Cardale Jones aimed the spotlight with his tweet, “why should we have to go to class if we came here to play football, we ain’t come to play school, classes are pointless.”
I confess that I am not a follower of organized sports although at one time I was. Each spring, back in middle and high school, the opening home baseball game was an unofficial holiday. A dollar would get you a seat in the bleachers where, with a transistor radio on your lap giving color and play by play coverage, you ushered in the season.
Perception is reality and back then the perception was that sports were all about the fans. The current perception is that it’s all about the money.
But that’s just my opinion, based in part by the difference in pay between coaches and deans of students. The average dean of students in US institutions of higher learning earns $93,819 per year. The average football coach in those same institutions is paid 1.64 million dollars per year with the highest paid being just over seven million.
In a recent conversation a co-worker defended this disparity by saying that the football program generates far more income for a school than does academics. I thanked him for making my point.
It’s true that organized sports is a valuable tool for teaching teamwork and selflessness but this only accrues to a few dozen individuals on a campus of several thousand. The bulk of the students merely learn to have a Pavlovian response when seeing men in a certain color jersey trot onto the field.
What would the world be like if, instead of being proud of the sports teams, the emphasis was shifted to the science departments, the engineering departments or any other department you care to name and that those areas were the ones that attracted huge donations from the alums?
Here’s a question for you: Suppose the Creator of the Universe were to say, “people of Earth, I give you a choice. By popular vote you must decide to keep one group of individuals and the other will disappear forever, never to be replaced. You must choose to keep either collegiate sports or the sanitation and solid waste workers.”
Would we find ourselves drowning in a sea of refuse or would we be following competitive garbage collecting?