Something is wrong with college football

S omething is wrong with college football. It is not the fans. It is not the media. It is not talk radio. It is not Paul Finebaum. It is not the Internet.

What is wrong with college football? Often we blame the NCAA, but maybe we should blame the players and college presidents?

What is wrong with college football? Often we blame the NCAA, but maybe we should blame the players and college presidents?

So, what is wrong with college football? The people involved with it. Players are acting like immature, entitled brats and the leadership acts like a caricature of Scrooge McDuck seeking only to add more currency to their golden vault.

It seems like a century ago that Tim Tebow was playing college football and giving fans a positive example. Today we are besieged with the new face of college footbal—Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Unlike Tebow, Manziel is not a role model.

Manziel behaved badly toward the Mannings during his visit to the Manning Passing Academy. He provided lame excuses during SEC Media Days. The best he could deliver was an assertion of his status as a child.

Maybe it is time for Manziel to grow up. It is not good for college football to see more reports of his immature behavior. According to one report, Manziel was kicked out of a frat party one day, and some time later “photographed with drug paraphernalia.”

Everyone is asking what this immaturity means for the NFL and the NFL Draft. Can Johnny Manziel handle the NFL? The kid can’t even handle college football. Could you imagine the PR nightmare if he were unleashed on a city with the potential mischief of a New York, Miami or LA (if the NFL ever returns to that market)?

Of course, Manziel is not the only player acting in an immature manner.

What is it with players flashing wads of cash? Even if there is nothing suspicious going on, it raises significant questions about the sanctity of college football and its commitment to amateurism. (Check out an Alabama signee flashing a wad of cash.)

While flashing cash does not rise to the level of past NCAA scandals, there are serious issues present in today’s college football. The game endured the most significant blow to its credibility during the Cam Newton scandal. Newton’s father, a preacher, admitted to shopping his son for cash to Mississippi State. Of course, everyone is supposed to believe he shopped his son to one school, but not the school where he eventually signed.

Nobody outside of Auburn believed that nonsense.

It gave the NCAA and the SEC a black eye.

Not content to let the SEC suffer reputation harm, other conferences, in their own greed, have injured their own reputations.

Look at the Pac-12’s reaction to Grand Canyon University’s move into the WAC and Division 1. Grand Canyon happens to be a for-profit school. According to a report from Inside Higher Ed, some analysts see the move as greedy in an era of the Pac-12’s $2.7 billion deal with ESPN and Fox.

“The gesture by the Pac-12 schools may be driven by snobbism at best and pecuniary self-interest at worst,” said Trace A. Urdan, a senior analyst with Wells Fargo, who typically has a favorable view of for-profits, told Inside Higher Ed.

It is a damning analysis, and unfortunately likely true given the billion-dollar nature of college sports.

Another important quote from the story exposes this fact. “College sports are clearly for profit,” said McCann, who is also a law professor. “The days of pure amateurism have been gone for years if not decades.” (Check out the entire story if you are interested in the business of college sports.)

The Pac-12 are prostitutes upset that someone has moved in on their street corner.

The arrogance of state universities in this case is driven by a desire to protect their financial turf against incursion. These state institutions did a poor job responding to the changing shape of education demand spurred by the Internet. This is what allowed the rise of so many online programs from for-profit institutions. Now, these same schools fear competition on the athletic field.

Do not be deceived. This has nothing to do with students and everything to do about dollars.

So, when college football seems messed up, you can find fault with the personalities involved in the entire business. The players who are immature and the executives who greedily exploit our passion.

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24 Responses to “Something is wrong with college football” Subscribe

  1. The Conduit July 29, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    The players are going to be paid. The NCAA won’t allow it, but the NCAA won’t govern college football for much longer anyway.

    Cam Newton would be ineligible for what Cam Newton did but only after he did it. That’s the nature of the new rule, and that, in a nutshell, defines the NCAA in the 21st century, regardless of how anyone feels about Newton himself.

    Manziel is a 20-year-old child, he’s right when he says that. He thinks he’s responsible enough to drink under-age, but then fails to meet his other responsibilities. So, responsible enough to drink, but not responsible enough to lead?
    Then he lies about why. There’s a difference between being honest and telling the truth. Is the problem that he wants the attention, or is the problem that the audience wants to give it to him? Would the media storm be so spectacular if they hadn’t gotten those last three points to beat LA Tech last year, or if TAMU had been successful over time in the last generation?

