I never loved college sports and now I know why. The institutions of division 1 college football and basketball are corrupt, twisted, morally bankrupt organizations, which will stop at nothing to achieve their only goal; making money. For those who want a lesson in successful capitalism, look no further than the basketball/football programs of almost any high profile D-1 university. They have a seemingly flawless formula: offer great athletes a free ride to a school, based on athletic capability, prepare these athletes to perform at a high level drawing fan support, national notoriety, and millions of dollars in advertising, TV deals, and bowl games. Everyone gets paid, except the players.
I want to dissect this system for what it really is. First, offering a student a free scholarship to college is a noble gesture. A college education is sacred. However, there should be no misinterpretation about why these kids are really in school. They are there to be athletes, not students. Here is an example of an average day for a college football player:
“The team will meet at 7 a.m. to go over their opponent’s scouting report. The players attend class and meet once again at 2:15 p.m. before their evening practice begins at 3:45 p.m., ending around 6:00 p.m.” This doesn’t include travel, personal nutritionists, and captains practices.
And this is a player at the University of Maine. What is the schedule of a student athlete at Ohio State or LSU? How is an 18 year old kid supposed to manage the expectations of a division 1 football program (and everything that comes with it) as well as his academics? Statistics show it is difficult. Auburn University, last years national champion, graduated a little over half their players, remember the average number of players on a football team is around 125 (66 scholarships and any number of walk-ons). If you aren’t angered by this statistic look no further than the percentage of African American players who graduated, 48%. Compare this number with those of Oregon 39%, Texas 37%, and UCLA 31%. The difference in graduation rates of football players and non-athletes at so many of these schools is staggering.
Millions of dollars are made off the athletic accomplishments of “student athletes” who never see a dime of it. Statistically, not only do they receive no monetary reward for the efforts, they often times receive no diploma either. Colleges are exploiting and jeopardizing the lives of so many “student athletes,” robbing them of a proper education and providing them with little to zero life skills post graduation. What is a 300 pound lineman with balky knees supposed to do with no degree? There are some schools who do an excellent job in balancing athletics and academics (Duke), but they are few and far between.
Great athletes put schools in Bowl games, bowl games mean large payouts for everyone not playing football. The least these schools could do is have the dignity to reward the players with some form of education. If no premium is put on education than what is the meaning of a college? At least make an attempt to prepare these players for life after football because it will end eventually.
Now we are learning the truth, as evidenced by Penn State; schools will go to any length to protect their reputation. Any length. Whether that means covering up for a known pedophile for 13 years or exploiting the efforts of amateur athletes, reaping the benefits of their triumphs and providing little to nothing in return, college sports is flawed.
So when my friends give me grief about how the NBA is boring or how college football is so great, I will feel moral in my stance to not care about college sports.