After watching over five hours of NCAA Football yesterday with my dad and friends, I’d like to share a few pearls of wisdom that no one cares about but me.
I don’t like USC, mostly because I am a Bruin. Nothing more needs to be said about that.
I hate Notre Dame. If they are playing, I want them to lose even if they’re playing USC. Notre Dame has an unfair advantage of a television contract with NBC. While that money can’t be spent directly on the players, their program can hire better coaching staff, have more state of the art training equipment, and give non monetary perks to the players like nicer dorms and textbooks. Until NBC stops its contact with Notre Dame, they will always be the team I want to lose. Fortunately their head coach sucks balls and hasn’t done shit with their program despite their monetary advantage.
Another thing that needs to be done is an academic standard needs to be set for student athletes or they need to stop being called students. I think it’s pathetic that any university would allow an individual onto the campus for a primary reason other than academics. Universities like Stanford and UCLA are at the top of the list of schools with high academic standards for their athletes. If you can’t keep the grades up, maybe you should keep your nose in the textbooks a little more and less in the playbook.
I can speak specifically for UCLA, because I stay on top of their recruiting. Take a look across the country and you’ll find kids who wanted to be Bruins, but UCLA turned them down for academic reasons. Just this season Tennessee’s interim president said, “When we lost to UCLA, we lost to a better academic institution, too.” Academics should never be an issue for athletes. Universities should be striving to give kids the best possible education. I guarantee you schools like Alabama, Florida, and Texas don’t turn down good athletes for academic reasons, which is absolutely a shame. They’re not doing any favors for the majority of the athletes who won’t make careers out of football.
The standard wouldn’t even have to be stringent. I understand that alumni don’t necessarily care about the genetic research being done on campus. They want to see athletic competitions, but would a minimum of two classes with a passing term average be too much to ask? This way each university could set it’s standards as to what is passing, but the athletes would be held to the same standards as any other student. If a university doesn’t care to set academics as its priority then that’s their choice, but they won’t last very long without students wanting to attend.
It’s time we level the playing field, while at the same time raising the bar for academic standards for our student athletes. It might save us from stupidity in the NFL with such gems as Michael Vick, Plaxico Buress, and Ray Lewis.