    And for every 30th time Manziel said he’s just a 20-year old kid at SEC Media Days (there’s a great video mash-up of all the times he said it from last week), AJ McCarron deliberately said he is not just any kid himself. He’s a leader, and he said he deliberately manages how he represents his family name, his school, and his team. He’s proud he’s never disgraced any of them and he should be.

    So should we.

    So AJ is a great guy, a respectable student athlete, and a tremendously successful talent. He’s arguably a better quarterback than Johnny Manziel including being number one in TD/INT ratios and passing efficiency among other categories in 2012, and he’s won three national titles including historic back-to-back titles as a starter.

    But no talks of AJ for Heisman (even now). No media army surrounding the champion, but instead the best loser. Why?

    Because people don’t want to hear the good. They want the crazy. They want the story. And the best student athletes aren’t going to give you any story other than winning Conference and National Championships, which isn’t enough in this facebook/twitter/instagram day and age.

    Football has become much more than just football. But Alabama hasn’t given the public much else to talk about in the twitter age…except some of the best performances in the sport’s history There’s some irony in the evidence that Manziel never would have played as a starter at a school like Alabama due to the off-field mistakes and arrests before his breakout season. I’m not sure if that’s such a good thing that the country almost never knew about Manziel, but for all that’s wrong in college football, there’s a lot to celebrate from programs that are doing it right.

    And make no mistake—-Alabama is doing it right more than anyone else seems to be able to, including off the field. That’s why we don’t just get guys like McCarron, but we also turn them into champions. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone lets themselves repeat them. “Never again.” Roll Tide.

  2. john July 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Ha! If you think Bama’s doing it right “off the field”, you’ve got a pretty short memory. Players selling cocaine, mugging people, stealing credit cards, beating up girlfriends, etc. Not to mention fans destroying iconic landmarks of their opponents and tea-bagging passed out opposing fans.

    Yes, Bama, in your infinite glory, please show us the way.

    • # 1 al. fan July 30, 2013 at 7:00 am #

      Aww heck John!!! Now I have to believe that your athletics and your glorious stockyard school in Lee County are officially ‘tossing the first stone at our school and program! Tell me it isn’t so….. RTR

    • The Conduit July 30, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      @John——Players selling cocaine? I missed that one I think.

      Players mugging people and stealing their credit cards were players who never played a down. They were kicked out. What more do you expect from the program? I say it was a one-off outrageously stupid mistake from young recruits while prejudiced fans suggest it’s a crimson epidemic.

      But you proved my point by focusing on the lone criminal fans (both of them?) instead of any of the good that comes from the program, the players and the fans of the University of Alabama.

      I say if you don’t think Alabama is doing it right off the field you have a selective memory clouded by hate, but you say I’ve got a short memory instead. I don’t think it’s a coincidence Alabama has some of the smartest players in the classroom nationwide and they’re also winning championships at an unprecedented rate. If you can’t be proud of things like that from any program, well, no wonder you hate programs like Alabama.

  3. Crimsonite July 30, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    Nice shot John. You retarded dumbass. That little list in which you double dipped a couple of times is all you’ve got. Now how about starting the novel that your favorite school has compiled. Stupid homer. RTR!

  4. John July 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Short memory, indeed. Jimmy Johns was dealing cocaine in the AD parking lot in 2008.

    So I double dipped? I guess beating someone to the point of disfiguration and THEN robbing them is standard where you come from, so no point in mentioning it twice.

    Here’s some more hits from the hit parade (all available on al.com/ESPN.com, btw)

    Calloway arrested for marijuana possession

    Derrick Crudup, Jr., coaches’ assistant arrested for marijuana possession.

    ESPN reports of 20 players using a banned HGH related substance

    Jeremy Elder robbing students at gunpoint

    Upshaw beating up his girlfriend

    Deadrick/Upchurch arrested (including resisting arrest/false name),

    Then, of course, is Alabama’s infamous “felony four”, which were only “indefinitely suspended” instead of being summarily booted, by the way.

    I think it’s safe to say that Bama is nothing special “off the field”.

    And to further my point, you are a hypocrite if you presume Cam/AU guilty in spite of the results of the most extensive body-cavity search the NCAA has ever performed (and then doing the unheard of–publicly closing the book on the case, presumably to get Bama fans to stop harassing them with “information”), THEN turning around and saying “Bama is on the up and up” despite multiple reports implying otherwise, like….

