AUTHOR OF “FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS” SAYS IT IS TIME TO BAN FOOTBALL FROM COLLEGE CAMPUSES
May 10, 2012
(NATIONAL) -- Who really benefits from college football programs besides the National Football League which uses them as a farm team system the league does not have to pay for?
Best selling author Buzz Bissinger says it's time to ban football from college campuses.
If you ask “Friday Night Lights” author Buzz Bissinger it is, “Alumni who absurdly judge the quality of their alma mater based on the quality of the football team. Coaches such as Nick Saban of the University of Alabama and Bob Stoops of the University of Oklahoma who make obscene millions. The players themselves don't benefit, exploited by a system in which they don't receive a dime of compensation. The average student doesn't benefit, particularly when football programs remain sacrosanct while tuition costs show no signs of abating as many governors are slashing budgets to the bone.”
In a blistering new Op-Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal Bissinger says it is high time Americans gave the boot to college football programs and actually banned them from college campuses.
Because, he argues, they have nothing to do with what a university is supposed to be doing.
“In more than 20 years I've spent studying the issue, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that college football has anything do with what is presumably the primary purpose of higher education: academics.
That's because college football has no academic purpose. Which is why it needs to be banned. A radical solution, yes. But necessary in today's times.
Football only provides the thickest layer of distraction in an atmosphere in which colleges and universities these days are all about distraction, nursing an obsession with the social well-being of students as opposed to the obsession that they are there for the vital and single purpose of learning as much as they can to compete in the brutal realities of the global economy,” writes Bissinger.
He says if the vast majority of major college football programs made money, the argument to ban football might be a more precarious one. But too many of them don't—to the detriment of academic budgets at all too many schools.
“According to the NCAA, 43% of the 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision lost money on their programs. This is the tier of schools that includes such examples as that great titan of football excellence, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers, who went 3-and-9 last season. The athletic department in 2008-2009 took in over $13 million in university funds and student fees, largely because the football program cost so much, The Wall Street Journal reported. New Mexico State University's athletic department needed a 70% subsidy in 2009-2010, largely because Aggie football hasn't gotten to a bowl game in 51 years.
Outside of Las Cruces, where New Mexico State is located, how many people even know that the school has a football program? None, except maybe for some savvy contestants on "Jeopardy." What purpose does it serve on a university campus? None,” Says Bissinger in a piece that you can find here