The college football season is about to start, so there should be a lot of optimism and hope in the air. But to some less fortunate schools, there is a lot of doubt about this season. For one school in particular (the University of Miami), the whole football program could be suspended for an extended period of time. The Miami football team is under duress because some of the current and former players have been caught receiving money from a booster who has given multiple players large sums money, which is totally against NCAA rules. Because a small number of athletes took money, the whole program could shutdown. A similar scandal happened in 1980 at SMU when players took money from a booster and the whole football program was shut down.
This is a bad sign considering the fact that the football program brings in millions of dollars and is one of the most famed and recognized teams in college football. This will be a dark day in college football if the football program goes under.
These scandals really point to a larger ethical and moral problem with college sports: the unequal distribution of money. These players, who are often African-American with little or no money, are courted by the big name schools; and while the schools make millions of dollars off of these athletes, the only trade off for them is a meal ticket and a dorm room. Oftentimes, these schools do not have adequate tutoring to help these athletes to ensure graduation. The number of student athletes who actually graduate are terrible. It is unfair that the players are being penalized for such “violations” as taking money, because the amount of money that the players are getting from the booster is far less than the money the university is getting from the television contracts and merchandizing from the football team.
*Marcus wrote this and sent it to me in the beginning of last fall. I just dropped the ball on posting it!