Buzz Bissinger, author of “Friday Night Lights,” will participate in a debate tonight at New York University on the issue of banning college football. Bissinger and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell will argue for banning college football, while former NFL player Tim Green and Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com will argue against the ban.
Tien Mao of Gothamist.com, spoke with Bissinger about his stance (you can read the entire interview here).
Bissinger starts his argument by saying the concept of the student-athlete is a joke, asking “what exactly does football have to do with academics?“
Does this mean Bissinger wants music and theatre departments banned also? Or is football just not artsy enough to be a college activity?
And what about the kids that do get college educations that would have never gone to college if not for college football? Bissinger calls these “isolated examples,” which is just an insult to the thousands of kids that bust their butts on and off the field every year, and do get educated.
However, the biggest flaw in Bissinger’s argument is his claim that “most of the BCS schools lose money!” on their football programs.
This is just blatantly not true.
If we look at the top 100 most profitable division I football and basketball programs (51-100 can be found here), 60 are football programs.
The list also shows that 56 of the 67 BCS football programs, made a minimum of $2.6 million in profit in 2010-11. And over half of the BCS schools made a profit of at least $10 million.
Hell, the Army football program, a non-BCS school, made a $3.2 million profit.
Does this mean that the schools are exploiting the players? Probably. But the players have an opportunity to also exploit the school and get an education if they so choose.
And we would rather see 1,000 kids go through the system without the desire to be educated, than to deny one kid an opportunity he otherwise wouldn’t receive. And Buzz should know that.
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