Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lessons learned in college

By Richard K. Barry

USA Today reports this morning that the University of Southern California has fired their head football coach Lane Kiffin hours after a 62-41 lost to Arizona state. 
According to a release posted on the school's website and announced on Twitter, athletics director Pat Haden informed Kiffin of the decision after the team's charter flight arrived in Los Angeles early Sunday morning. The release said there will be a news conference later Sunday.

I'm a big football fan. Not so much the college game, but I love football. Still, the business side of collegiate sports concerns me greatly.  In the professional game, coaches are fired when they fail to win, sometimes mid-season. It's a business. I'm okay with that. But firing a coach in college ball after a couple of games is jarring. 

The big money, the lack of concern for the education of players, the focus on winning at all costs and breaking any rules to do it are not the sorts of things we should promote at our institutions of higher learning. 

I've always appreciated the minor league system in baseball, which at least admits that the only thing going on is the training of prospective professional athletes. I know it's never going to happen, but I'd rather see college football and basketball take that approach.

If it's only about winning, and nothing else, lets call it what it is and get it away from our educational institutions. 

Yes, there is more to life than the final score, which is something worth teaching.

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