We Need To Have An Honest Conversation About Debt Relief And The Future Of Student Loans

The Biden Administration’s decision to relieve student loan debt, specifically $10,000 for those that make less than $125,000 in annual income, and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, has kicked off a massive debate about the fairness of relieving debt for people that contractually agreed to pay it back. Much of the noise came from those on the political right, and which resulted in a tit-for-tat back and forth between United States Congressmen and the official Twitter account for the White House.

We need to cut through the partisan noise and have an honest conversation about debt relief and the future of student loans.

Two things are true

1) People should pay their debts.

2) People should be protected from predatory lending practices.

An in-state degree, and let’s use an education degree as an example, can easily run a student well over $100,000 when you factor in tuition, room, board, books, transportation, and an unpaid student teaching period.

Let’s assume that the student in this scenario accumulated $40,000 in government-backed student debt over this 4-5 year period. Assuming the average starting salary of a teacher is around $40,000, if that student is on a 10-year repayment plan, the monthly minimum payments are going to exceed 20% of that teacher’s monthly pre-tax income.

If this hypothetical student is able to make every minimum payment over the 10 years in order to repay that debt, they will have paid back over $80,000 to the government, and likely surrendered one fifth of their income over the course of a decade (assuming they’re still able to stomach a teacher’s salary into their early 30’s in the face of needing housing, family planning, inflation, etc).

That same student that was able to secure $40,000 in student loans was probably early enough in their credit history that opening a bank-backed bankruptcy-protected line of credit for a few hundred dollars would have been harder than securing an unprotected, previously unforgivable loan for tens of thousands of dollars.

When banks don’t think you’re a good bet to recoup a few hundred bucks, why should education lenders think you’re a good bet to saddle with exponentially more unforgivable debt in an economy where wages stagnate in comparison to inflation and housing?

I totally get the frustration of people that went through the pain of full repayment looking at people that have yet to complete that process and feeling as if it is unfair. But what we can’t do is pretend that the government doesn’t have a history of targeted bailouts that benefit one group over another.‪

American taxpayers bailed out the banks, the auto industry, the farming industry, and most recently, businesses struggling to meet payroll during Covid through PPP… We also perpetually help subsidize mega corporations that fuel the creation of bazillionaires.

We even, and this is absolutely true, spend hundreds of millions making sure that free penis pumps are available to men who are unable to attain an erection under natural circumstances.

So why is it, that when the topic of addressing a student debt crisis born out of college tuition rising between 4-8% annually, outpacing inflation nearly five times over, so many people start decrying and mocking the generation of people who took out those loans in hopes they’d be qualified to fill available jobs and live with the same quality of life as previous generations? If millennials are drowning in debt at a never before seen rate, and wages aren’t increasing to assist in making sure that debt is resolvable, then without relief, the people that truly suffer are anyone and everyone producing any type of good or service that is dependent on expendable income.

In other words, if we don’t have any money left over at the end of the month, you can’t have any of it.

I sympathize with anyone that views those receiving loan forgiveness as rewarding irresponsible individuals, and as an endemic symptom of a “gimme generation.” But does your definition of “gimme generation” include the soybean and corn farmers of America? What about the subprime-mortgage writing baby boomers that drove the 2009 financial and housing crisis? Or the restaurant owners that needed a grant to retain employees through the worst pandemic in 100 years? Or the millions of people and businesses that benefit from bankruptcy protections?

What about those suffering from erectile dysfunction?

At the end of the day- colleges are bloated, charging too much, and not being responsible in the area of helping students understand the employment landscape in relation to the debt they accrue.

Companies are doing all they can to show investors ever-increasing profit margins at the expense of wage stagnation for a generation that is forced to accrue more debt than ever to even participate in many entry-level positions.$10,000 in loan forgiveness is nice… but colleges are going to keep billing students according to what the government will allow an 18-year-old to borrow, and knowingly sending them into fields that don’t pay a wage commensurate with the ability to both live and honor their commitment as a borrower.

The entire system needs an overhaul, but that’s not going to happen if we’re all busy bickering over who deserves this helping hand.