    Players selling signatures
    Players handing with disassociated boosters
    Grade changes
    Players partying with NFL agents
    Blue chips flipping late to the Tide
    Documented reports of free laptops/fishing trips/etc.
    Players sporting fancy rides/promoting Hot Wheelz rims
    Players sporting new suits for every game
    Players flashing wads of cash

    Keep in mind, I haven’t once suggested that Bama is guilty of anything, just that you can’t have it both ways, unless you choose to ignore reality, which I realize happens sometimes when you belong to a cult.

    • The Conduit July 31, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Hypocrite?

      I never said what Cam did was against the rules, did I?

      Sure, he did something bad enough at Florida to be asked to leave when guys with records like Aaron Hernandez stayed on, but maybe that’s incidental.

      So let me state it for your sake very clearly——the NCAA said Cam Newton didn’t do anything against the rules. Satisfied?

      Sure, if he did it now he would be ineligible because it would be against the rules, but when he did it it wasn’t against the rules. Nobody else can ever do it again without being punished, but you can’t punish him after the fact, right? Right. The rule didn’t even exist until the month after Cam left Auburn. Had he stayed at Auburn he would have been ineligible, but instead he was picked by the Charlotte North Carolina Panthers to help them miss out on the playoffs the next two seasons.

      Nothing was found or even alleged by the NCAA with the suits—–I still don’t understand the fuss? I simply don’t get it. I mean, Alabama players still wear suits to games. They’ve been doing it for years and the cease-and-desist of a tailor didn’t stop it. It would be one of the easiest things to prove, along with expensive cars/fishing trips/laptops.

      Not only that, but Alabama isn’t the only school where players wear suits to games, so where’s the scandal? Sure, I can understand either side of Cam Newton’s story, but the fact is that only seems to have happened to Cam Newton, while plenty of players wear suits, but for Alabama it’s an ineligible benefit or something? I don’t understand. I think it reinforces my point about prejudice succepability, but that’s another upcoming article.

      Documented free laptops? I have no idea what’s going on. Not the one that said “CAM” on the front though, right? You hate Alabama so much but you allegedly have enough evidence to shut down the program for the next 3-5 years. I say go for it. If they’re really that dirty, someone should.

      Maybe you can’t have it both ways; the good and the bad. But you’re deliberately incapable of seeing the good in Alabama explicitly because of your bias. And that’s precisely the point. All college football programs serve some good, and some much more than others. Some, meanwhile, become champions.

      Fulmer Cup? Good grief.

      You keep saying you never said Bama is guilty, yet you judge them to be guilty anyway and it clouds your ability to ignore your prejudice. It’s a perfect example for my next article. At least I don’t insult you outright while proclaiming to be the better man. Thanks anyway, though.

      I’m sorry for your loss(es). Roll Tide.

      • John July 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

        I didn’t call you a hypocrite. I said “you are a hypocrite IF” etc, etc, etc. So do you believe that AU paid Cam? If you wrote that article, you stated “nobody outside of Auburn believed that nonsense”. So, if that’s the case, you ARE a hypocrite.

        All the reports of “smoke” around the Bama program is out there on the web. I’m not going to waste my time providing the links because it would be like giving a book on evolution to a Baptist (and yes, there’s more than one analogy there), and I have to get back to work.

        Grow up, people. Get an identity. Get a life. There is more to it than football. Two of my best friends are Bama grads. One I’ve known for 41 of my 46 years. The other was a captain for one of the Bear’s NC teams. Both give me “War Eagle” and I give them “Roll Tide”, as it should be.

        My public service here is done. Take care and good luck to you all.

        • The Conduit July 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

          No, I don’t believe AU paid Cam newton.

          I believe a booster paid his dad. It’s different.

          The point of the article is that instead of the good, the media and the fans focus their energy on the bad, the crazy, and the scandalous.

          They focus on Johnny Manziel instead of a history-breaking good-guy quarterback.

          They focus on Cam Newton instead of tornado relief and returning NFL players or GPA’s and academic awards.

          You do the same thing.

          We all have friends. I have friends who love Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Stanford, Notre Dame, Auburn, LSU, Penn State, tOSU, TAMU, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Clemson, Ferrari, Manchester United, McLaren, West Ham, and the Clippers. But in response to my comments on an article chastising the disparity in college football and sports media, you don’t offer the same respect you say your Alabama friends offer you.

          You hate Alabama. I get it. You’re not alone. But it proves the point if you can’t see any of the good the media and the rival fans don’t care to see and deliberately ignore.

