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George Will: Power of College Sports Threatens Education
Newsmax ^ | 11 Nov 2011 | George Will

Posted on 11/12/2011 8:49:23 AM PST by Publius804

A few millennia from now, when archaeologists from an ascendant Brazil or Turkey or wherever sift the shards of American civilization and find the ruins of the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., they will wonder why a 109,901-seat entertainment venue was attached to an institution of higher education.

Today, the accelerating preposterousness of big-time college football is again provoking furrowed brows and pursed lips. But there probably were few of either among the 20 million who Saturday night watched Alabama's student-athletes play those of LSU.

These teams' head coaches' salaries are $4.6 million and $3.75 million, respectively, and their additional perquisites and incentives have cash values not to be sneezed at. But by some hedonic or other calculus, these coaches may add more to the national stock of pleasure, and even more value to their institutions, than do Alabama's president and LSU's chancellor, who earn $487,620 and $400,000, respectively.

The college football conglomerate has recently been roiled by an unseemly scramble — if seemliness pertains to this industry — of schools abandoning their old conferences and jettisoning traditional rivalries in a race to get into other conferences where television revenues are more bountiful. For now, the landscape is as follows.

The Pac (for Pacific) 10 now has 12 teams, having acquired Utah and Colorado, which is 936 miles from the Pacific. The Big Ten, which has had 11 teams since Penn State joined in 1990, now has, with Nebraska, 12.

The Big East, having lost several members (including Pittsburgh and Syracuse, to the ACC) and its sense of geography, is courting Southern Methodist, which is in Dallas, and Boise State, which would have to fly 4,300 miles round trip to play South Florida in Tampa.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: espn; football; ncaa

1 posted on 11/12/2011 8:49:24 AM PST by Publius804
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To: Publius804

Bread and circuses.


2 posted on 11/12/2011 8:54:49 AM PST by jimmyray
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To: Publius804

As always, for the love of money is the root of all evil.


3 posted on 11/12/2011 8:55:34 AM PST by Jonty30
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To: Publius804

Will is probably just pissed that no one cares about college baseball.

The problem with education in this country has virtually nothing to do with football. The problem is leftist indoctrination by universities designed to propagandize our youth with liberal/socialist belief systems.


4 posted on 11/12/2011 9:00:53 AM PST by Longbow1969
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To: Publius804

Not news. My undergrad University spent more on astroturf than lab equipment for the sciences combined over the 4 years I was there.


5 posted on 11/12/2011 9:04:29 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Longbow1969

The correlation between bowl games and especially wins and alumni giving is extraordinary.

Big school football is its own industry. Has been for at least 50 years.

Big schools are also notoriously caste-based. The counting coup of academe seeps into everything, absolutely everything on such campuses. You don’t toe the line, you spin out toute suite.


6 posted on 11/12/2011 9:05:28 AM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: Publius804

George Will needs to learn about all the things a successful program at Alabama has done, from supporting other sports to upgrading many of the facilities at the school.


7 posted on 11/12/2011 9:07:47 AM PST by bamagirl1944 (That's short for Alabama, not Obama)
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To: Longbow1969
The problem with education in this country has virtually nothing to do with football. The problem is leftist indoctrination by universities designed to propagandize our youth with liberal/socialist belief systems.

You are right about leftists indoctrination...but I believe you are wrong about college sports I do not like nor do I follow college sports as it has ZERO to do with education....especially the way it is funded in this country...especially the way schools recruit mental midgets and defectives...but the term FAN should not be abbreviated when FAN means FANATIC and even child rape is acceptable to college football FANATICS

8 posted on 11/12/2011 9:10:55 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: bamagirl1944

That’s precisely Will’s point. Those programs have become so powerful that the schools are essentially at their mercy for funding and support. When something threatens the money train, like oh I don’t know a sicko pervert raping little boys, it gets covered up.

The cult mentality being showcased by you college football “alumni” aint pretty either.


9 posted on 11/12/2011 9:12:45 AM PST by KantianBurke (Where was the Tea Party when Dubya was spending like a drunken sailor?)
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To: Longbow1969
The problem is leftist indoctrination by universities designed to propagandize our youth with liberal/socialist belief systems.

There can be more than one problem. The influence of big-time college athletics is greatly corrupting to the institutions.

Personally, I think this indoctrination idea is exaggerated. Students are far more influenced by modern culture and TV and movies pushing the cultural envelope than they are by their professors.

