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Is College Football in Trouble? December 6, 2009

Posted by Dwight and Lynn Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Education.
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Hofstra University (on Long Island, New York) has just joined Northeastern in cancelling their football program for budgetary reasons.  Via Brainstorms:

In an e-mail message sent out to the Hofstra University community earlier today, our president, Stuart Rabinowitz, announced the end of Hofstra’s intercollegiate football program. We were a Football Championship Subdivision school, not a Bowl Subdivision school, and football was not a money maker for us. Still, this can’t have been an easy decision. A lot of people (players, coaching staff, and fans at all levels) invest all sorts of emotions in college and university football teams — most of the time, more so than in other sports — and many of them are very upset right now. We’ve now joined Northeastern, also a Football Championship Subdivision school that (just last month) chose to end its football program.

Football is an enormously expensive sport and most programs do not pay for themselves but need substantial subsidy from funds that could be spent on sustaining threatened academic programs.

As Laurie Fendrich, author of the linked article writes:

What I’ve always objected to with college football is the charade of it all — particularly, the charade of Bowl Subdivision schools offering up their “scholar-athlete” football players as entertainment for couch-potato-ing, illegally betting, rah-rah-ing Americans who don’t for a second care whether or not football adversely affects the mission of a particular school, or whether it’s good for the players and their futures, or whether it fits with the goals of higher education in general.

Intercollegiate sports are not part of the core mission of a university. As much as I enjoy sports, I don’t see the justification for maintaining sports programs while academic programs are starved for money.

In a more perfect world, where education was valued and appropriately funded, we might have the luxury of expensive sports programs that have little to do with education, but such is not our world.

Cross-posted

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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