As SBPDL celebrates the 2009 College Football season's imminent arrival, we must pause to remember why we are doing this.
College football - and the National Football League - hold adult men in perpetual captivity during fall weekends and this vice leaves them incapable of performing any other activity during this time period.
Grown men head back to their alma maters to watch 18-22-year-olds play football on Saturday's and then on Sunday, they watch individuals who have the innate capacity to fail the Wonderlic Test in glorious fashion play an occasional football in between commercials.
College football is big business, as one conference (The SEC) has just signed a television contract worth $205 million through 2025. College football is a massive business that allows many schools to survive and flourish, and causes other conferences to fold up if they can't negotiate to keep their product on television.
Were it not for college football, Black people - especially males - would not be attending historically white colleges:
Black athletes, especially college football players at the 120 FBS schools, are some of the most notable people on their campus, so only if coaches could find a way to get more Black people on their teams, then perhaps Black people wouldn't feel marginalized.
"Data show that Black male students often feel isolated, marginalized and invisible on predominantly White campuses. Dr. Mac Stewart, the chief diversity officer and vice provost for minority affairs at OSU, says that was the reality officials at the university discovered with the Black men on campus. “We had to do something to address this issue,” he says. “We first started with a focus group of Black male students. They made some suggestions.”
Looking at The University of Georgia is an interesting case study in examining the reality of Black people's inability to get into schools, unless they possess the all important life skill of running with the football:
"Since the late 1990s, Black student enrollment at the University of Georgia, the state’s flagship university, has hovered between 5 percent and 6 percent, despite promises by the university’s administration to improve the school’s pursuit of Black students. In 1998, Blacks constituted 6.2 percent of the university’s enrollment. After significant dips in 2001 and 2003, the university rebounded, increasing its Black enrollment to nearly 6.8 percent in 2007. But the number of Black men remained disproportionately low.If, in 2008 only 104 Black people enrolled at UGA, that means that nearly 25 percent of that class were from the football team, as the 2008 recruiting class for the Bulldog football team (not including walk-ons) were largely Black people.
"The numbers took a dramatic turn in 2008, however. In the fall of that year, 104 Black males enrolled at the university, an 18 percent jump from fall 2007."
While in school, these Black people help their nearly all-white institutions of higher learning defeat other Black people attending all-white institutions of higher learning.
But what doesn't happen, unlike the few white people who play football for these cash making cows, is that the Black athlete-students do not graduate, whereas the white student-athletes graduate:
More to the point, is this story, which also discuss the lack of Black head coaches, as it points out the graduation rates of Black people at major college football schools:
"Georgia Tech’s football players had the nation’s best average SAT score, 1028 of a possible 1600, and best average high school GPA, 3.39 of a possible 4.0 in the core curriculum. But Tech’s football players still scored 315 SAT points lower on average than their classmates.
At the University of Georgia, the average football SAT was 949, which is 239 points behind the average for an undergraduate student at Georgia — and 79 points behind Tech’s football average. The Bulldogs’ average high school GPA was 2.77, or 45th out of 53 teams for which football GPAs were available. Their SAT average ranked them 22nd."
So, were it not for college football, Black people would barely be attending historically white colleges at all (here is a list of the top 25 football programs in 2004 and also the Black ratio of athletes to general students. Note the graduation rates for some of the schools white players... they look a little off):
"...report released Monday by The Institute for Diversity & Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. It shows that the gap between the graduation success rates for white and African-American football student-athletes has increased from 14 percent in the 2007 report to 17 percent in the new study, although the grad rates for African-American football student-athletes has increased. While the 2008 numbers show that 76 percent of white football student-athletes graduated, only 59 percent of African-American football student-athletes graduated. The Institute arrived at its findings by reviewing data collected by the NCAA from member schools over a six-year period, using the freshman classes that entered college from 1998 through 2001."
