A point that no one has mentioned is how college football exploits the athletes.
The coach is paid millions sometimes. The school gets paid, the
student-athletes might get a scholarship. My guess is the majority of the kids
playing football would qualify for a pell grant and get their tuition paid
anyway.They also run the risk every game of losing a potential
professional career.I believe we should have a system of minor league
football teams simular to baseball and take the colleges out of it.
I grew up in a sport-obsessed family and we managed ok, but now that we're
older some of my siblings are rather unhealthy. That's crazy that we can
spend a lot of time watching other people exercise but we often don't get
enough ourselves. Some of the most interesting, dynamic, creative
individuals and families I have met care very little or not at all about
professional and collegiate sports.
The economic benefits Dick cites could still be had if the sport was separated
from universities and ran as a separate private business, i.e. a minor league
for the NFL.Dick's argument regarding Lotulei was poorly made.
Dick essentially argued that if we didn't have college football, then
Lotulei couldn't have made it to professional football or have made it to
be a highly sought after prospect. That's ridiculous. If colleges
didn't run footballs minor leagues, then another entity would emerge to run
it and Lotulei still could have made it to the pros going through the minor
leagues. People and students don't learn that much without
active participation. Such a small percentage of the students make it on the
team, that its not worth it for the rest of the students to highly subsidize
that small percentage. If students took the 4 hours a week it takes to watch
their teams' football game and instead devoted that to their own exercise,
studying, or whatever, they would be better off.
I do think some schools (BYU most notably) should drop their program. If
Rexburg can drop their program, why not the one in Provo. It does NOT belong at
LDS Church sponsored schools. Past church presidents (Joseph F. Smith) felt
that way in 1903, when football was banned at church schools (it was allowed to
resume in 1921 at BYU). Although only a small minority of the Quorum, some
current apostles feel BYU should drop it as well. Perhaps this realignment
upheaval will make others see the light particularly as the program declines in
fan base due to less than stellar schedules and starts to lose money. Utah
State on the other hand should be the #2 program in the state, and be the one
considered for Big 12 inclusion, instead BYU was allowed to elbow them aside 50
years ago when this NEVER should have happened.
Sorry Harmon, this is a selfish article that does not provide a helpful analysis
of this popular question.Your comment of, "I'd argue people
who attend college football games are more well-rounded individuals, more
conversant, more social and fit better in civil society." is probably the
low point of the article. Are you really asserting that those who enjoy college
football are somehow better qualified to contribute to society? Wow, so the
person majoring in music who spends their Saturdays perfecting their talent is a
less contributing person to society?Another point - you should also
consider that for every person who is able to use football as an avenue out of
poor neighborhoods to gain a college education, there are many, who are
basically dumped by the schools once their eligibility has expired and the
"diploma" that they were basically given turns out to be of no real
value to them. It is a disservice to them.That fact, plus the
physical injuries that are so common, do not justify the low entertainment
benefit derived by fans on a Saturday afternoon. Contrary to your opinion, it
would do them well to forget the game and do their homework.
I read the WSJ article and essentially agree with it. I think "east of
Utah" also had a good point about BYU-Idaho. And I am of the understanding
that BYU's football program is required to pay for itself--someone correct
me if I'm wrong. I don't think head college football (or basketball!)
coaches should be paid millions. College football is my favorite sport, but it
shouldn't exist if it does so at a detriment to academic pursuits. By the way, I also agree that there are far too many serious/head
injuries in football. My son plays another sport, and may well be good enough
to play it in college, where things become much more intense. As much as I like
football, I am frankly glad he chose not to play that.
I vote to ban college football or turn it into competitive flag football. A
minor league football league could be formed in place of college football.
Football, as presently constituted, is not a good fit for a university.
Why is everybody complaining about subsidizing sports? Are athletes not worth
the investment? why does everybody think that footing the bill for a liberal
arts department at a university is more worthwhile than funding athletics? I can
promise you that all the liberal arts degrees in the country combined do not
contribute as much to the national economy as the professional sports franchises
from every league in the country, that is not to mention the huge impact that
college football teams add to the picture.
