The Shame of College Sports: Another icon has feet of clay

People often ask me if I follow college athletics. I reply that I did, until I began teaching college students. The barriers to achieving any academic success, even for students at NCAA Division III schools, even for participants in “minor” sports like golf are enormous. I never taught at a Division I college football power, but dealing with students who missed the first day of classes because of a volleyball match scheduled at a college across the state, or the first week of classes because of baseball games, outraged me as a professor.

I grew up a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes–don’t blame me, I grew up in Ohio. I remember only last year how tv announcers and commentators praised the “squeaky clean” image of Jim Tressel. While they were speaking those platitudes, Tressell knew he was playing ineligible players.

Now, we have the Penn State spectacle, which is drawing analogies with the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. Paterno and Penn State president Spanier were fired this evening.

Taylor Branch’s The Atlantic article entitled “The Shame of College Sports” should be read by everyone who follows NCAA sports.

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