Corruption and a growing concern for head injury have put college football in the spotlight. Are football programs’ millions in profits exploitation? Or are they still a celebration of amateur sport? Does football’s inherent danger and violence have any place in institutions of higher learning? Or does it provide young men with educational opportunities they would not otherwise have?
H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger is among the nation's most honored and distinguished writers. A native of New York City, Bissinger is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston Award, the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award and the National Headliners Award, among others. He also was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He is the author of four highly acclaimed nonfiction books: Friday Night Lights, A Prayer for the City, Three Nights in August and Shooting Stars written with LeBron James. His fifth book and first memoir, Father's Day: A journey Into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son, will be published on May 15th by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Currently a sports columnist for The Daily Beast and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, Buzz has reported for some of the nation's most prestigious newspapers and magazines including The New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News Nightline. He has served as ABC White House Correspondent, along with postings in Moscow, London, Jerusalem and Amman.
Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. He is the author of the Times best-sellers "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference," "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," "Outliers: The Story of Success," and "What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures."
Former Atlanta Falcons star defensive end Tim Green has been hailed as the "Renaissance Man" of sports. Recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Green is a New York Times bestselling author, coach and lawyer, specializing in energy law. He played eight seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and has served as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports and a commentator for NPR and Good Morning America. Green has written 26 books, including a series of sports-based novels for young readers. While at Syracuse University, he was an NCAA Top Six Scholar, a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and was a two-time All-American and National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award winner.
Jason Whitlock is a national columnist for FOXSports.com and an all-sports insider and contributor to FOX Sports Radio. Whitlock was an All-State offensive lineman in high school in Indianapolis and played college football at Ball State University, lettering as an offensive tackle in both 1987 and 1988. He graduated from Ball State in 1990 with a journalism degree. Whitlock's journalism career has had several stops, including the Bloomington Herald Times, The Charlotte Observer, Vibe Magazine, Playboy Magazine, and the Kansas City Star. In 2008, Whitlock was awarded the National Journalism Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the first sports writer to win the award.
Buzz Bissinger offers his opening remarks to the debate whether college football should be banned. Bissinger argues that college football is a distraction to universities, and is corrupting the institutions.
Buzz Bissinger offer his closing remarks to the debate whether college football should be banned. Bissinger argues that universities require a radical change to change their priorities back to education student athletes.
Let's start here: How about an official NCAA policy that no college coach should be paid more than the average full professor, with the same tenure policies This would just be a way of expressing the values of our schools, that academics is not subordinate to athletics. Some people argue that scholarship athletes should be paid salaries. I don't think they should be given athletic scholarships. Scholarships should be based on academics. High school football may be considered in admissions, just as playing in the band or any other activity, but the scholarship should not even require that the student try out for football. Football should be played for the love of the game. Without all the pressure, would brain injuries decrease? I don't know, but I think the country would be better if schools cared more about academics than sports.
@ 1:29:00 "Why can't Florida spend their money on one thing instead of another?"
Answer: Because Florida is a public-grant university whose explicit, stated "Institutional Purpose" is:
"Teaching-undergraduate and graduate through the doctorate-is the fundamental purpose of the university. Research and scholarship are integral to the education process and to expanding humankind's understanding of the natural world, the mind and the senses. Service is the university's obligation to share the benefits of its knowledge for the public good."
It's Mission Statement goes on to say:
"The university maintains its dedication to excellent teaching and researching by creating a strong and flexible foundation for higher education in the 21st century."
and "In affirming the university's academic mission, we honor the human component of our mission: our students, faculty, staff and administrators; and recognize the importance of these human resources to the university's success."
and "These three interlocking elements span all of the university's academic disciplines and represent the university's commitment to lead and serve the State of Florida, the nation, and the world by pursuing and disseminating new knowledge while building upon the experiences of the past."
The thing goes on for 4 or 5 pages and NEVER once mentions sports or football--all while REPEATEDLY hammering home the importance of academics, research, and teaching.
And THAT is why they are in the wrong to cut the Computer Science program and divert the money to football. Because they are a publicly supported university with a CLEARLY stated fundamental mission of education and new research.
I know football through my own choice not to be involved in High School as well as with a step-son 'Sean', who with his interest in physical activity and expression, joined football in high school as well as for a city team. I know that even in high school and city-sports, there are money-feeds coming from college, university, professional sports and ultimately from corporate donors. In high-school and city levels the practices, games and demands are quite high, even higher in College and more-so in University. Sean began with a lot of weight training, with a goal of putting on more muscle-weight so as to be able to through this around. Weight training involved as well specialized nutrient and diets. Essentially Sean, in order to be part of a sport, greatly changed his light flexible body into a heavy tool for social and educational acceptance. Eventually on many occasions, Seans shoulders have dislocated repeatedly.
On three occasions Sean has had three medical surgical operations to his shoulders in order to tighten up tendons. Sean partially has been induced into the football 'educational' route with the hope of becoming a professional players but also along the way partially because the teams at each level provide course tutors, 'one-on-one' helping students like Sean to pass and eventually gain degrees. Football money is quite an inducement right from a young age. No one tells these youth about head-injury statistics across various sports and activities. There is a deep relationship between the brain-injured corporate adult male with money in his pockets and inducements to injure youth. Adults are trying to relive their pain and injuries through youth. Adults with such inner toil keep on repeating their pain and injury vicariously through others in order to come to terms with it.
I had the experience in my 1960's High School days of having a wrestling coach who in the process of researching his PhD, had our team engage in team dialogues for 50% of our training time. Half the time we wrestled, trained and practiced and the other half, we talked with each other about our physical experience, body physics and moves. A lot of our discussion was spontaneously about safety in the moves we were doing as well as hazards of the game. Our coach didn't feed any of our subject material to us. Half of our team went on to win provincial and Canadian national championships.
Stimulating our minds through reflection on our physical experience is key to physical performance. Dialogue sincerely coming from the participants themselves can help transform these games back into the original safe sports from which they arise in children interaction without professional adult intervention as well as into new physically active forms. It is not a matter of physical activity or not, but more about joining the body with the mind to create sensitive articulate sustainable sports arising from our human culture. Sports and physical activity have a huge role in whole body learning. https://sites.google.com/site/indige...es-now-article