With all that has been written on the horrific sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, little commentary has been devoted to college football and what, if any, role it should have in higher education.
This is especially important as UAlbany is constructing an $18 million football stadium. With a sparkling new infrastructure in place, we can bet on a future proclamation stating the need for a higher level of competition, more scholarship money and more athletics staff.
In college sports, football is king. It drives decisions for every other sport. The conference realignment scramble we are witnessing now is proof of this. College presidents and athletics directors are falling all over themselves to get into the best conferences that can deliver the most in TV exposure and revenues.
While no one disputes the entertainment value of big-time college football, the truth is, that based on NCAA financial reports, only seven athletic programs — not just football programs — operated in the black in each of the past five years. The other programs are a huge financial drain increasingly being paid for by escalating student fees.