Editors note: A few new entries have been postponed. SBPDL will be traveling yet again this weekend and is putting the finishing touches on a few gems. Enjoy yet another college football entry, for this reason:
"Many Americans treat the unpaid top college athletes with a reverence that nears worship, and on campus, footballers are besieged with requests for autographs, photographs and dates."
Why is SBPDL so fascinated by college football? For a number of reasons, including this one:
"Even in hard economic times, it looks like people still need to get their fill of college football. For the third straight season, football attendance set a new standard as the 628 NCAA schools combined for a total gate of 48,839,003 during the 2008 season, topping last season’s record by 87,142 fans. See the list here."Forbes ran an interesting article that showed how much each major university is actually worth:
"In the past few years, there's been a big push by major college football teams to increase revenue through massive stadium expansions, lucrative premium seating and rich sponsorship and broadcast deals--the same blueprint the National Football League used for decades to create billion-dollar franchises.The Southeastern Conference (the SEC) has inked a television deal with CBS and ESPN that is worth a combined $3.05 billion dollars:
The game plan is working in college, albeit on a much smaller scale: Last year, 10 college football teams raked in at least $45 million in revenues--among them, the University of Notre Dame, University of Georgia, Ohio State and Auburn University--compared to none five years ago."
"It's not just the money in the deal that has people talking - but it's a big part of it. Thanks to these new contracts with CBS ($825 million) and ESPN ($2.25 billion) that were struck just prior to the downturn in the economy, each of the 12 SEC schools will boost its annual national television take to around $17 million a season for each of the next 15 years.That same conference also spends an unbelievable sum marketing its programs to potential recruits who could one day be the face of one of the 12 incredibly lucrative brands the SEC deploys to rake in such jaw-dropping sums that even Bernie Madoff would be hard-pressed to duplicate:
To put it another way, in terms of television dollars rolling in, for Mississippi State - a program with one winning season in the last eight years - it's as if the Bulldogs will get a BCS bowl bid every year for the next decade and a half."
This fascinating study can be read here. SBPDL would like to thank the Mobile Press-Register for compiling this data, for it was illuminating when comparing the cash spent to import criminals to the University of Tennessee.
"Despite this period of widespread economic uncertainty that has included the entire University of Alabama slipping into debt, Moore -- like every other athletic administrator in the Southeastern Conference -- is constantly searching for ways to spend wisely in order to gain an edge in recruiting.From 2005 through 2008, SEC schools combined to spend more than $17.1 million for the sole purpose of recruiting football players, according to records obtained through open records laws."
So you can see that college football is an insanely popular spectator sport and a favorite television offering for networks hoping to cash in on advertising revenue profits.
Interestingly, college football competitors are also in school for reasons besides merely entertaining nearly 50 million spectators every fall, but to attain a degree. Athlete-Students must attend classes at their respective institutions of higher learning and stay on pace to graduate, per new rules passed by the NCAA (the governing body of college athletics):
"Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year. The APR is based on the eligibility, retention and graduation of each student-athlete on scholarship. An APR of 925 equates to an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of about 60 percent."You can view all NCAA APR rankings here.
Black people make up 50 percent of the athlete-students for college football programs (and yet 13 percent of the US population), but find themselves at a major disadvantage academically at nearly every institution they attend (well, the Naval Academy did lower standards so Black people could get in), and this could greatly impact the APR of every school - an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article on APR rankings can be found here - in the years to come:
"Black athletes’ average SAT score was 102 points lower than the average for black students overall. White athletes’ average SAT score was 88 points lower than the average for white students overall. One expert says those numbers suggest schools are motivated by money, not affirmative action."Black people are recruited to attend historically white college programs for reasons that have little to do with academic achievement. Black people are recruited - as the fine book Meat Market makes clear - to be football players and to produce positive results on the field (off-field problems can sometimes be overlooked as look as on-field results overshadow any legal hiccup that might occur).