10 posted on 11/12/2011 9:13:55 AM PST by CommerceComet (Governor Romney, why would any conservative vote for the author of the beta version of ObamaCare?)
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To: Publius804

Even small state colleges have problems too. I remember how UAF catered to their precious no winning hockey team. The players could do no wrong on campus. Made me sick.


11 posted on 11/12/2011 9:16:36 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: Jonty30
...for the love of money is the root of all evil.

...for the love of television money is the root of all evil.

There, fixed it.

12 posted on 11/12/2011 9:19:27 AM PST by Tonytitan
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To: Publius804
Took me a while to find this and I know there is a better passage, but that one seems to be elusive.

"Of all the various sports, however, football became the major instrument of publicity because both on and off campus it was the sport that inspired the most enthusiasm, enlisted the most interest, and brought into the camp of college and university supporters people for whom the idea of going to college was out of the question but for whom the idea of supporting a team was a matter of course."

p. 385, The American College and University: A History by Frederick Rudolph, 1962

13 posted on 11/12/2011 9:26:06 AM PST by PrincessB (Drill Baby Drill.)
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To: bamagirl1944
George Will needs to learn about all the things a successful program at Alabama has done, from supporting other sports to upgrading many of the facilities at the school.

You might want to research that a bit and I'll bet you'll find that the "party line" is wrong.

A few years ago, my sister-in-law, who was a top official in the athletic department of another SEC powerhouse, was touting all the wonderful things her department was doing for the university. In almost all cases with major universities, the athletic departments are separate legal entities from the university and seldom if ever, transfer monies to the general fund of the university. Being aware of the typical relationship between the university and athletic department, I challenged her and told her that I bet I had more money in my pocket than her athletic department transferred to the general fund. A few days later after checking herself, she sheepishly admitted that I was right. She is now earning an honest living in the corporate world.

14 posted on 11/12/2011 9:26:59 AM PST by CommerceComet (Governor Romney, why would any conservative vote for the author of the beta version of ObamaCare?)
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To: CommerceComet
In general, football players tend to be more conservative than most other establishments on university campuses. It is almost like an army in that it is highly disciplined atmosphere and participants often look to God because of how high the risk of injury is.

I do believe, for example, the NFL is pretty much the only major sports franchise aside from NASCAR that is right leaning in its contributions to politicians and causes.

Personally, I think this indoctrination idea is exaggerated. Students are far more influenced by modern culture and TV and movies pushing the cultural envelope than they are by their professors.

Seriously? Have you looked at what is going on at our college/university campuses? College athletics is probably one of the few decent things, with some notable exceptions, happening at most of our larger universities. Which would you trust more politically? A football player who's been busting his hump to make it and is surrounded by a sometimes very conservative atmosphere stressing individual effort? Or your average liberal arts major who is steeped in leftist thought and how awful Western civilization supposedly is? Notice how many football coaches people like Hannity have on as guests for example. Notice how many are pretty conservative?

College athletics are NOT the primary problem with our universities. These institutions are turning out kids who have no understanding of what makes America actually work - in fact they turn out kids who are taught to hate the very country they are benefiting from.

15 posted on 11/12/2011 9:30:36 AM PST by Longbow1969
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To: Publius804

One of the great football powerhouses during the first 40 years of the Big Ten were the Maroons of the University of Chicago.

Coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg it claimed 2 national championships and 7 Big Ten championships. It has 11 members in the College Football Hall of Fame. Halfback Jay Berwanger won the first Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, the Heisman, in 1935. And then in 1939 it simply quit football.

3 years later the abandoned Stagg Field was occupied by the physicists of the Manhattan Project and was the site of the first self sustaining nuclear reaction.


16 posted on 11/12/2011 9:32:40 AM PST by Pelham (Islam. The original Evil Empire)
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To: KantianBurke
The cult mentality being showcased by you college football “alumni” aint pretty either.

The tribalism exhibited by sports fans resembles the most primitive of human cultures. College football fans haven't quite reached the level of the hooliganism of the European soccer fans but that day is coming.

I say this as my family is getting ready to leave for a college football game. We're all wearing our tribe's...err, team's colors.