The only reason our entire economy hasn’t collapsed while fuel prices, food costs, and housing expenses run wild is that at the moment, tens of millions of Americans haven’t had to surrender 10%+ of their income to student loan repayment over the last two years. When those payments restart, times are going to be very tight. And the people that are upset that there are Americans benefitting from loan forgiveness right now, are going to be forced to realize that our economy is entirely interdependent on the spending power of its middle class.

Like it or not, we’re in this together, and the income that remains in the hands of people that were previously indebted to the government for loans they accrued at an age when a financial institution would have scoffed at even a $300 line of credit, is going to find its way into the economy, and potentially your pocket.

Instead of fighting, let’s be thankful that we get to hit the snooze button on our complete financial demise as a society to another day, and rally around making the changes necessary to ensure that people are using the collegiate system more judiciously, and being trained for the jobs that are going to keep us afloat for decades to come.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: 2022 Season Preview and Predictions

The 2022 Pac-12 season is upon us, and along with the drama of whether or not the Pac-12 is going to cease to exist, we’ve actually got a very exciting season filled with new coaches, high level transfers, and a new King of the Mountain in Utah. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden give their season win-loss predictions for every team, as well as discuss the storylines that have shaped the offseason for all 12 teams.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Youtube Episode Breakdown (below):

An introduction to the season and a discussion about the possibility of the conference surviving the latest shake-up in TV rights contracts.

Preview of Arizona (10:36)

Preview of Arizona State (15:55)

Preview of Cal (23:39)

Preview of Colorado (29:02)

Preview of Oregon (35:42)

Preview of Oregon State (42:00)

Preview of Stanford (47:17)

Preview of UCLA (52:17)

Preview of USC (56:50)

Preview of Utah (1:01:00)

Preview of Washington (1:07:20)

Preview of Washington State (1:11:27)

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, Content Director for UnafraidShow.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. . Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles: Media Day Recap, Interviews with Cam Rising, Dan Lanning, Yogi Roth, Chip Kelly

On this Episode of the Pac-12 Apostles, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden react to the biggest storylines and best quotes to come out of Pac-12 Media Day, including George Kliavkoff’s “shopping” comments about the Big-12. Featuring interviews with Utah QB Cam Rising, UCLA Head Coach Chip Kelly, Oregon Head Coach Dan Lanning, and Pac-12 Network star Yogi Roth.

Breakdown:

Intro

-Conference games in L.A. post USC/UCLA exodus? (7:40)

-What can the Pac-12 do to hang on to the rest of its schools? (11:40)

-Impressions of Kyle Whittingham and Utah (17:00)

-Impressions of Dan Lanning and Oregon (19:11)

-George Kliavkoff “shopping” comments about the Big-12 (21:40)

-Impressions of Kalen DeBoer and Washington (29:20)

-Impressions of Karl Dorrell and Colorado (32:20)

-George Wrighster Interview with Utah QB Cam Rising (34:00)

-Impression of Jedd Fisch and Arizona (38:00)

-Impressions of David Shaw and Stanford (42:15)

-Impressions of Herm Edwards and Arizona State (44:40)

-Impressions of Washington State, Cal and Oregon State (49:00)

-George Wrighster Interview with UCLA Head Coach Chip Kelly (53:00)

-Impressions of Lincoln Riley and USC (1:03:00)

-George Wrighster Interview with Oregon Head Coach Dan Lanning (1:08:50)

-George Wrighster Interview with Pac-12 Network’s Yogi Roth (1:14:45)

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pujols, Soto, Rodrìguez, and the Continuation of Dominican Baseball Excellence

We need to talk about Albert Pujols and the legacy he’s leaving behind.

On Monday, a 42-year-old Albert Pujols participated in the Home Run derby as an all-star weekend swan song. Earlier this year, Pujols returned to the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year deal for his final season, and while many people thought Pujols’ inclusion in the derby was a gimmick, he actually advanced to the second round.


In case Pujols time with the star-studded but lowly Angels organization made you forget, this is one of the best baseball players we’ve ever seen.


Albert Pujols is a three-time MVP, two-time World Series champion, two-time golden glove winner, 11-time all-star, is fifth all-time in home runs, tenth all-time in hits, and  third all-time in runs batted in. 

