Here are excerpts from that essay:
"Over 20 years ago, the Knight commission on intercollegiate athletics started an investigative process that focused on the many documented derelictions in college athletic programs. Here, taken directly from their own reports, are observations about the state of college athletics in America:
- In 1989, as a decade of highly visible scandals in college sports drew to a close, the trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (then known as Knight Foundation) were concerned that athletics abuses threatened the very integrity of higher education.
- Except for the Ivy League, the schools which were involved were the most visible institutions of higher education in the country.
- Can colleges and universities continue their traditional posture of upholding the highest values of personal character and integrity when they themselves display so little of either?
- Public faith in higher education cannot be sustained if college sports are permitted to become a circus, with the institution itself little more than a supporting sideshow."
Our essay went on to say, “The Knight commission issued reports in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Again, every report, every finding, every recommendation is available at: http://www.knightcommission.org/ They issued a ten year status report in 2001 and we are offering below just one summary observation from that report –
“We find that the problems of big-time college sports have grown rather than diminished. The most glaring elements of the problems outlined in this report – academic transgressions, a financial arms race, and commercialization – are all evidence of the widening chasm between higher education’s ideals and big-time college sports.”
And finally, “Their most recent report came out in 2010. Here is part of their summary recommendations:
This report sets forth reforms that are achievable and that, if implemented, will create a foundation upon which future reforms can build. Our blueprint for restoring educational values and priorities begins with strengthening accountability for intercollegiate athletics in three ways:
1. Requiring greater transparency, including better measures to compare athletics spending to academic spending
2. Rewarding practices that make academic values a priority
3. Treating college athletes as students first and foremost - not as professionals"
Well, the chickens are coming home to roost. Money and the love of money (GREED) now dominate amateur athletics and the great joy of student athletes – seeking a good education and a degree – is now lost forever. We place the blame at the doorstep of two corporations – NIKE and Adidas with Under Armour fighting desperately to lock up a solid share of the ruin. Of course, they would argue that their greed is nothing other than a different version of the greed coming from other advertisers; other sport team suppliers; ESPN and its owners, Disney; Comcast; rich, fat cat alumni, both real and adopted and, most high on our list – coaches and amazingly weak college and university presidents, chancellors and regents. Or simply, "the NCAA."
Take your pick – greedy basterds all.
In government they take the form of bureaucrats and their greedy union master basterds. Ditto for K- 12 education. Soon, ditto for health care.
It’s not just the money folks. After all they could try to do good with it. It’s the love of money. It's pure and simple GREED. Pocket lining greed.