I’m really disappointed in John McGrath’s sports column Feb. 26. He may be right about the way things will move, but I am very disappointed to see college sports move in the direction of commercial opportunities for college athletes. It is (to me) sad to see NCAA sports — witness present NCAA basketball scandal— soiled by big money, professional sports promoters, corruption, low ethical standards, and cheating.
College is a place to study, learn, and promote a life-time career. Athletics should be a part of this experience, but not the driving force. Talented athletes receive scholarships, including “free” university education. That’s sufficient. They should not be expected to travel all over the country to entertain the sports enthusiasts. It should be a fun time for all students and their local fans who want to participate as a player or a spectator.
The premise of “amateurism” is not archaic. It should be cherished and promoted. Coach Sean Miller of Arizona does not deserve to be the highest paid state employee. Same for so many other big-time coaches. We’ve lost a healthy and precious part of the role of college athletics in our society. Promoting commercial interests in the athletes should be a part of non-university professional sports. Otherwise, we are doomed to be mired in all this corruption and scandal forever.