By Steve Williams
If it doesn’t make sense, you can bet it’s making dollars.
I can’t take credit for the introductory sentence to this column. I heard veteran sportscaster Chris Moore say it during one of the shows he was working for CBS Sports Radio during the July 4 weekend.
You may have guessed it was in reference to the craziness college football is going through across the nation.
Moore said he came up with that comment a few years ago, but it never caught on. It should gain some traction now. It’s right on, the way I see it.
By the way, one of the younger sportscasters, who had gotten an opportunity to fill in for one of the regulars, was excited and thrilled about the recent news that UCLA and Southern Cal were moving from the Pac-12 Conference to the Big Ten over 2,000 miles away. He said those college athletes won’t have to be concerned about their classes because they won’t be going to school anymore; they’ll just be players in this new era of college sports.
I’ve even heard some say the players will be university employees.
Can you believe that?
What is this sports world coming to on the college level? New and improved definitely is not the correct answer.
Somebody please call a timeout and let’s revisit the latest shocking developments. Leaders that are respected and can see what college athletics should be for our teams and student-athletes are much needed. Yes, even for those players on the Power 5 level.
The NCAA should not go out of business, like some are saying it will. Instead, a governing body with strict rules, severe penalties and quick enforcement is needed to keep play and recruiting fair and square.
Let’s get back to the basic fundamentals of what college should be, please!
Learning how to live on your own and getting an education that will open doors to a profession and making a living have been top goals for decades.
The “name, image and likeness” concept is a great addition to the college scene for those who can benefit from it, but it needs to be utilized in a way that is reasonable and not a replacement for the main goals.
Television coverage also is good for college sports, but TV executives shouldn’t be calling the shots to the point that the almighty dollar has taken away the basic fundamentals of what college sports should be.
Those that are talented enough will get their opportunity to make millions at the professional level. But it should be noted that only 1.6 percent of college-level players will get drafted into the NFL, based on a 2021 report.
In the meantime, let’s keep our traditions in college sports. Let’s keep the games close enough for fans to be there. Let’s keep the college rivalries alive.
Conference expansion, if necessary, should have reasonable boundaries.
Sure, this world has changed over the decades. But what is important has not.