The United States is filled with idiots. Mostly these are idiots who cannot grasp simple economics; simple lessons like killing the goose that laid the golden egg results in no more golden eggs. Or put a different way, it isn’t a good idea to harm the profitable profit centers.
Unless you are some idiot mother wanting her kid to get to play soccer.
According to the AP this really happened. “One woman in the audience asked how to control football to offer more opportunities to the other students. She said she has a 19-year-old son who couldn’t attend the college he preferred because the school doesn’t have men’s soccer and a 15-year-old daughter who also plays soccer and runs track. She suggested a cut to 50 scholarships for football. (Read the AP story in its entirety here.)
Just so you didn’t miss it. This is the key thing. She suggested a cut to 50 scholarships for football.
Football pays the bills. Doubt that? From the same AP story, here is a quote from Vanderbilt.
“One needs to understand that college athletics in Division I in this country is big business, and we sit in a conference that signed the biggest TV (deal). And they didn’t give us that money for anything but two sports: Football and men’s basketball,” Vanderbilt vice chancellor David Williams said Tuesday night in a story reported by the AP. (Read the AP story in its entirety here.)
SEC athletic department budgets approach $100 million (and in some cases surpass it). Why? Because fans love SEC football. For the most part, they don’t give a damn about other sports. Many fans are sidewalk fans—persons who support the team, but have never actually attended school there. The attachment then is one of interest in football.
Kill football, and you kill the interest. Kill the interest and you kill ratings on CBS and ESPN. And don’t forget you kill merchandise sales. All those millions spent on Alabama Crimson Tide BCS National Championship shirts and merchandise would be spent on something else. Perhaps New Orleans Saints gear? Or Atlanta Falcons attire?
Killing football would significantly harm academic donations to public universities like the University of Alabama. Should it be this way? I don’t know. I don’t care. The real world is that football encourages a continued relationship with the community of scholars; this often results in more donations to the school for academic purposes.
This woman’s thinking is everything wrong with America today. You see this thinking in business. Penalize the successful and help the irrelevant. Just look at Microsoft for an example. Microsoft dominated operating systems, so minor rivals made antitrust complaints; flip the circumstances and Microsoft makes antitrust complaints about Google’s search engine.
Or why not turn to the wisdom of the Simpsons? In one memorable exchange between Lisa, Marge and President Bill Clinton this unfolded:
Bill Clinton: Thank you, Lisa. For teaching kids everywhere a valuable lesson: If things don’t go your way, just keep complaining until your dreams come true.
Marge: That’s a pretty lousy lesson.
Bill Clinton: Hey, I’m a pretty lousy president.
America has become a pretty lousy country; it is filled with whiners. Whiners like the woman who wants to cut football scholarships to make more room for minor sports that have no marketability. It is bad for business. It is bad for sports.