Saturday, March 29, 2014
Why have we combined minor league football with a college education?
With all the talk about unionizing college athletes last week, I question why we ever combined sports and education in college. I am not talking about intramural sports nor club sports where the participants generally pay their own way. I am talking about how we have combined minor league NFL and NBA programs with college. For most of us that is the way it has always been.
Granted, a few student athletes get a great education. But this seems to be the exception. Instead the institutions work at perpetuating the myth of the “student athlete” and the only goal is to find a way for the star player to get the minimum passing grade in his classes (which frequently are on a par with high school) and then coddle the athlete so he can retain his athletic eligibility.
College Football and Basketball are big money – a $16 billion a year business. And every time you have big money, the temptation is to cheat for a bigger share of the pie.
Why not move college sports into separate minor league teams that are loosely affiliated with colleges? The business would receive no financial support and receive none of the revenues of the minor league franchises. That way colleges could concentrate on delivering a great education at a competitive price (I know – you never hear about this second criterion.)
This story about a college football player’s A- final term paper might cause you to question the system we have created.