Is there a bigger dolt than Mark Weidmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press? I hope not. His Wednesday column is one of the most confusing things Iâ€™ve ever read. He argues against the specter of socialism raised by the Knight Commission, then praises â€œspreading the wealth around.â€ The mind boggles.
Weidmer writes, â€œMuch as no coach should probably make the $4 million annual salary that Alabama is paying football boss Nick Saban or the $3.7 million that Kentucky is paying basketball coach John Calipari, those men will generate far more money than they make. Saban already has.â€
What? No coach should? If Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has earned the University more than he costs, is his salary not justified? College football pay must be judged in business terms. Saban is worth it as long as he generates a sufficient return on the investment. Spare me the inane prattle about colleges not being a business. Have you seen the massive budgets of the major universities? Public education lost its virginity ages ago; it is all a business. It even has unions.
Weidmer writes, â€œBut cutting the number of coaches and players within a program should be implemented. Limit Football Bowl Subdivision programs (formerly I-A) to 70 scholarship players (down from the current 85) and coaching staffs to eight full-timers with two graduate assistants. … And, please, no arguments about how limiting scholarships will water down the product. Itâ€™s only going to further improve the product by more rapidly spreading the wealth around.â€
What a horrible idea. This is the same stupidity that infests the Obama administration. Weidmer and those like him need to understand that hurting Tuscaloosa and Athens and Gainesville and Baton Rouge to help Nasvhille isnâ€™t going to help the product or really help Vanderbilt.
Since this is a discussion about college athletics, think about it in terms of academics. Imagine if you will a class of students where one student wants to work as much as possible to learn the material, and another student doesnâ€™t want to work much at all. The student who invests the most, harvests the greatest yield in better grades. The student who sows the least, reaps the least return through lower grades. Now enters Weidmer and his ilk to fix the inequities and orders everyone to study lessâ€”to invest less effort to foster the goal of better academic competition. In other words, the good students become less good. How does that not lower the excellence we see in the classroom?
Such a path is dangerous and immoral. Dangerous because it is the path that leads to mediocrity. Weidmer dismisses the greatest objection against his opinionâ€”but that is precisely the problem with his plan. This type of regulation doesnâ€™t lift the cellar dwellers. It brings the elite down to the lower level; it punishes excellence. It is immoral because it attacks the virtues of investment, excellence and hard work. It teaches the wrong lessons because in real life, there is no substitute for hard work and wise investment of limited resources.
The entire column is confusing with Weidmer speaking against too much socialism and then advocating the very thing he just attacked. It is horrible.