17 posted on 11/12/2011 9:33:10 AM PST by CommerceComet (Governor Romney, why would any conservative vote for the author of the beta version of ObamaCare?)
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To: Publius804
And I thought it was liberalism that was destroying education. Football is not the source of women's/ethnic study programs, nor is the likes of Ward Churchill a result of football. Football has nothing to do with the rising cost of tuition and the lack of real world opportunity for English lit majors. Football did not produce predatory lawyers, or poly-sci tyrants. Football did not set up abortion holocaust centers near the college campus. Football did not bring low sexual morals that typify most campuses nor did football bring feminism, anti-Americanism, Marxism, socialism or even the OWS protests. In fact other than the school of engineering, football may be one of the few redeeming aspects of college at all.

Sure there is a great deal of money in college football, but then is that not the ostensible goal of most students are attending the college? Why complain about a successful wealth generator, would it not be better to study how and why college football is financially successful so that other enterprises may emulate that success?

18 posted on 11/12/2011 9:42:03 AM PST by DaveyB (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. -John Adams)
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To: CommerceComet

You are absolutely right and the poster who mentions indoctrination of left-wing ideology and its implicit
fatal Political Correctness is missing one large and crushing
irony, which is that in THIS case, at Penn State, you had BOTH, coexisting in extremis. We had this guy, Jerry Sandusky, the WORST kind of pervert, getting away with the worst kinds of perversions only because the Penn State football program became SO important to the identity of the school and its economic feasibility, that the buck was continually passed down the ladder, starting presumably and importantly with the Grand Poobah, Joe Paterno, and up and down that ladder with McQueary, who actually witnessed a criminal act but was too timid to be a whistleblower. Who wants to be a whistleblower in the midst of these “good times” and profitable jobs? No doubt there ARE colleges with great teams who have been able to maintain some kind of
reasonable “balance” between the “bread and circuses” another poster tersely invoked, but with Penn State you had the intersection of perhaps the BIGGEST football program with its ‘iconic’ chief, Paterno, AND the cultural climate of “look the other way” in the face of transgressive sexual
behavior, which we all should have learned from, if nowhere else, in the still-lingering case of Michael Jackson.Both Penn State, Paterno,Sandusky, and Jackson comprised their own versions of “too big to fail”.


19 posted on 11/12/2011 9:50:28 AM PST by supremedoctrine
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To: bamagirl1944

Oh, heck yes, College sports is the priority in the national zeitgeist. Better buildings, better facilities, better everything. We’re graduating hoards of people who can’t use the simple past tense of American English, but we got a new gym.


20 posted on 11/12/2011 9:56:25 AM PST by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine)
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To: Longbow1969

Good post. The problem is certainly the leftist bent of most colleges. This is the most asinine article I have ever seen regarding college sports. Will is a Rino idiot who was the last one picked for dodgeball.


21 posted on 11/12/2011 9:59:16 AM PST by ohioman
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To: PrincessB

College team sports have led to the rise of group activities, self-organizing systems theory and practice, service learning and the demise of individuality in favor of school/group identity.

I specifically remember NOT choosing to study with a professor because I heard that person say that she did not produce ‘clones’ of herself. I thought that she must be doing exactly that and was outta there fast.


22 posted on 11/12/2011 10:01:02 AM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: Longbow1969
I do believe, for example, the NFL is pretty much the only major sports franchise aside from NASCAR that is right leaning in its contributions to politicians and causes.

With Mr. Politically Correct, Roger Goodell, as its commissioner, I'd hardly consider the NFL a conservative-leaning institution.

Having been around college football players for decades, I agree that they are more disciplined than most college students but their personal ideologies are as diverse as the rest of the student body.

Seriously? Have you looked at what is going on at our college/university campuses?

I've worked in academe for 25+ years so I'm probably more aware of what is transpiring on college campuses than you are. I've worked at a WAC, 2 Pac-12, and a Big XII university, all state schools. The typical student is not run through the horror cases often cited. When my son enters the university in a couple of years, there are a couple of classes and a couple of professors which I will have him avoid. These are a small, small minority on campus. I'm in the College of Business and the majority of my colleagues are moderate to conservative and the same is true in the College of Engineering. Even in the ghettos of the university, liberal arts and education, I know several unabashed Christians and conservatives. While my school has a reputation of being more liberal than the state, it is not liberalism run amok. Conservatives and Christians are not belittled and ridiculed.

College athletics are NOT the primary problem with our universities.