          Me? I live for it. It’s what makes college football unique from pro football. The stories of heroes, the struggles in academia, the growth of young men into warriors, they absolutely don’t just happen at Alabama, and the only time we really seem to hear them are early in the mornings in the fall, hours before kickoff. But I love them. And Alabama is filled with them.

          We’re keeping our championships. Why? Because we earned them the right way, both on and off the field.

          If you can’t see the good in just this past year’s championship-winning team alone, it’s simply because you won’t let yourself see it. That, good sir, is what’s wrong with college football.

          • John July 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

            You’re certainly doing you’re best to frame this argument in the way it best suits you. Saying that AU didn’t pay Cam but AU boosters did, is just like saying Bama didn’t pay Albert Means. The high ground you’re trying to claim is pretty shaky.

            Yes, there is a lot of good at Bama. But to turn a blind to the bad is simply disingenuous. (As is proclaiming “keeping the championships”, which is clearly a mythical number b/c the process is more akin to a beauty contest–and for the record, I wish AU counted them they way Bama does, I just wouldn’t fool myself into thinking it was something other than marketing–which is why that UA AD jumped the UA total NC’s from 6-12 (or whatever it was) back in the 80′s)

            And I do offer the same respect to my Bama friends, at least the ones who aren’t displaying cult-like behaviors (in which case, they aren’t my friends anyway).

            Perhaps I started this dialogue under the wrong article, because I really didn’t have much of a problem with its thrust. It was the sanctimonious self-righteous tone that bugged me.

  5. John July 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Oh, and please feel free to mention the numerous examples of other school’s “fans” akin to Browning and Updike. I know there are crazies everywhere, they just don’t get caught, I guess.

  6. pete4tide July 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    John and/or john: I REALLY enjoy hearing goober booger fans like yourself try so hard to make Updyke into the representative Alabama fan, try to make dismissed players into “suspended” players, and go on and on and on and on about the signatures and suits, but – Lawdy, no! – Cam didn’t do anything at all – see, the NCAA said he didn’t, then made a Brand New Rule that says what he did isn’t legal now. Technicalities are essential, aren’t they?
    Really, dude – just put down the laptop and walk away. If that’s all you’ve got, just quit now. Just like most of the boogs are done with the Cam stories (and so am I, BTW), we are all tired of the Chargers and suits and other crap you guys keep throwing against the wall hoping that something – ANYTHING – will stick enough to get the NCAA’s attention. Focus on your own program and quit trying to make yourself feel good talking about Bama. It’s just not going to happen, and you’ll just feel worse when it’s over.

  7. Yellowhammer July 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    John, didnt they teach you in debate to never throw stones from a glass house. Maybe that wasnt part of your cirrculum. No wait!!! I totally understand now. It was part of your education wasnt it? In fact it was a significant part of your sociology degree from Auburn right? That explains EVERYTHING. Pardon me, I didnt mean to interupt, continue to explain to us Bammers how only Bama football players are arrested, you clearly are a master(ahem) debater.

  8. John July 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Clearly some of you not only have poor debating skills, but your reading comprehension needs work, too.

    I never said Updike or Browning were “typical” Bama fans. The observation, like noting all the arrests, was countering the “off the field” Bama is doing it right, or “better than most” or whatever nonsense it was. (Guess who’s leading for the 2013 Fulmer Cup, by the way?) It’s ridiculous.

    The other point I made was regarding the hypocrisy of assuming AU did anything wrong in the Camtroversy, while at the same time, ignoring the litany of red flags surrounding Bama in recent years (some of which, yes, the NCAA looked into, as well).

    Some other things some of you missed.

    I never said AU or Bama were guilty or not guilty.

    I never said that Bama players were the only one’s getting arrested.

    If some of you guys really have attended/are attending Bama, then the entrance requirements have clearly been lowered in recent years, because none of my Bama grad friends would have trouble understanding this.

    • The Conduit July 31, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      I say players who never played a single down for Alabama don’t represent Alabama and won’t represent Alabama’s history over time.

      You say they define Alabama’s identity.

      Fulmer Cup. Wow.

      Let me put it this way———I love college football, and if another program was winning football games and championships the way Alabama is with a coaches like Nick Saban and Kirby Smart and Scott Cochran and with a quarterback as poised and professional as AJ McCarron and a class GPA that rivals Stanford and Vanderbilt, I’d salute them. My bias doesn’t cloud my judgment so severely that I can’t see any good from a team like Alabama.

      • John July 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

        Clearly members of a cult will drink whatever they’re told to.