It is appropriate that there is a picture of the U of U on the front. Every
year U of U athletics is subsidized at ~$5 million - money that could go to real
educational expenses. Why should state taxpayers be subsidizing athletics
departments that are bringing in millions from TV contracts? Instead, TV money
earned by state schools should pay back those subsidies and help pay for real
education. I would encourage everyone to read the WSJ article.
Well written. NFL should fund it's own minor league program, just like
baseball. That way it allows marginal "students" such as Star Lotulelei
to earn as much as they can without them harming the academics at universities.
I think we should ban all sports.
Most of the time I am in agreement on what Harmon writes, but not this time.
College football may have a place in our university system. But I believe that
the role of teaching something to college students that couldn't be learned
in the classroom has been lost in the way college football currently is. You
only have to look north to BYU-Idaho to see that while stopping football was a
loss to the community and the school, the school is better now and more students
are able to participate in activities that they may not have had the opportunity
to if the resources had been spent elsewhere.
First of all, I am a big fan of college football, and a UofU alumnus. However,
there is something wrong when the University of Utah has to cancel classes to
accommodate football games. The primary purpose of the University is academic
pursuit. Athletics and other social or cultural activities are fine, but they
must yield to the University's function as an academic institution. Looking
back at my college experience, I realized that I was being forced to pay for
programs that I could not participate in, and facilities that I was not allowed
to use (unless I sat in a designated area and watched those who were privileged
to use the facilities).For years, we've heard the old canard
about how "football helps keep kids from gangs/ghetto/whatever evil is out
there." However, other than a few anecedotes, there is no proof that the
enormous amount of money being spent has made any improvement in the poverty
rates for any ethnic groups. The money expended so a few dozen young men can
play football would be better spent on scholarships and educational programs in
poor neighborhoods, which would result in greater improvement for more people.
Hey priest801 Dick Harmon writes the articles, he isn't the one who does
the captions that is someone else. Great article Dick.
Don't get me wrong, I love college football, fall Saturdays are great. But
there is something WRONG when schools like USU have to raise student fees to pay
for efforts to upgrade their football program. If alumni and donors can't
do it it should not be done. Money has become the driver for college football
and when an institution can't support it with out going to the students for
more fees to support it and then can't fill the stands anyway they should
drop the program for more inclusive programs that serve more students and are
less costly. About 20 years ago Weber State considered dropping their football
program and then decided to keep spending in order to keep it.Answer
these question Mr. Harmon how many and what schools break even on their football
programs? Is that fair to students who are going into increasingly heavier debt
to ask them to pay more for the football program?
If college football and/or other sports were banned at the college level, I
think a lot of young men who would otherwise not attend college would miss out
on an opportunity to get a college education.
"Universities shouldn't ban college football"... or else I would be
out of a job!
Americans are NOT overly consumed with sports, we are not more or less into
sports than our friends in Germany (ever watched a Bundes leauger game?) South
Africa (anyone recall the Vuvuzalas?) England (Man U)or any other first world
country (go to an All Blacks game, see if you survive). Harmon is right, college
football is a very important part of our society, it should not be done away
with. Yes, it is expensive, yes it is dangerous, there should absolutely be
changes made. But anybody who can stand in front of a fresco and admire the
talent and vision it took to create it. or listen to a symphony and be awestruck
by the power it creates should be able to admire the dedication and discipline
that athletes put into their craft. why would anybody want to take the stage
away from an aspiring collegiate musician because the music program costs more
money than it brings in? It makes no sense to ban college football! College is a
place where kids go to perfect their craft, why should football players be left
Hey Dick thats not Chaz Walker in your cover photo there pal. It's Jeff
Battle Jr. He was a redshirt last year hence he is wearing same number as Chaz,
but he looks nothing like him!!
Many things benefit colleges. I don't know how European Colleges have done
without America football for so long. (and no, I haven't seen
Oxford's college soccer team making a big splash either- cause they
don't exist).Sports are great. But Americans are so overly
consumed- you just have to see our media. Football and basketball are so too
important. It would be nice if we focussed instead of sports, aka football,
that we recognized all forms of excellence regardless of what area it came from
made education better.Science brings in money from discovery. Music
& arts from entertainment and human interaction, medicine from health.
Heaven forbid football didn't exist in Americas Universities, we'd
survive. I don't know how, but we would.I love sports too.
But I love to see excellence where ever it is found.