The fall season is within sight. The Washington Fair is over, schools are getting ready to reopen and footballs are filling the air. Are you ready?
Well, some people probably weren’t ready for the stinging indictment of college football that came from one of the deans of the coaching profession, Coach Bill Snyder of Kansas State. He is nationally recognized for his coaching ability and keen football mind. He came out with remarks so strong, every coach, athletic director, school administrator, player and college football fan should consider what he said. What Coach Snyder said is what some college football fans have been saying for some time.
He said college and especially major universities have “sold out” to the almighty dollar. We’ve heard fans say a version of that for years.
The 74-year-old coach said television had assumed too much control of college football. He added that education has become a second thought and the entire endeavor “distorts” the value of young people.
Finally, a coach has had the courage to tell it like it is!
“It’s changed. I mean college athletics, football in particular, has changed dramatically over the years. I think we’ve sold out. We’re all about dollars and cents. The concept of college football no longer has any bearing on the quality of the person, the quality of students, universities are selling themselves out,” Snyder said as football practice began.
“It’s no longer about education. We’ve sold out to the cameras over there, and TV. I don’t fault TV. I don’t fault whoever broadcasts games. They have to make a living and that’s what they do, but athletics — that’s it. It’s sold out,” he continued.
Television tells universities what time their games can start and has control over many other aspects of the game.
But the truth is colleges and universities are giving the fans what they want, even demand. Ticket prices go up almost every year and there are surcharges. Fancy suites are available at a high price. It’s money for this and that and the fans keep paying the price. The schools want the money television provides. Television is no different than the universities. They are giving the stay-at-home fans what they want — coverage. TV audiences mean advertising dollars for the stations.
So who is to blame for all of this. Certainly the blame can be spread around. Many players believe they should share in the wealth. The universities are beginning to challege their governing organization, the NCAA, which is backing off, allowing the conferences more freedoms.
Fall football is part of America’s entertainment food. The fans eat it up. As long as they are willing to fork over the dollars and cents the situation as described by Coach Snyder will prevail.