Albert Pujols Introduced as a reserve player in his final All Star game (via MLB.com)


While I’m not like some stuffy baseball gatekeepers who turn their back on the players of the steroid era, it’s definitely worth noting that Pujols accomplished all this in the era of strict PED testing.


What I want to talk about most though is the fact that Pujols has set the stage for Dominican born baseball players to do exactly what he did- stand on the shoulders of giants and ultimately surpass them. Albert Pujols started his first all star game alongside Dominican legends like Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa and Vladimir Guerrero. 


On Monday, it was a pair of young Dominican superstars in Juan Soto and Julio Rodríguez that grabbed the torch from Pujols and showed that the future of baseball is bright. Soto, at just 23 years old, is in the process of captivating the nation with both his play on the field, and a stratospheric contract negotiation with the Washington Nationals that saw him turn down a $440 million contract.


Pujols made sure to let anyone that was listening know that he believes Juan Soto is a future Hall of Famer. Soto’s response? “He’s gonna make me cry.”


Julio Rodríguez, who finished second in the home run derby, but hit over 80 home runs in the contest, was awarded $50,000 more for finishing as runner up ($750,000) than he’ll make on the entire season ($700,000).

The 21-year old Rodríguez said of Pujols, “He’s a legend. It’s amazing that I’m here sharing the stage with him.”


Well Julio, the stage is now yours.  And the next generation of baseball fans, and children in the Dominican Republic, are watching. Time for you and Juan Soto to do what Albert did for you.

Deandre Ayton Didn’t Get What He Wanted, But He Might Have Gotten What He Needs


The Suns and restricted free agent Deandre Ayton came to an agreement on an extension the hard way last week, with Phoenix instantly matching Indiana’s 4-year, 133 million dollar offer to the former #1 overall pick.


Phoenix wanted Deandre Ayton on a four-year extension all along, and despite how dysfunctional the path was to achieving that goal, they got it done. It’s a win for the Phoenix Suns, who are fighting to keep a championship window cracked open while simultaneously negotiating to land Kevin Durant to support Devin Booker and Chris Paul.


In the end, this could be a win for Deandre Ayton too, as he’ll be approaching free agency again at age 27, but it’s only a win for Ayton if he locks in and makes massive strides over the course of his second contract.


Ayton hasn’t always gotten a fair shake from NBA fans, who constantly point out that he was selected ahead of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, but he has been a good player on what has become a contending team.

Still, you don’t have to be one of the fans that has had Deandre Ayton under a microscope over the last four season to know that there are some massive holes in both his game and his approach that led to a contract standoff with the Suns rather than an automatic offer for a 5-year max rookie deal.


While Ayton has the body and skillset of a dominant 90’s center (in a game that has largely evolved past the need for one), Ayton struggles to hold onto the basketball in traffic, and his lack of physicality is enough to drive both young fans and NBA oldheads insane. Over his four year career, Ayton has only 47 more made free throws than he does turnovers. While Ayton is a solid shot-alterer, he’s averaged less than one blocked shot per game over the last two regular seasons combined.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Ayton’s game is in the area of consistency, both in-game and over the course of a full season. There are very few players that put up more first quarter points per game at the center position, with Ayton ranking 4th last year at 5.9, behind MVP Nikola Jokic (7.8), all-star Karl Anthony-Towns (8.4), and Philadelphia franchise player Joel Embiid (8.5). Ayton’s production falls precipitously once the fourth quarter hits, ranking 19th amongst centers with 3.1 points per game, one spot behind his own 2021-2022 backup JaVale McGee. In addition, while Ayton has averaged a double-double for four consecutive seasons, he actually has more games played without a double-double over the last two seasons (54) than he does games with a double-double (53).

Combine that with his PED suspension, his admission that he stays up most nights playing video games, his public declaration that he “doesn’t like the big man role,” and his reported feud with Suns coach Monty Williams that spilled over onto the court in a game 7 western conference finals blowout loss, and you have some serious questions about whether Deandre Ayton will ever meet his potential.


We know what a dominant center’s attitude and leadership is supposed to look like. We saw it in Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and more (None of whom, by the way, had their best FG% season come anywhere close to Ayton’s career average of 60%). Ayton has natural skills that could put him that same conversation some day, but Ayton has been quoted as saying his NBA goal was to achieve his second contract, and it’s not unreasonable to think that if this money robs him of any motivation to improve, he could be in the same conversation as an Andrew Bynum or Jahlil Okafor instead.


