Every once and a while a major publication runs an op/ed that sounds as if someone stole my thoughts, found some evidence to back up my opinion, and wrote it all out in an organized and eloquent manner. “Why College Football Should Be Banned” is basically that. Bissinger, the author, shares his outlook on why college football is a waste of money, among other things. Perhaps my favorite quote of the article, partially because it’s so reasonable and partially because it sounds as if it came from my own head:
If you want to establish a minor league system that the National Football League pays for—which they should, given that they are the greatest beneficiaries of college football—that is fine.
Before you get angry with me for advocating the elimination of college football, read the entire article and consider it carefully.
Other highlights, in no particular order:
“If the vast majority of major college football programs made money, the argument to ban football might be a more precarious one. But too many of them don’t—to the detriment of academic budgets at all too many schools. According to the NCAA, 43% of the 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision lost money on their programs.”
Yeah, maybe if more made money or lots of money, I would be less against college football.
“Call me the Grinch. But I would much prefer students going to college to learn and be prepared for the rigors of the new economic order, rather than dumping fees on them to subsidize football programs that, far from enhancing the academic mission instead make a mockery of it.”
College does seem to be a bit “Student life” heavy these days. Ultimately, we should be paying for the costs of learning, but often choices are made to spend money on a lot of superfluous stuff. As great as leading a student organization at my college was, for example, I’m still not sure that being able to get college funding was a good thing.
“There is the false concept of the football student-athlete that the NCAA endlessly tries to sell, when any major college player will tell you that the demands of the game, a year-round commitment, makes the student half of the equation secondary and superfluous.”
This one speaks for itself. I’m not trying to hate on football players, but while I’ve met plenty of scholar-athletes, few (if any) were football players.
“The most recent example is the University of Maryland. The president there, Wallace D. Loh, late last year announced that eight varsity programs would be cut in order to produce a leaner athletic budget, a kindly way of saying that the school would rather save struggling football and basketball programs than keep varsity sports such as track and swimming, in which the vast majority of participants graduate.”
Again speaking for itself.
At the very least, this issue needs to be seriously, honestly, and rationally examined.