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(An American Disgrace) is on the right track when he says, "Let the NFL and
the NBA start their own farm systems." Now is the time for colleges and
universities to get out of what have become professional sports. Let each
big-time college lease its whole operation—stadium, school colors, fight song,
nickname, logo, cheers, mascot, legends and booster organizations—to a farm
franchise. Students would still have entertainment, fans would have the best
team money could buy, and universities could return to what they should do
Some of the
measures you propose certainly have merit. One more thing I would suggest is
that the pollsters, including magazines like SI, refrain from rating teams that
are on NCAA probation. Certainly the football polls, which determine the
national champion, help to promote the win-at-any-cost attitude.
The blame for the
actions of Oklahoma's athletes (You Reap What You Sow) should not be laid
solely at the university's door. From junior high—and even earlier—students who
can run faster with a football or handle a basketball better than their
classmates are taught that they are special. They can cut classes and fail
tests, and someone will always cover for them. They are not taught that their
future is in their own hands. They are not taught to be responsible for their
own actions. Just make the touchdowns, and we'll handle the problems. Until
this trend is reversed, there will be more instances like those at Oklahoma.
What bothers me is the lack of objectivity regarding the Oklahoma athletic program. The actions of a handful of individuals in a football program of more than 100 certainly cannot be considered representative of the entire program. As for the fate of coach Barry Switzer, it would seem ridiculous to fire a man after 23 years of service. Changes must be made, but Switzer should have the opportunity to make them. He has brought much positive publicity to the university, and the current situation should not completely overshadow the past.
Finally, I find
the suggestion that the people of Oklahoma are reaping what they have sown
tremendously offensive. Oklahomans are proud and independent people. We have
overcome a great deal of adversity since the 1800s, and our state has become
one of the most productive in this great nation. That same pride will allow us
to overcome these problems.
Yes, SI, you reap
what you sow. If Barry Switzer is to be held accountable for the actions of his
players, then you are to be held accountable for your writers and editors.
Cancel my subscription!
There may be a
shortage of altar boys at some Big Eight schools (You Reap What You Sow and
What Price Glory?), but not to worry—your writers fit the bill nicely. Do they
wear long white robes to go with their halos and wings? Now, if Oklahoma loses
to Texas this fall, that will really be a crime.
ROOT, ROOT, ROOT