Saturday, August 20, 2011

College Football Will Never Be The Same

I am a college football junkie. I'm one of those guys that watches ESPN U for signing day and follows the recruiting websites. I used to buy magazines all the time until the Internet made that unnecessary. When I was a kid I would rent every college football history book from the school library. I could hold my own in a trivia contest. After the Saints are done playing on Sunday my NFL interest start to fade a little. I can watch college football all day and night on Saturday no matter who's playing. I think it's the best level of football because of the tradition and the players. I don't really care about the BCS and all the money involved. I just want to watch the games. This off season there has been a few scandals involving players receiving benefits. People are acting like there’s a huge problem. I say the things going on are just the nature of a beast that’s been created and it’s not going back the other way.

You got these huge expanding conferences trying to generate more and more money from television contracts. Stadiums are getting bigger and bigger. In order to sell the ad time while the games are on and to sell the extra suites and seats in these giant stadiums you have to market the game in a way that expands it’s following beyond the students of the school or the people who live in the area of the school. That means you have to get the best player’s possible. You have to get players so good that football fans in Wyoming would have to be interested in the players involved in an LSU and Alabama game that they will tune in and CBS will give the SEC billions of dollars for the right to broadcast their games. There’s no way you can have that much money involved without any corruption and it’s foolish to think every player is going to sit there and be okay with that.

Things are even more confusing for the players because now there are college sports video games and other merchandising. When Reggie Bush was at USC you could buy a video game where #5 for USC didn’t have Bush on the back of the jersey but you knew he was supposed to be. I went to Ohio State’s website to look up the price of a jersey. You can get a replica #2 jersey for 59.95. I’m not saying Terrell Pryor was right for breaking the rules. I’m just tripping on people acting like he murdered someone for trading his own clothes for a tattoo.

If I was a world class football player coming out of high school I don’t think my parents would have let me accept any money to go to a particular school or any gifts from someone after I got there. I’m thinking that if I was 19 years old and looked around to see thousands of people wearing a jersey with my number on it I might think getting a few tattoos for one of those jerseys was fair especially since I’m the reason they are selling the jersey with that number on it anyway. I would get punished for doing wrong by the NCAA but when a system grows to a certain point the line between right and wrong gets blurred.

The media and the fans should just calm down and admit the fact that it will never be 1965 again when it comes to college football. As long as there is lots of money involved there’s going to be corruption and the players are always going to be the most susceptible to it. The glory days are not coming back so lets just accept it and enjoy the games on Saturday.

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