The Answer Man

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Q: What does the word "Hypocrisy" mean.

A: The practice of having moral standards or beliefs which one's own behavior does not conform, pretense.

The Daily Dunklin Democrat had an AP story a few days back about a meeting of Southeastern Conference football coaches in Hoover, Alabama. (Birmingham area.)

Lurking there was no small amount of "hypocrisy."

The coaches at this meeting were wailing about the invasion of greedy sport's agents who were manipulating innocent players into illicit parties in violation of NCAA rules that might end with punitive damages to the school.

U. of Alabama football coach, Nick Saban, called these people "pimps."

Saban asked: "Would you want this to happen to your child?"

This could be a matter of perspective: It has always been a greedy world, and if that agent managed to wheedle a few extra $thousand, or $million, for your boy, you might be tempted to prostitute.

Of course the agents are despicable, but there-in lies the "hypocrisy."

College football has turned in to really big business. The college football coaches have certainly done their part in making it so. In the process it has it has made multi-millionaires out of many of them. Nor can we realistically expect these dollar-wise players of today be always so innocent. There is the smell of money out there, and everyone wants their share.

There is scarcely a year that goes by that some school is not in trouble for some violation - often with the coach involved. The schools and coaches need to make sure their skirts are clean before pointing fingers to someone else who wants a piece of the pie.

There is little doubt that college sports adds to the flavor of campus life. But there have always arguments as to just how much a big time sport's program actually contributes to a school:

Does it contribute to academics, or is it just a feed back monster for the athletic department alone? Has the so-called student/athlete become an oxymoron? Does a big time sport's program increase student enrollment?

There is evidence that pragmatics are more involved in student enrollment more than sports success: Population of the state, the school's location within that state, curriculum, tuition fees, room & board costs.

Not that this is conclusive, but there are some outstanding examples of school enrollment that defy the sport's syndrome:

South Florida at Tampa has a larger school enrollment than big shot football Florida State. The U. of Indiana that can't win for loosing has a larger enrollment than sometime scratching, Purdue. Nebraska, with all its championships can't tempt anyone other than players into that frozen tundra. Just a cursory examination will find similarities.

Located just a stone's throw from teeming Detroit, the U. of Michigan has won more football games than any other school. With less sport's reputation the more centrally located Michigan State has 5,000 more students than the U. of Michigan.

The U. of Alabama has won 8 National Football Championships. Common sense would tell you that it would be a Mecca for football enthusiasts from out of state; plus it is only 60 miles from metropolitan Birmingham. Yet Auburn with 1 tie for a National Championship, and located in comparatively remote southeastern Alabama, has approximately the same enrollment as Alabama. Significant or not, Auburn has over 100 more faculty members than Alabama. Neither school would be considered that large today.

There are some schools that seem in need of nothing other than to maintain a football reputation. The University of Miami has won 5 National Championships, yet remains comparatively small at 18,000 students. It may be scholarship requirements, or that they have a whopping tuition fee.

Right at the height of their football power, endowment rich Notre Dame was a small school, as it is today. As an example, athletically obscure Northern Iowa has more students than Notre Dame.

The suspicion is that those coaches at the Hoover, Al meeting know they have a goose that lays a very golden egg. They don't want anyone messing with their industry, no matter how much they had to do with building the factory. There-in lies a hypocrisy.

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