At this point, it’s up to him.

Spencer Webb’s Death is a Tragic Reminder to Appreciate Personal Stories of Student Athletes

We need to talk about Spencer Webb.


Oregon Tight End Spencer Webb passed away at the age of 22 yesterday in what is being ruled a diving accident at Triangle Lake outside of Eugene. 


Spencer Webb’s story was one of incredible perseverance, and if you want to know more about the type of young man he was, I recommend you read John Canzano’s latest piece about the adversity he had to overcome to get where he was. 


Like Spencer Webb, I also played Tight End at Oregon. 


Like Spencer Webb, my college years were spent taking advantage of the incredible natural beauty of the Lakes and rivers outside of Eugene. It helped expand my horizons as a young man from Southern California, and helped mold me into the man I am today. 


I’m devastated that we won’t get to see how Spencer Webb’s time in Eugene helped mold him. 


It’s stories like this that serve as a sobering reminder that these college football empires are built on the backs of young men trying to make their way in the world. 


If we hope to save what made college football one of the world’s greatest spectator events, we can’t get lost in the dizzying business aspects of this sport, like coaching carousels, conference carousels, and mountains of television money.


We need to focus on the people. People like Spencer Webb, who rose up from awful circumstances to give himself endless opportunities. 


Take a moment today to reflect on and appreciate the stories of the young men that make up your favorite college team.


We need to focus our energy on giving these young men their flowers while we still have the chance. We need to let their stories impact and inspire us in the moment. 

Let that sink in.

Making an Athlete (Episode 1): Former NFL TE George Wrighster on Raising QB Sons

Introducing Making an Athlete- a new YouTube Series from George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden at UnafraidShow.com, where we talk to parents, coaches, trainers, and athletes themselves about everything that goes into making an athlete. Here, you’ll find stories of overcoming adversities, roadmaps for success, and lessons from failures on the path toward raising up young athletes.

On the first episode, George Wrighster talks about growing up wanting to play QB, but not having the opportunity that is now afforded to his sons. We get into how race and privilege play a role in the potential for success in a modern athlete, and what his ultimate hopes are as he helps his kids on their athletic journey.

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Mailbag or Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

1/20/22 Wrighster or Wrong: NFL QB Confidence Rankings, Kirby Smart takes on the NCAA, Journalist vs Truck, Real-Life Cool Runnings

Wrighster1-2-22

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden rank the remaining quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs according to their level of confidence in them. Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart told some hard truths about the state of college football, and both George and Ralph discuss the reasons the sport could be headed for disaster if the NCAA doesn’t take proactive action. What do you do when an internet personality that you typically don’t like shares an opinion that you wholeheartedly agree with? A West Virginia reporter is hit by a car while on live TV, and it has the whole internet talking about the way the situation was handled. A journalist asked Wharton business school students what they believed the average salary of working Americans was, and their answers made them seem very out of touch. Jamaica has a bobsled team, so as a Cool Runnings super fan, is George now rooting against America? Finally, Instagram is adding subscription-based content, so who, if anyone, would you pay to subscribe to?

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Kliavkoff Comments, QB Carousel, Chip Kelly Extended, Kayvon’s “Stigmatism”

thibodeaux klattt

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden break down some of conference commissioner George Kliavkoff’s most recent comments, discuss UCLA’s decision to extend Chip Kelly (and ditch DC Jerry Azzinaro), break down the winners and losers of the ongoing QB carousel, try to figure out how Jedd Fisch and Arizona are having so much recruiting success coming off a one-win season, give an update on Arizona State’s NCAA investigation, and give their takes on Kayvon Thibodeaux’s “stigmatism” comments.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

12/17/21 Wrighster or Wrong: Addressing NIL and Bowl Opt-Out Complaints, George Gives His Urban Meyer “I Told You So”

WoW 12 17 2021

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into Name Image and Likeness detractors and the NCAA coaches that are publicly whining about Bowl Opt-Outs, and explain why the NCAA, not the players, are the real villain. Also, Urban Meyer has been fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars and George has his “I told you so” locked and loaded.”  

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.