        It doesn’t matter whether they played a down or not. You bring them in, they are a part of your program. These guys are all getting busted on campus.

        Sure, they screw up bad enough, they’ll get booted. Every head coach does that (except Mark Richt, of course).

        Besides, some of those guys, like Upshaw, never missed a down.

        We weren’t discussing academics, but since you needed more room to prove your argument, Bama, just like every other school, has it’s “gimme” degree for many of the football players. I think’s it’s criminology (seriously). I looked at the media guide and there is absolutely no mention of players’ majors anymore.

        And save your breath, I know Bama has had some outstanding student-athletes like Jones and McElroy, but you’re kidding yourself if you actually think Bama, like any other SEC school (except perhaps Vandy) is having to work like hell just to get these guys to stay qualified.

        Bama has a high graduation rate, but I haven’t seen anything on cumulative GPA’s. I did a little searching, but found nothing. Again, probably no different than any other SEC school.

        And it’s your judgement that is tainted by crimson-colored glasses. I still haven’t said anything negative at all, just stating the facts and pointing out the hypocrisy.

        • The Conduit July 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

          You haven’t seen Alabama cumulitive GPA’s, you say?

          But if you did, and they were good, you’d just dismiss them the same way you’re dismissing everything else good anyone ever has to say about, well, just Alabama, right? Just the champions.

          And yes, you have said insulting things directed at me and others on this topic. I’m confused why you wouldn’t think so, and I’m honestly not sure if you’re being serious about that statement, but never mind that it’s also still completely off-topic from the article at this point.

          Crimson-colored glasses? I love the Tide. My glasses love college football. And Alabama represents the best in college football. I don’t love Alabama alone, but it doesn’t matter, you can’t see anything at Alabama beyond your hatred. It completely clouds your judgement for anything related to the reigning champs, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

          You know, for all the evidence against Cam Newton, at least me and a lot of other college football fans tried to comprehend what it actually meant without assuming his previous record and the circumstances were anything other than completely inconsequential. You take any situation at the Capstone and do the opposite with it in your comments. It’s a brilliant example I only wish I could use quotes for in my upcoming article.

          But don’t take my word for it about Alabama. Ask the press. Ask doctors. Find the GPA’s. Then think about what you find before you dispute them all here. Roll Tide.

          • John July 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

            I never called you a name or otherwise insulted you (or anyone on this board, despite being me being called “retarded dumbass”, “goober booger fan”, had the quality of my degree slandered). Am I wrong? Please cite the examples (OK, I did demean a Bama education, but it was tongue-in-cheek as I’m pretty sure some of these posters aren’t attending Bama).

            If you feel I did, it’s because you can’t help but jump to conclusions, which is the wrong thing to do whether you’re trying to judge a person’s innocence/guilt, a football program’s integrity, interpret comments on a message board or virtually any other instance you can think of.

            I never said I hate the Tide and I don’t. To the contrary, I have many friends and business associates that are Bama fans. The ones I prefer to share a bottle of wine with are the Bama grads, almost to a person (of course, there are exceptions). What I like about hanging with my Bama grad friends is that they don’t talk about Bama as if Jesus himself rings the Denny chimes. They have a wider perspective on the world, as well as more insight as to how thier football program is run (as my AU friends do, too).

            Humility and honesty serve us all well.

          • The Conduit July 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

            I agree, humility and honesty serve us all well.

            I’m orry you can’t find anything good with football programs such as Alabama. It’s fun to enjoy, and I wish more people could do the same.

            But some can’t.

  9. Yellowhammer July 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Comprehension needs work? You mean understanding what “more” means? Perhaps Conduit was speaking of the countless hours of service donated after the tornado? Maybe he was speaking of the teams support of Nicks Kids. He may have even been referencing the United Way’s volunteer league. His primary point (you probably remember those from advanced logic) was nobody is doing it better INCLUDING off of the field. There is no argument who is the best on the field and he was simply pointing out that noone is doing it any better off of the field either. Comprehension, yes indeed, and to think Auburn was put on SACS probation. I cant imagine!

  10. Jakeleg Jake July 31, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Kids are the product of lack of socialization skills and the culture they live in…creatures like izzy gould contribute to that. if isadore carl gould were a doctor or lawyer he would have long been brought up on charges and had his license revoked…as it is he is a gutter sports hack whose libel is protected by the First Amendment.

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  12. Kjd August 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    You guys are all idiots,, grown men cheering for kids like idiots, sound like a bunch of queens

    Forget college sports

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