How do these titans of the gridiron, yet academic Lilliputians stay eligible to play on Saturday's? The main answer to this million-dollar is coming tomorrow in an in-depth SBPDL, but evidence can be found here, as former Auburn Tiger Patrick Trahan - he failed out of Auburn - and current Ole Miss Rebel has been diagnosed with a learning disability:
"Trahan, like an increasing number of student-athletes, is classified as learning disabled, or LD. These players might have ADHD, dyslexia or—as in Trahan's case—dysgraphia, which makes putting thoughts on paper difficult. On some college football teams, as many as one-third of the players are LD. By comparison, the U.S. Department of Education estimates that just 5% of public-school students are classified as learning disabled.
College gridirons have always been filled with borderline students, some certainly with learning disabilities. Decades ago, it was easy enough for teams to shuttle kids through school with a menu of cake courses. (Rocks for Jocks, anyone?) Then, in the early '90s, when the NCAA started to pay closer heed to enrollment practices, more athletically gifted, academically challenged players went to junior colleges to improve their grades.
The game changed again in 1998, when a learning-disabled college prospect named Toure Butler won an Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit against the NCAA, which wouldn't recognize high school courses modified to accommodate LD students. The NCAA feared that permitting note-takers, extended test-taking time and specialized tutors would create an environment ripe for abuse, especially at schools where the overriding priority is getting—and keeping—top jocks on the field. Such fears were justified: Many college teams test for learning disabilities, but some blur guidelines by purposely misdiagnosing LD in some players. Although unless reported, these transgressions are impossible to police. "If it's something bogus or fraudulent then obviously we'd look into it," says the NCAA's Diane Dickman."
Wait, empirical evidence points out that Black players aren't as intelligent as their white counterparts? Poppycock. So most of the Academic All-American teams are made up of white people... Black people are always the true All-Americans on the field.
Besides, Black people have the most incredible example of true intelligence personified in one Myron Rolle, a Rhodes Scholar and former Florida State Seminole standout (unlike most of his team that could barely read at a 2nd grade level, Rolle is studying at the University of Oxford).
"Rolle was named a finalist for one of the 32 Rhodes Scholarships awarded to Americans each year. His interview for the Scholarship was originally scheduled at the same time as Florida State was to play at Maryland; the NCAA decided to allow Rolle to take a chartered plane from his interview in Birmingham, Alabama to College Park. He was awarded the scholarship less than three hours before the Florida State vs. Maryland game. He became the fourth Florida State student and second school athlete to receive the honor, as well as the only FSU football player to do so.
Rolle announced on January 12, 2009, that he will first study at Oxford for the 2009–10 academic year in order to earn an M.A. in medical anthropology and will then enter the 2010 NFL Draft."
Rolle became the poster child of athletic achievement in 2008, the exact same time that Florida State was being investigated for having a team that can barely read at the level of Dora the Explorer...
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden famously said in Sports Illustrated infamous cover story, "What ever happened to the white athlete?":
"An athlete is an athlete, but, dang it, there just seem to be more black athletes than white," says Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden. "We've got a [white] phenomenon on our team, a quarterback named Danny Kendra, whose vertical jump is 39½ inches—more than anybody else we've got. He bench-presses 425 pounds, and his leg press broke the school record. He runs a 4.5 40. But there ain't many like him. And my thinking is that there's a whole lot more blacks who can do that than white guys."Like Dan Kendra - who got hosed at FSU during his career there, as he was converted to fullback - Myron Rolle is an example of an anomaly. He, unlike the vast majority of his Black counterparts, excels in the classroom.
Stuff Black People Don't Like includes only one Myron Rolle, for college football is one of America's most important businesses and yet the majority of the participants in this business are barely literate and are a major threat to bring suspensions to their programs if the APR rating falls, thereby costing their programs millions in lost bowl game revenue.
Black people would like every Black person to be a highly respected and erudite student-athlete, yet the data points to a much different reality. Myron Rolle is doing his best to act white and is merely the token Black on the Academic All-American teams.
For an excellent view of college football in Hollywood, check out the 1993 film, The Program.