College Basketball Scholar-Athletes-A Joke! 3-7-03

Letter to the Editor:

March 7, 2003


College Basketball Scholar-Athletes a Joke!


Recently St. Bonaventure University, a small school located near Buffalo, with a big New York metropolitan area following, became the latest victim of its own foolish greed and exploitation. Big-time college sports, especially football and basketball have become a standing joke when it comes to academic standards. A college education financed by athletic scholarship used to be the vehicle that enabled many disadvantaged youth to attain an education and eventually a way to make a living as an athlete or a productive citizen. The system now is a complete fraudulent charade. The conspiracy to recruit obviously academically ineligible players is rife. It extends to the presidents of colleges and universities, the teachers that look the other way, and the athletic directors, and the over-paid coaches who live off its revenues. It is big business and it has absolutely nothing to do with either education or the advancement of well meaning, well deserving economically challenged student athletes. Many of these athletes would abandon college in a heartbeat if the right offer were made from the professional ranks. I believe that this bankrupt and corrupt system can be changed, by following the Ivy League and Division III standards. Sports should be for students and scholarship should be need-based. If talented high school players want to make a career in sports let minor leagues be created for their services. We continue to debase education in our society. One way to force reform on these institutions is to remove their status as non-profit, tax-free entities. Let them cry, but eventually the playing field will be leveled and the alumni and fans will support legitimate teams composed of legitimate students, not “ringers” that were hired to make a fast buck!


Richard J. Garfunkel

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