As a long-term college football advocate, I have recently been disturbed by current events.
First, of course, is the recent kneeling or other similar gestures of defiance (at both professional and college levels), increasing the “divide,” primarily between races in the U.S. With Trump, not adverse to escalating tensions, in the White House, the nation needs more love and togetherness rather than increased rhetoric tinged with animosity and hate. We should start that “dedication to family and country” both at home and in our schools. Second, recent medical diagnoses of football players’ brains show serious brain degradation in far too many instances. Surely football is partially responsible for serious mental problems and early deaths. If so, should a college promote football as a sport, understanding that widespread head injuries are a likely result? Finally, only about 2 percent of college athletes make a living playing either football or basketball after college, suggesting that 98 percent are forced into other much less-rewarding professions. Is promoting one particular activity in college that is benefiting only 2 percent of students and negatively impacting 98 percent consistent with a college’s primary dedication to education?
In summary, shouldn’t the community of educators seriously reconsider the role of athletics in college towards improving the quality of life for all Americans?
RPI Class of ’50
Korean War Vet