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THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL
John Underwood
May 19, 1980
The rash of phony transcripts and academic cheating spells out the fact that athletics are now an abomination to the ideals of higher education. Victims: the student-athletes. Culprits: the system and those who run it
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May 19, 1980

The Writing Is On The Wall

The rash of phony transcripts and academic cheating spells out the fact that athletics are now an abomination to the ideals of higher education. Victims: the student-athletes. Culprits: the system and those who run it

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One proposal that has been made by a few deep thinkers deserves absolutely no consideration: that colleges "end the hypocrisy" and start paying their players; work out a salary schedule, require no class attendance and generally treat the athletic department as if it were a Burger-King franchise. Such a move would not only be anathema to the academic community, but also, while proving that college athletics are no more than a business, would do the business in. The rich would get richer, the poor would go bankrupt. And it would do nothing to help get anyone educated.

Ultimately, the solution to the problem is caring. Caring about young people, caring about their being educated, caring about the contribution they will be able to make to society. The apocryphal university president who, when asked what he thought was worse about athletic administrators—ignorance or apathy—replied, "I don't know and I don't care," is not as fictional a figure as people think. This attitude must be turned around—and soon.

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