I didn't say it was the primary problem. I said there were lots of problems (as there are with all institutions) of which college athletics is one. College athletics doesn't generally relate directly to the primary mission of the university. The monies that it sucks out of the university are counter-productive. I enjoy college athletics but do I believe that most universities would be better places if sports were de-emphasized. Absolutely. Universities shouldn't be farm teams for the NFL and NBA.

23 posted on 11/12/2011 10:11:05 AM PST by CommerceComet (Governor Romney, why would any conservative vote for the author of the beta version of ObamaCare?)
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To: Publius804

At the University of Colorado I knew it was a different world when back in the early 80’s when the Flatirons Club (athletic boosters)gave money to the University so the library wouldn’t lose it’s accreditation.


24 posted on 11/12/2011 10:23:20 AM PST by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Isaiah 5:20)
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To: Tonytitan

You are exactly right. It’s the obscene profits from television that have corrupted college football. I’m sure even before TV, major colleges were proud of their teams, and there was a lot profit and status from a successful football program. But now there is so much money that some football programs are more important than the academic mission.

TV coverage itself has changed. It used to seem like the announcers were covering a sporting event. Now they sound like they are promoting an entertainment industry.


25 posted on 11/12/2011 10:24:35 AM PST by 04-Bravo
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To: Longbow1969

“In general, football players tend to be more conservative than most other establishments on university campuses.”


Incorrect.

College football players are overwhelmingly Black.

Young, college educated Blacks vote 90%-95% for the Democratic Party.

Off hand, I can’t think of a single Black football player who has publicly endorsed a Republican presidential nominee.

I can instantly think of a dozen white coaches and white players who have made that public endorsement.


“.....the NFL is pretty much the only major sports franchise aside from NASCAR that is right leaning in its contributions to politicians and causes.”

That so called “survey” came out a few months back.

Check the details.

Almost all the contributions came from white owners, white management, and white coaches.

In comparison, NFL players, both white and black, made very few political contributions and for much smaller amounts of money.


26 posted on 11/12/2011 10:28:41 AM PST by zeestephen
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To: Publius804

I personally think that we should revisit college sports regulations. The NCAA is obviously not out of control enough.

After all - “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”


27 posted on 11/12/2011 10:40:57 AM PST by rbbeachkid (Get out of its way and small business can fix the economy.)
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To: Publius804

Two years ago the president of the University of Texas at Austin whined to the legislature that if they didn’t exempt UT from the Top 10 Rule (all state universities follow it and it was UT’s fault it came about in the first place) that the Longhorn Football would no longer exist. Sure like that would ever happen. UT could close every educational department on campus and they’d still have football. But, hey, thanks again to all those libs for wasting weeks/months/years of legislative sessions and my tax dollars on that.


28 posted on 11/12/2011 11:06:04 AM PST by bgill (The Obama administration is staging a coup. Wake up, America, before it's too late.)
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To: Publius804
George Will: Power of College Sports Threatens Education

George, if you haven't noticed:
Tenure for Leftist Elitists Threatens Education!

Regards,
GtG

29 posted on 11/12/2011 12:18:34 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: Publius804

Will is a snob. Nobody wants to watch the chemistry majors juggle test tubes in a stadium on Friday night. Talent is talent, on or off the field.

The only shameful thing about college football is the ruse that these young guys are students. They’re not. The vast majority aren’t even student-athletes. They are athletes. Keeping their spot on the team is a full-time job.

They should be paid well for their services. Most of them will never, ever have the chance to make the kind of money they’re generating right now for ESPN and colleges. Completely uncompensated. Their bodies will never be the same. Oh, they have a chance to get a “degree”? Make me laugh — the kind of degree an athlete who works sixty hours a week can earn is worthless.

If you’re gonna wring your hands over college football, it should be because an army of young men are being terribly exploited with wage and workplace violations that would never be tolerated anyplace else.


30 posted on 11/12/2011 12:37:50 PM PST by Blue Ink
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To: Publius804
Whatever one thinks of George Will, his quote from a college president from the year 1873 is priceless:

"I will not permit 30 men to travel 400 miles merely to agitate a bag of wind."

31 posted on 11/12/2011 3:04:13 PM PST by shhrubbery!
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To: Publius804

Barry Switzer once said that we either start paying the players, or ban college sports.

He is right. The schools no only exist to provide a venue for sports. And this goes right one down to the high schools.


32 posted on 11/13/2011 6:35:29 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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