Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Friday, November 12, 2010

A Daily Dose of Depression (DDD)


And the beat goes on. You lose when you lose and you lose when you win. So now we can add a new phrase to our policy/process hip conversations. “Win-win” situations can be tempered with “lose-lose” realities. At least when it comes to the Big Buck College Athletic programs.


NYT November 11, 2010
How Broken Must College Football Be to Fix It? By GEORGE VECSEY

It is time for my annual foray into the lower depths of higher education — that is to say, the business of Bowl Championship Series football as perpetrated on or near centers of learning. . . .

My theory is, when a university suddenly becomes proficient at football or basketball, it is usually a sign its admissions director is being held hostage in some rural hideaway.

But this is worse. The B.C.S. system turns out to be a private enterprise for the usual suspects in the insider conferences. The top colleges make money, but the big winners are the major bowls — and the administrators thereof.

According to the Sports Illustrated article, Paul Hoolahan, the top executive of the Sugar Bowl, made $607,500 in 2007 and the Sugar Bowl was given $3 million by the hard-strapped Louisiana government.

The big losers are the lucky tigers who get invited to the Cement Shoes Bowl and then lose money that could have gone to athletes or, even better, budding physicists or linguists or cellists and other potential assets to society.[my emphasis]

The same article points out that Virginia Tech and the Atlantic Coast Conference had to purchase 17,500 tickets at $125 each for the 2009 Orange Bowl, but sold only 3,342, for a loss of $1.77 million — surely worth it for a marginal inclusion into Our Thing, as the B.C.S. could be called.

The latest Heisman mess and the B.C.S. shakedown have led me to reconsider my long-held position — “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — about bowl games and the national championship. . . .

As it is now, only the anointed championship bowl game is worth a glance. And the old concern about keeping the lads from their classrooms and laboratories seems laughable at this stage.

Full article here

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