I wonder how upset most college presidents would be if all of a sudden — overnight — their football programs were ripped apart like the NCAA did Penn State University on Monday. Earlier this week, the top college enforcement organization eviscerated football from a football-crazed campus. Were that to happen at other schools, I would not be surprised if a fair number of college presidents might not let out a cheer, privately, of course. You see, football is out of control at most colleges. Football programs are nothing more than revenue-producing businesses that push power at the expense of college presidents and faculty members to coaches of teams most of whose members do not ever graduate.
Growing up in Texas, of course, I was fanatical about high school, college and professional football. I almost failed out my first term my freshman year because I paid more attention to the college football team than my courses. I turned down an offer my senior year in high school to get me into Harvard because I wanted to be at a school with a national championship team. I was nuts. And so is college football today. In fact, sports are out of control in most of society. When local communities approve bonds to build multi-billion-dollar stadiums for billionaire owners instead of improving local schools and college boosters donate to expand stadiums but not to expand college degree programs, something is out of whack – way out of whack at a time when American colleges are turning out fewer and fewer engineers. Some colleges even have degrees in sports management! Holy cow, Cardinal fans.
More and more Hispanics/Latinos like me, who have been complicit in the corruption sports has abetted, are becoming aware of how education at all levels is being short-shrift by spending on sports. It is absurd that coaches get paid what they get paid. And, more and more, money-creep has entered the world of high school football – that is now televised live! If this madness were only about money, that would be one thing.
But it is about priorities, time and our values. And our futures.
Somewhere along the way, America lost its senses if not its integrity, and sports and the endless scandals sports generates are now just another sad reflection of a society that somehow needs to get a hold of itself.