘ in “12 Years A Slave,” the movie directed by Steve McQueen and adapted for the screen by writer John Ridley, Lupita evolved into an international success on red carpets around the world.  The first time many of us, yours truly included, saw her since her character role as Patsey, she was wearing a stunning Ralph Lauren red cape dress. The Ralph Lauren dress was a HIT. It is not difficult to surmise that fashion designers saw her beauty and grace and they stood in line to have her wear their dresses, suits and gowns. Thereafter, Lupita graced the pages of magazines, outshone her fellow female thespians, fashion-wise, at red carpet events and became one of the hottest trending social media personalities.

Lupita Nyong’o became an international star navigating Hollywood’s Academy Awards process. I give kudos to her team – agent, manager, publicists, stylists, studio executives, film producers, confidants –  who remained behind the scenes and allowed their “diamond” to shine. Observing Lupita’s behavior during her media interviews, I concluded she was an amazing personality to work with, because not only was she beauty and intelligent, but she was also humble. The bright-colored dresses and gowns she wore at the events she attended were simply beautiful and fashionable. And, yes they were show stoppers. The strategy her team employed was brilliant. Those of us who saw “12 Years A Slave” were pained by the brutality her character, Patsey, had to endure at the hands of her slave master and his wife. Patsey wore tattered clothing. Her skin at times were dirty from her slave chores and the whipping she received which scarred her skin was difficult to look at even though we knew Mr. McQueen exercised creative license to depict the horrific scene in the movie. Then came the Oscars’ season and we saw Lupita Nyong’o, not Patsey. She was RADIANT. Her sense of fashion was impeccable. Her skin was flawless and when she spoke – gone was the slave dialect – her diction was both graceful and articulate. Her team’s strategy was clever and masterful. Moreover, their campaign was aided by the fact that Lupita was authentic. And, they kept her image consistent. Whether she was wearing Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Givenchy or Prada, Lupita looked stunning, beautiful, fashionable and graceful.

I would wager that case studies are underway researching how a dark-skinned Mexican-born woman of Kenyan heritage made her “debut” in Hollywood in a movie about slavery and won an Academy Award. And, the question is probably being asked how she was able to capture the hearts and souls of millions of individuals around the world? I opine her team crafted a media relations plan and they were steadfast in executing it by remaining true to Lupita’s authenticity.

Here’s to hoping that millions of young women and young men around the world are dreaming of working diligently, being graceful and humble to realize their dreams just as Lupita did. Here’s to Lupita Nyong’o and her team for orchestrating a brilliant 2014 Academy Awards campaign. And, here’s to the United States of America (USA). Lupita’s amazing path to her present success could only occur in the USA. And, above all my hope is that Lupita Nyong’o remains authentic.

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