Posted on: December 21, 2009 3:07 pm

Battle of Colleges and Athletics

When Bobby Knight [ aka  The General ] approached the microphone last week at Indianna, he just gave me one more reason why I like him.  Bobby Knight is, by far, the world's worst speaker; and I love him for it!!   He just tells it like it is; no sugar added.  If it's sour, you  gotta cope with it.  Anyone who can throw a chair across the basketball court, DURING A GAME, you'd think was a wack-o coach; but his players always thought just the opposite.  He taught his players the fundamentals of basketball.  His TEAMS did it with TEAM PLAY.  He didn't have the superstars that today's college teams have; and he had players that GRADUATED.

So with Coach Knight's attack on John Calipari, maybe it's time to revisit the battle that colleges have with athletics.  Maybe it's time to question how a "institute of higher learning" should balance the over-all college finances and how these same colleges treat their "student athletes". 

The colleges' job are to prepare the student for life after graduation.  When you look at the academic side of colleges, this appears to be working fairly well, maybe not in all cases, but for the most part it does work well.  Finance majors usually locate employment after school in the chosen profession.  Electrical engineer majors usually locate employment in their major, also.  All through the majors, graduates usually are working in their professions.   The students progress is monitored through the standard GPA.  All in all the academics side of the house appears to be fairly well organized and does what it's supposed to do.

Now, let's look at the athletic side of the colleges.  If I'm a basketball player, with hopes of landing a job in the NBA, I'm planning to go to college and "study" in my chosen major.  The problem is, colleges don't have a curriculum for Basketball.  They do have a curriculum for all those other majors, but fall short in the athletic world.  If colleges state their existence is to prepare the students for life after graduation, what are they doing for the athlete?   Do they hand-out diplomas for athletics?  Of course not!!  Do they prepare the student for life WITHOUT sports?  NO is the correct answer.  What happens to a student who gets injured and can't go on to the profession of choice?  Is the student prepared to enter the working world an an entry-level doing anything else?  A former college football player who graduated t with a degree in social science, said, "I look back and say, 'Well, what did I really go to college for?  Crap classes you won't use the rest of your life?'  Social science is really nothing specific.  ...I was majoring in football."

I have a problem with colleges prostituting their athletes to fill their own pockets with dollars.  The colleges make huge financial gains off the athletic programs.  I'm not saying they should pay their players, no way.  I'm just thinking it's about time they play the game fairly.  After all, these are institutes of higher learning.  This sends a very mixed signal, academics is rewarded by graduation, while athletics is nothing more than glorified prostitution after your "john" is through with you, who cares.  It's time the colleges reign in the coaches and restore the concept of "student athlete" once again.  I have a great deal of respect for what Coach Knight accomplished as a coach on the court and off with his student athletes.  Notre Dame still plays by those same rules.  I wish every college did. 

Division-I is out of control.  When a coach can put two schools on probation and he's still coaching, what does that say about the integrity of the colleges hiring him; they don't care.  Just keep the revenue up.  Sure these student-athletes get free room/board, but what they're  NOT GETTING is a college education.  I think it's time to bring back the "education" part of college athletics.

Till next time . . . Stay Well, and See You Somewhere, I Hope. . .


Category: NCAAB
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