During a lecture at UC Berkeley, former kooky presidential candidate Ralph Nader lambasted college sports, claiming that athletics have dumbed down universities, students, and 'Merica as we know it. And, well, he has a point. Matt Krupnick of the Contra Costa Times reports:

University resources that should be spent on academics are instead subsidizing entertainment, he said. NCAA Division I athletes are both pampered and abused, he added.

"If you get rid of the athletic scholarship, you deflate a lot of the problems," Nader said. "Education is a secondary concern at big-time programs. Exploitation is the inevitable outcome."

Nader's remarks were at a public event associated with a UC Berkeley class on how an athletics program affects a university. The course is co-taught by Nader's sister, UC Berkeley anthropology professor Laura Nader.

It seems like UC Berkeley could put a dent, however minor, in their financial crisis by redistributing the wealth (omg, #occupywallstreet, y'all!) in to education. As could many other institutions of higher learning on the brink of doom.

Nader went on to say:

"I think the genie's out of the bottle, in terms of amateurism and college sports...We need to recognize (athletes) for what they are, which is employees."

You know who could raise money for college sports at Cal? Buddy Garrity and Coach Taylor, that's who. They'd get all up in the faces of the boosters, saying things like "I tell you what" and "Now you listen here" and "Here's what we're gonna do," and then have Tami cook up a mess of ribs and--bam--you've got yourself all the money you need. And then they'd kick the living crap out of Nader's seitan-eating ass. It's really quite simple, people. (We miss you, Friday Night Lights.)