Top 25 Black Football White Football
Players Graduation % Players Graduation %
1 UNIV. OF S. CAL. 61% 60%
2 LOUISIANA STATE U. 34% 56%
3 UNIV. OF OKLA. 28% 41%
4 UNIV. OF MICHIGAN 36% 58%
5 UTEXAS-AUSTIN 33% 45%
6 UTENN-KNOXVILLE 26% 78%
7 OHIO STATE UNIV. 28% 58%
8 KANSAS STATE UNIV. 52% 64%
9 FLORIDA STATE UNIV. 43% 65%
10 UNIV. OF MIAMI 47% 57%
11 UNIV. OF GEORGIA 51% 86%
12 PURDUE UNIV. 53% 63%
13 UNIV. OF IOWA 45% 62%
14 MIAMI UNIV. (OHIO) 25% 70%
15 WASH. STATE UNIV. 47% 71%
16 UNIV. OF MISS. 52% 53%
17 UNIV. OF FLA. 44% 38%
18 BOISE STATE UNIV. 57% 47%
19 TEXAS CHRISTIAN U. 50% 61%
20 W.VIRGINIA UNIV. 36% 58%
21 OKLAHOMA STATE 32% 52%
22 UNEB.-LINCOLN 41% 69%
23 UMD-COLLEGE PARK 38% 71%
24 UMINN-TWIN CITIES 31% 58%
25 UNIV. OF UTAH 42% ***
Fall 2002-03 FT Enrollment
Top 25 Black Black Student
Student % Athletes %
1 UNIV. OF S. CAL. 6.5% 34.0%
2 LOUISIANA STATE U. 9.3% 33.2%
3 UNIV. OF OKLA. 6.3% 27.2%
4 UNIV. OF MICHIGAN 8.1% 16.8%
5 UTEXAS-AUSTIN 3.6% 24.9%
6 UTENN-KNOXVILLE 7.1% 28.7%
7 OHIO STATE UNIV. 8.1% 16.3%
8 KANSAS STATE UNIV. 2.6% 21.8%
9 FLORIDA STATE UNIV. 12.2% 34.5%
10 UNIV. OF MIAMI 9.3% 36.2%
11 UNIV. OF GEORGIA 5.1% 31.4%
12 PURDUE UNIV. 3.2% 18.8%
13 UNIV. OF IOWA 2.3% 13.7%
14 MIAMI UNIV. (OHIO) 3.6% 15.0%
15 WASH. STATE UNIV. 3.1% 22.1%
16 UNIV. OF MISS. 13.0% 40.6%
17 UNIV. OF FLA. 8.6% 30.0%
18 BOISE STATE UNIV. 1.2% 14.2%
19 TEXAS CHRISTIAN U. 4.8% 33.0%
20 W.VIRGINIA UNIV. 4.3% 25.1%
21 OKLAHOMA STATE 3.3% 20.1%
22 UNEB.-LINCOLN 2.0% 13.9%
23 UMD-COLLEGE PARK 12.1% 19.6%
24 UMINN-TWIN CITIES 4.0% 15.6%
25 UNIV. OF UTAH 0.8% 9.1%
One Black writer wrote an interesting article where he pointed out this:
Stuff Black People Don't Like includes their athlete-students graduating from college, for, when you look at the data, the main reason Black males are even in college is for the enjoyment of the white alumni. Were it not college football, Black males wouldn't be major colleges anywhere. As it is, Black males are still barely in colleges anywhere.
"On Saturday, Kansas coach Bill Self answered questions about junior Tyrone Appleton returning to Gary, Ind., for the funeral of a friend who was murdered. Appleton missed Saturday’s practice but will be back for today’s game against Dayton. Rick Telander, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, asked Self if as a society we’ve come to expect young athletes to deal with the murder of friends and family members.
“It happens far too often,” Self said. “Of course once is way too much. Last year we had two individuals (Darnell Jackson and Rodrick Stewart) who had family members that were murdered in drive-bys the same week.”
Now, let’s take a moment to be bone honest. I don’t have to identify the race of Appleton, Jackson and Stewart. Whenever there is a story about athletes and murder, it’s relatively safe to assume they’re black. Peyton Manning’s boyz from the ’hood are unlikely to be gunned down."