Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Is there a Big Stink in College Football?

     Minnesota Gopher legend and Heisman Trophy winner,
     Bruce Smith

Collegiate Football will be on display today – almost in all its glory. There will be a half dozen bowl games played throughout the day and teams from states spread across the nation will compete. Except, the dirty insides of college football will not be visible. Someone has got to turn the spotlight so that it shines on the real story of the college football.
by Charlie Leck

All is not well in college football and here is what causes the sickness that has crept into the sport (capitalized): BIG MONEY!

OMG! Head coaches on college football teams are being paid big money – as much as 5 million, 6 million and 7 million dollars each year. That’s far more than is paid to the presidents of America’s finest universities.

There is something very rotten going on in college football. It starts with the fact that a large number of these football players, representing the finest teams in the nation, should not have been certified as capable of attending America’s best universities. Without constant hand-holding and tutoring of these students, and cajoling of professors, many of these students could not remain in college.

If there was a careful and unbiased study of a dozen schools in the nation – from the University of Alabama to the University of Oregon – I believe we would uncover a rank stink hole.

Take a look, for instance, at the New York Times story of today – A’s for Athletes, but Charges of Fraud at North Carolina. It’s a story about one professor who actually gave out grades to students for successfully completing courses he supposedly taught, but really didn’t. Many of the classes never even met, yet athletes at the University of North Carolina got credit for having taken them.

A criminal investigation of professor Julius Ngang’oro is now underway. Will it lead to more dirt at North Carolina? Will it lead to problems at other universities across the country?

In the North Carolina situation, 18 of the 19 students enrolled in one of these fictitious classes were players on that university’s football team.

This is only the tip of the iceberg as this paragraph from the New York Times story clearly indicates…

“Two reports on the activities of the African and Afro-American studies department, one internal and one conducted by a former governor of North Carolina, James G. Martin, found problems with dozens of courses and said as many as 560 unauthorized grade changes were suspected of having been made — often with forged faculty signatures — dating back to 1997. The investigations began after reporting in The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., beginning in 2011.”

The questions this story raise are obvious: (1) Does it happen at other universities that place nearly “life and death” emphasis on its football programs; such as Ohio State University, the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, Notre Dame University, or Florida State University? (2) Are universities admitting students (football and basketball players) who do not have the ability to complete a curriculum of study in their schools?

There is also plenty of suspicion that the high-profile football players at these and many other universities are not exactly and/or in the truest-sense-of-the-word amateurs! In other words, there are players being paid to play.

Lots of people suspect this, but they are willing to look the other way as they hope for football or basketball glory for their own schools.

I’m sorry, but I’ve listened in on conversations some of these star athletes have had with a variety of people. Those conversations would not give me a high degree of certainty that many of these athletes could complete a demanding college-level course of studies.

I do believe the story now coming out of the University of North Carolina is going to cause a big stink and many people around the nation are going to want to know if universities in their states have corrupt football programs that also stink!

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the organization that is supposed to police and investigate these problems. Because the money involved is so big, there is not a lot of confidence in the NCAA and a major investigation ought to be conducted by a trusted independent agency.

Take a look at some of the games on your telly today and you will realize, if you don’t already, that college football has become a very big business. And, I have a feeling it stinks!


Why not become a follower?
If you read my blog regularly, why not become a follower? All you have to do is click in the upper right hand corner and establish a simple means of communication. Then you'll be informed every time a new blog is posted here. If all that's confusing, here's Google's explanation of how to do it! If you don’t want to post comments on the blog, but would like to communicate with me about it,send me an email if you’d like.

No comments:

Post a Comment