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College football's biggest problem, as I understand it from watching this 60 Minutes report by Armen Keteyian last night, is that it makes too much money. What to do with so much of a good thing?

The optimist would say CBS thinks its broad audience has rarely thought about how money impacts college-run football, the universities, and athletes, and is hoping to get them thinking about the topic. Talking directly about how top colleges rake in the dough for themselves while tossing crumbs to the athletes who actually put their lives on the line to play the games would be too jarring, even off-putting.

But the cynic would say that this CBS report is concern trolling at its worst, pretending to care while ignoring the real issues and skipping solutions altogether. The report presenting the views of four people cashing in on the NCAA's corrupt cartel (two athletic directors & two coaches) with only a brief comment from an athlete and nothing from college football's many critics. The cynic would also point out that CBS, which has an $825 million contract to broadcast SEC football games, has a strong financial incentive to go whistling past the graveyard on this one.

What do you think?

Originally posted to TheGreenMiles on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:26 AM PST.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Big time college football (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    does make money at some universities, but when it does it helps support the other varsity sports that have little revenue. Only football and men and women's basketball are self-funding, and even that is only at the schools with very successful programs. Many universities have 20, or more, varsity teams.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:38:43 AM PST

  •  The same thing I think about when people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    with Multimillion dollar contracts report 'unbiased' stories concerning one candidate who wants to tax the rich and one that wants to hang more on the middle class.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:42:41 AM PST

  •  Not really surprised CBS did a puff piece like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, a2nite

    this one, yet the story of this segment was the money generated by college football.

    A logical followup piece would have been a behind the scenes story of the college football atheletes life on campus and the strict limitations he must act within. With millions on the line, a silly free lunch or borrowed car can cost a school mightily.

    Its a debate that has not changed in decades: the student athelete is receiving a scholarship to play ball. Its a free education. Should the althelete also recieve a small perdiem in addition to the scholarship, given that the athelete is providing a service that brings in so much money to the university?

    Of all the 120+ FBS schools playing sports, Ive read somewhere arounf 30% make enough revenue to break even.

    And ROLL TIDE!

  •  You lament the fact (5+ / 0-)

    You lament the fact that Ketayian only talked to two coaches and two ADs and no players.

    Do you really believe they were going to be able to get players?  As someone who covers D-I college sports - having once covered Ohio State - I will tell you this: for a story like that, you're not going to get players.

    The players are made available at the university's discretion, not a journalist's.  It's not right, but it's reality.

    When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion. - Abraham Lincoln

    by EntrWriter on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:19:19 AM PST

  •  The biggest problem is tax-exempt status (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, TheGreenMiles

    of the various bowls and conferences. This allows them to rip-off the student athletes and keep the perks for themselves — all at considerable expense to the taxpayer.

  •  Big college football fan here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And I can't remember a time when college football was held in less esteem than it is now. People could accept it when the sleaziness was in the background, but now it's out there for everyone to see

    The Penn State scandal shook the sport to its core, and I'd wager that stuff like that happened at a few other D-I football schools too. It was the worst scandal in American sports history.

    The number of major schools on probation in the last 5 years is astonishing (Ohio State, North Carolina, USC, and soon to be Miami). Other schools like Baylor, South Carolina, and Michigan were hit with probation, but no bowl bans

    SEC dominance is also turning college football into a regional sport, which is devastating for football in general

    Lastly, the concussion issue, although talked about more in the NFL, is more devastating for the college athlete because most of them don't get to the NFL and won't have the same means to deal with post-concussion syndrome without an NFL salary

    •  I was with you all the way until (0+ / 0-)

      you got to "SEC dominance".

      The South East Circus is completely over-rated and if they ever graduated any of their players they'd have to have a parade....

      "The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it.". Abbie Hoffman

      by Joes Steven on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:21:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm talking about on-field dominance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        which is linked to the point you made, that they don't have high graduation rates and are essentially football factories

        •  "On-field dominance" over who? (0+ / 0-)

          Cupcake U?

          "The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it.". Abbie Hoffman

          by Joes Steven on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:04:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Six straight national champions (0+ / 0-)

            out of that conference

            •  But that doesn't take into account (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              how access to those championships is limited and it certainly doesn't say anything about the rest of the conference.  The whole conference gets an automatic affirmation by the media because of one win in the BCS title game. That doesn't mean the rest of the conference is similarly good.   Last year Oklahoma State was denied a chance to compete for the title and instead Alabama, also a team with one loss was penciled in to the game for a REMATCH with LSU.  In other words the SEC championship had already been decided.  LSU won it.  They beat Alabama on their home field.   But the poll voters screwed OSU out of a chance to play for the title even though they were Big 12 conference champions.  It's disgusting.

