I said to myself I’m not gonna bother with this anymore. It doesn’t affect me. I can’t do a thing about it anyway. I can’t control what happens, only how I react to it. Etc., etc.
And then I made the mistake of reading this…
“One of the things I think we’re all resigned to is that regionalism is pretty much over.” – University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst, commenting on the state of college sports
YA THINK, Susie?
The all-out money grab politically and politely known as “conference realignment” has been going on for months. Eventually, things will settle down once those universities with major football programs decide where they can get the very best deal (at this moment)…then the lesser programs they count on to stay in existence so they can finish at .500 and achieve the honorable reward of playing in one of almost forty bowl games at season’s end will be able to figure out which corner to go stand in.
“The world is flat. I think we’ve all come to see that college athletics is like telecommunications or political organizing or any of the kind of dynamic institutions that used to be very regional. It’s a national activity.”
Susan, you’re partially correct there. You described college FOOTBALL perfectly. Universities have found the easiest way to offset reduced assistance from struggling governments and alumni donations is to treat college football as a pure business proposition and pimp it out to raise fast cash.
What makes “Last Conference Standing” the most humorous comedy you’ll find this Fall is leaders of “higher learning” institutions continue to say they are looking out for the best interest of their schools. Really? Aligning ALL your sports programs with schools spread throughout the nation serves the interest of low or non-revenue sports which universities should be offering to students as part of a complete, well-rounded athletic experience? Colleges have been whacking off men’s and women’s sports alike for years now. Do you think repositioning football programs from one side of the country to the other will do anything other than accelerate the demise of those sports?
These same leaders will soon be saying they can no longer afford to subsidize new “rivalries” between schools thousands of miles apart in soccer…field hockey…baseball.
The funniest thing of all is once these colleges believe they have the very best deal and the most logical dance partners the straw that stirs the drink – television – will reappear and reshuffle relationships all over again. Ultimately, television will determine who plays with who, when they play, etc.
All of this we’re seeing now is for amusement only. The hard-core, big-boy biz is yet to come. This is only Level One.
Problem is students – true students – who play low or non-revenue sports aren’t laughing.
They know their days as college athletes are winding down.