NCAA crackdown shouldn't stop at Penn State: BCS uses students like gladiators
The Penn State scandal isn't the only injustice to plague college football. In fact, that damaging lack of transparency is endemic. The NCAA should continue to clean house by taking control of the Bowl Championship Series, which, driven by greed, uses college players like gladiators.
The NCAA has fined Penn State $60 million, reversed its football wins from 1998 to 2011, and the statue of beloved Joe Paterno has been taken down. Former FBI director Louis J. Freeh’s investigation of Penn State’s cover-up of Jery Sandusky’s sex abuse found a “total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims” by Coach Paterno, then college president Graham Spanier, and Athletic Director Mark Sherburne. The cover-up resulted in the devastation of the lives of many young men. It also blemished the university and big-time college football.Skip to next paragraph
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But it isn’t the only scandal or injustice to plague the world of college football. In fact, such damaging lack of transparency is endemic. The NCAA should continue to clean house by taking control of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which, driven by greed, uses college players like gladiators. As the Penn State scandal shows, big-time college football is a world where money speaks louder than morality.
In 2003, concerned by commercialization in college athletics, E. Gordon Gee, who currently serves as president of The Ohio State University, warned, “Nothing short of a revolution will stop what has become a crisis of conscience and integrity for colleges and universities in this country.”
Revenues and power in big-time college football have expanded dramatically since Mr. Gee’s warning. By recently adding two games and a “national championship” in big-time college football, the BCS and its members will likely generate an additional $300-500 million in revenue, furthering solidifying its power.
The operations of the BCS, like those of Penn State’s football program are shrouded in secrecy – the antithesis of trust and the mother of cover-ups. The BCS, which has displaced the NCAA in running big-time football, shares Penn State’s disregard for those adversely impacted by their decisions.
A few facts evidence how sobering this disregard for student welfare has become. Many football players will leave college lame or with latent injuries.
Dr. Bennet Omalu, who is credited with having discovered the first case of dementia related to football, has cautioned that, “The concept of permanent brain damage and dementia following repeated blows to the head is a very well established and generally accepted principle in medicine.”
Unfortunately, this accepted medical principle and the warning inherent in it has gone unheeded in the world of big-time football. Annually, one out of ten college football players suffers a serious concussion, with hundreds of others suffering major brain trauma or debilitating injuries during their collegiate careers.