Some will argue that eliminating amateurism for college football means the “bad guys win.” In fact, the opposite is true. Eliminating amateurism will diminish the role of those boosters who have polluted the college game. Some will wonder what minor league football is doing on campus in the first place — I have wondered about that myself. Yet, the game has found an important entertainment role connected to academia, and the billion dollar television contracts prove it is a valuable commodity.


You’d think a law professor might have a grasp of argumentation.

We should promote professional sports on college campuses because it’s entertaining? Broadcasting all student sexual activity on large screens throughout the campus would also be entertaining. Should we do it?

“Eliminating amateurism will diminish the role of those boosters who have polluted the college game.” Yes, and that is why professional basketball and football in American are so pure and unpolluted. It doesn’t seem to occur to Roger Abrams that there are manifold other sources of pollution.

And …connected to academia? Big time sports as currently played on American campuses not only have no connection at all to academia; they’re actively destructive of it.

I mean, what does Abrams have in mind by academia? Classroom buildings adjacent to stadiums? The appearance on a television screen, during a football game, of the name of a university?

And billion dollar tv contracts prove it’s a valuable commodity? Ask Donna Shalala, or any number of university presidents up to their asses in legal bills and bad publicity, how valuable a commodity it is. It’s precisely the outrageously big money that’s brought in all the scum and made university football and basketball lucrative but deadly to academia.

That is, again, if by academia you mean something other than buildings where administrators collect ticket and luxury suite and television proceeds. If on the other hand you’re okay with the Auburnization of our universities – if money and entertainment seem to you overriding ‘academia’ goals – if you think universities are money and entertainment centers above all (they will certainly become so under this regime, since no other activity on any campus can hope to compete with an immense high-profile billion dollar industry), then go with it. Go with it.

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One Response to “The beauty of going pro.”

  1. Mr Punch Says:

    The “minor league” thing is interesting. For almost a century, college football was the big time, and the NFL, when it came along, was basically an exhibition program for ex-college stars. (In 1970, virtually every university owned its own stadium, and no NFL team did.) It seems to me that this reversal (which owes something to the fact fact that top college programs are rarely in major league cities)is part of what makes college football so hard to handle.

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