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?


About rixlibris

Retired from child care photography after thirty years of coaxing smiles and wiping noses. Currently venting years of repressed fictional story lines via self-published novels. Married and still alive in a remote corner of Waller County, Texas.
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  1. stomperdad says:

    Great arguement. While the coaches are making far more than the Deans and Professors, the deans and professors are busy creating competent emplyoyees for the work force who will bring in more money for their chosen profession than any coach could hope to bring in for his chosen university 🙂 Go academics!

  2. rixlibris says:

    Go academics, indeed. Thanks for your comment. I have long held the belief that school sports should be intramural. The lessons taught would still be as valuable to the students with the added benefit that, lacking the need for “perfection” on the field, more students would have a chance to participate.

  3. Interesting argument and I tend to fall into the category of those who wonder why sports earns such outrageous and ridiculous sums of money when the brains that really do all the work (teaching and raising generations) get to earn only a pittance. Totally skewed balance of equation.

    • rixlibris says:

      Sports tend to be easier to follow than academic pursuits. There are countless individuals who have struggled with memorization of such things as high school math and history but can quote the stats of almost every NFL player.

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  5. amommasview says:

    I guess sports gave the less fortunate a form of entry into the better education systems. But the shift in how important sports people have become is crazy. Most of them are “tools” unfortunately but still count as role models for our kids which is shocking. There are good ones of course but some are just screaming “shake your head in disbelief”…

  6. rixlibris says:

    You are correct but in a greater sense, what dos it say about our society when a poor black kid sees organized sports as the only way out of a disadvantaged childhood? Dr. Ben Carson, a product of one of the poorest, most under served neighborhoods in America rises to be the top neurosurgeon in the world. Where are the droves of educators and parents in similar neighborhoods pointing to him, and others like him, as desired role models?

  7. What Cardale Jones said about school is somewhat extreme and that he believes he is at school for football but there is a point to his statement. Although I understand when you say that there should be more pride in academics than organized sports, I believe it is because they create revenue and it something a mass of people can enjoy.

    • rixlibris says:

      You are spot on, it is precisely because they create revenue and attract a lot of fans that the sports are more rewarded on campus than are the academics. While I do not follow any organized sports I would never want to deprive others. My point (opinion) is that school, at whatever level, should have learning as its primary focus.

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