Thursday, November 10, 2011

THE TIPPING POINT FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL


It's tragic and sadly ironic that the most heinous scandal in the history
of college football just might be the thing that helps clean up the
sleazy world of it. Joe Paterno, deified for winning football games
and caring so much about young people, somehow lost his moral
compass and didn't care about the young people who were getting
raped in the showers on the campus where he was king. He paid
a heavy price for putting his reputation, his record, and his legacy
ahead of the welfare of a group of children in Happy Valley. Now,
that's been shattered into a million tiny pieces.

This is the tipping point for college football and the start of a
cleansing that should've taken place long ago. The emphasis
placed on winning in this sport has gotten so far out of control,
its alarming. The pressure to hoist a national championship trophy
has become far greater than the type President Obama is under
in trying to get this country out of its recession. The desire to get on
ESPN and in a super conference that clears a path to the huge
pot of gold at the end of the rainbow borders on obsessive.
College coaches, presidents, alumnae, and trustees have
been so blinded by the hunt for bountiful riches and a crystal
trophy, they've lost sight of the fact that football is really
just a game and they've shown a blatant disregard for what
their jobs really are: to educate their students and give them
the necessary tools to ensure they have a promising future.

Perhaps, through the haze of their quest for the almighty
dollar, they will now see how one of the most powerful
football programs in the country totally neglected the
youth of America that was getting raped in the shower,
taking away their innocence while  guaranteeing
the road to success will be a difficult one.

I'm hoping that every college president, athletic director,
and football coach wakes up and says, "What the hell
have we been doing?" What they've been doing certainly
hasn't been done in the right way. They've been using
kids to make their lives richer, better, and more secure.
They've been making millions of dollars while only
having their best interests at heart.

Perhaps, schools like the University of Maryland, who
was so hungry to become a "major player" on the college
football scene, they fired Ralph Friedgen, a coach who
brought them unprecedented success, but at nearly 400lbs,
wasn't someone who fit their image. They brought in
a new coach and broke out ugly, but attention grabbing
uniforms that screamed, "Look at us, we're the Maryland,
and we're shocking the world and making this a cool
place to play football." For all their changes and desire
to change the perception of Maryland football, the
Terps are 2-7. Somewhere, Ralph Friedgen, a great
human being and football coach, is laughing.

Perhaps, the NCAA will step up and institute rules
for coaches like Lane Kiffin, whose only goal seems
to be accumulating the most money that he can possibly
make. He arrived on the campus of Tennessee three years
ago and then offended every coach and school in the
SEC with outrageous statements and insults just to
make sure that the presence of he and Tennessee were
known. Then, after just one season, where he broke
NCAA rules while preaching loyalty, commitment,
and dedication, he bolts for USC for a higher salary,
visibility, and a greater chance to win a national championship.
As for the kids whom he recruited and told their parents
he was committed to them and the program? Kiffin
pretty much said, "The heck with you, I'm making MY
life better. See ya."

College football is swimming in a cess pool as big the
Grand Canyon right now. Players are taking money from
agents who are sleazing their way across campuses across
the country, coaches are breaking rules, parents like Cecil
Newton are pimping their kids to coaches as if they're the
best-looking, most well-endowed hookers on Rodeo Drive, and
every athletic director is looking to get in a big conference
to make bigger bucks, and college presidents are looking
the other.

I'm hoping that after seeing what happened to those who
looked the other way when children were getting raped
on the campus of Penn State, that nobody looks away anymore.
Everybody in the sport of college football needs to look
at themselves in the mirror and realize the person staring
back at them isn't something to be proud of. I'm not sure
showering three times will be enough to rinse off the
slime, but it's certainly be a good place to start. Just
make sure Jerry Sandusky is not there.

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