Penn State’s Horrifying Treatment of Football Players Is the Norm

Megwa’s case, like Penn State’s and the experiences of the
players we spoke to, testifies to the disposable way in which campus athletic
workers are treated by a system designed to extract performance and value from
their bodies, regardless of the long-term costs. 

All too often, painkillers are used instead of care,
frequently with disastrous consequences. “I was given Tramadol before games,”
one player told us, referring to the opioid. “I don’t know if I ever had a
prescription for it. It was just given to me, by a single pill, by hand. When
you get that, you think it’s vitamin C or something. You don’t realize that’s
something that’s addictive.”

Another told us, “I know at [a Big 10 school], actually,
they had a heroin problem, because guys were taking so much pain medicine that
they started doing heroin.… And I had a teammate two years younger than me at
[redacted school], and none of this is public knowledge, he was addicted to
pain pills and got into heroin at [redacted school]. And was on, during a