Jim Brown: Has College Football Become a Pro Sport?

Thursday, January 7th, 2014
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

HAS COLLEGE FOOTBALL BECOME A PRO SPORT?

It’s the end of the college football season, and the year has produced a financial bonanza for top tier schools all over the country. ESPN will pay over 7 billion dollars for the rights to telecast just seven games a year over the next 12 years. Television revenue has doubled for major college football programs over last year. Stadiums are expanding and ticket sales are at an all time high. So let’s ask the question-is it all about the money?

College football and other athletic programs were supposed to be extra curricular activities; a break from the rigors of taking classes and qualifying for a degree. No more. Just absorb the words of Cardale Jones, the starting quarterback for national championship finalist Ohio State. His message on Twitter complained: “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.”

Maybe Cardale has a point. For many colleges, it’s all about the dollars and winning football games. My old friend and former University of Texas football coach Mack Brown summed it up this way: “When you hear college presidents and athletic directors talk about character and academics and integrity, none of that really matters. College football is growing closer and closer of being like the NFL.”

When it comes to priorities, my home state’s football powerhouse is a case in point. Louisiana colleges are in a financial free-fall, with new budget cuts being imposed yearly. LSU has seen its state-funding cut by over 40% in recent years. The endowment of the state’s flagship university is one of the lowest of any major colleges in the country. In the most recent edition of U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings, LSU weighed in at a lowly 129th in the nation. Continue Reading…….

Don’t make her come up there……

She ranks me Phil, and your Gov boots won’t impress her:

LANA NOONAN: Bryant has neither a plan nor a clue ~ Sun Herald Letters to the Editor

In rural Mississippi my experience is the very identity of the local community is completely intertwined with their local public schools.  I would not monkey around with that lightly, especially for cheap partisan political kicks.