              So I agree with dpinzow's point that there's a danger of it becoming a regional sport.  People all over the country are getting sick of the bias and breaks handed to the SEC.   Media declares teams to be of a certain caliber in preseason, usually handing multiple slots in the top 10 to the SEC.  That allows the SEC teams to beat each other while still remaining hightly ranked because the excuse is that they lost to another great team.   Meanwhile, the same thing happens in other conferences and the pundits claim just the opposite -- that the losses indicate the teams are bad because the conference is bad.  It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you want a more thorough description of the racket, this article explains it well.

      •  Overated? The last 6 NCAA champs says differently (0+ / 0-)

        Penn State had a relative high graduation rate so what does that make them?

        Don't deny those kids their due.Those athletes worked damn hard to be champs and do not deserve to be looked down upon. For many of them, they are living their dream and they do make a contribution to their schools.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:26:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  NCAA football has always been regional (0+ / 0-)

      That is part of what makes it popular.
      Conferences percieved strength comes and goes. There is nothing new there.

  •  CBS news and 60 Minutes........ (0+ / 0-)

    Have lost their credibility a long time ago. 60 minutes does fluff pieces on almost every topic now and will hopelfully continue to lose audience share and be cancelled, good riddance!!

  •  But it's "Capitalism" at it's finest... (0+ / 0-)

    ...don't you know.  You (college athletes/ worker bees) you takes your chances, some (very few) make it big and the rest are chump-change...but they get a (free) college education so everybody is happy especially the networks, millionaire coaches, athletic directors, university presidents and some actual players...what percentage have no idea but my "wag" is less then 1%.  That's probably consistent with what's going on with our so-called christian American society overall...the 1%ers are loving it...but it needs to change because their actions and thinking is infecting many others who don't stand a chance of getting to the 1% valhalla but dirties the water enough that it impacts our nations general philisophical attitude with each other to the point we are confused as to our national identity which I think causes people to believe they need to "choose sides" in the battles leading to a possible conflageration.

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:11:30 AM PST

  •  The country loves it's football, warts and all. (0+ / 0-)

    Fans, athletes and their families, the athletic department, tv, all of them, understand that there is a dark side to sports. Always has been, always will be. They do not need 60 Minutes, or those of us on the Left, to rub their faces in it.

    I guess the diarist is new to 60 Minutes and has never seen a segment on college, or pro, football that wasn't a fluff piece. I suggest reviewing their archives to find expositions on the problems inherent to football and basketball programs at big-time schools.

    As a fan, and someone who played organized football from Pee-Wee through High School, I love football and football culture. Football is one of the few things that can bring people together and is good for the economy, at least in the South.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:48:26 AM PST

    •  Don't give me this culture war nonsense (0+ / 0-)

      Why can't you love football AND not want college football to be an exploitative cartel?

      •  Guess I'm not elite like you so why bother? (0+ / 0-)

        Since you are in a position to dismiss people like me and reduce my comment(which acknowledged there were issues) to "cultural nonsense" then nothing I can say is going to convince you to consider other points of view or engage in a meaningful dialogue.

        Best of luck taking exploitation out of the mix in a capitalist enterprise.

        Be Well TheGreenMiles!

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:35:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nobody WANTS to look at the problems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and fix them.  Example, Southern Methodist University (I attended so I know a bit more about the issue).  In the late 80s they were hit with what is now referred to as the "football death penalty."  Displinary action so tough from the NCAA that the program never recovered.  Still a D1 school, SMU routinely gets trashed by other football programs because in reality, it shouldn't still be a D1 school.

    The problem is, since SMU, the NCAA realized that if they actually punish these teams, they lose revenue.  If, for instance, Ohio State (who is on probation this year and will have no post season/bowl games) was told they couldn't play the entire season, the NCAA loses all of the revenue from the games that they would have played.  And considering they are still undefeated as I post this season, that's a LOT of money between ticket sales, merchandise, TV deals, etc.  Never was a diary title more apt when referring to college football as a cartel.

    •  No problem! (0+ / 0-)

      Just dole out slaps on the wrist (sorry, you can't go to the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl this year!) that make it look like you're doing something while successfully distracting from the core issue (not paying players).

    •  The problem is just like with the national economy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it's rigged to favor the haves over the have nots.  That's actually the purpose of the BCS.  It's a club designed to protect the status quo and thwart competition from those who'd like a share of the pie.

      If there was some way to force revenue sharing like the NFL, it would solve a lot of problems.  It would certainly end the "arms race" of pouring crazy amounts of money into unneeded facilities just to attract recruits.  But as with all attempts to create equal opportunity, it would be attacked as "socialism" and therefore unamerican and evil.

      Boise State has for several years been knocking off BCS teams, but they're not allowed to compete for the championship and they're not allowed into the PAC 12 or Big 12.

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