The Real Purpose of College Sports

Recently, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the school that I am attending, lost their first game against rival CSU. This game has attracted large enough crowds over the course of recent years to be held at the Sports Authority Field, home of the Denver Broncos NFL Team, signifying the start of a football season where student have paid at least $125 per ticket to watch games that we will most likely lose. Over the past few years, CU has been placed in the Pac-12, which brings with it a measure of prestige, new athletic facilities costing millions, and lackluster seasons for the students. Who really wins? Not the students, not even the university.

It is said that winning teams drive up applications, but losing teams like CU has been do not help us one bit. The athletic coach is probably the highest paid employee and ticket prices are no longer justifying the performance of the team, seriously. I know that the athletes try hard, but they are just pawns in the larger game among the coaches and athletic executives. If you have a winning team, it’s one thing, but to lose all the time? That seems pretty low for the community around it.

It is really all about that Pac-12 money. All the sports, sponsorship money, athletic facilities, recruitment, all of it is about the commercialization of colleges and the money that is to be made at the expense of the athletes, students, and the university as an institution of learning. Being involved in sports does nothing for the reputation of the academics of the school. That should speak for itself.

If you really want to see some real action, not pay a ton of money, and see all of those fancy sponsorships, there are many free games you can go to. You pay enough in tuition, don’t waste more money on a football team that does not perform. I think that CU is doing a great disservice also by forcing students to buy football tickets in order to get discounts for basketball, which performs much better than football. For many, football isn’t even about the sport, but is about the drinking and partying, which is why many will not support the team when they are losing. So much for ‘school spirit’. CU plays many sports and many of them are pretty good and for sports that, in my opinion, are much more entertaining and overall better than football.

I hate that athletics are so tied to the school. I think that it would be okay for the sports teams to be sponsored by schools, but I think that the entities should be entirely separate financially. I think that the athletics departments should be that way and that they should give their employees some sort of paid compensation. Free tuition is not enough and I think that giving players about a thousand or so a week for all the work that they do should be good for them. It is not easy to be a student athlete, but it should be easier if they have peace of mind and that they have a mindset that they are at school as well.