Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

PSU and College Athletics - Can We Come Back Alive?

All of a sudden, strippers and coke provided by a booster to a college recruit looks like a Pixar film.

Time and a jury will decide if Sandusky, Curley and Schultz are guilty; as well as what shape and form the PSU athletic program will take. There are a lot of questions and calls to not jump to conclusions. Well, there is one question that has already been answered – Division 1 college athletics are not to be trifled with.

PSU was covering their ass at the expense of a child. That is why no one talked to the authorities.

One would like to believe that this is an anomaly; some hideous conflagration of tragic events. It was not. It is systemic of a culture in collegiate sports that puts the program in front of honor and integrity, let alone common decency and humanity. The question that should keep us up at night is not “what happened at PSU?” but, “what else is being hidden in college rec centers and behind weight room doors?”

Is this the trade off we are going to make? What are we willing to sacrifice to see our team hoist the NCAA Tournament trophy or win the BCS?

At a time when kids go to school about twenty-five weeks a year but can play any individual sport fifty-two weeks a year it is appropriate to ask ourselves where we place our priorities. Sports used to be “in addition to…” now they are, “instead of.” You hear a lot of talk these days that there are too many trophies handed out in youth sports, a point I often agreed with. Days like this make me wonder. We turn our back continually on the seedy underworld of college sports. We laugh about cars from agents, cash from boosters and jerseys for free tattoos. That shit is no longer funny.

I read a story once about a mountain climber. He said that there are three things he lives by on every expedition; “Come back alive, come back as friends and complete our objective. In that order.” Right now, I just hope we come back alive.

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