BCS Playoff Covers Up Deeper Issues Surrounding "Student-Athletics"
It seems that all is right in the world of Division I College Football.
Today, the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee got in front of the media and held a press conference to finalize a four-team playoff system for the national championship, starting in 2014.
The controversy that has surrounded the flawed Bowl Championship Series year in and year out will be less of a problem. Although this is not a fool-proof system, this is a vast improvement from the current one.
The perception is that everyone wins in this new revamped method to determine a national champion. The university presidents reap the potential billions of dollars in profit. The players and teams who deserve a chance to fight for national championship will have the ability to compete. And most importantly, we the fans get more significant games.
Everyone wins—right? Eh, not so fast.
Our beloved "student-athletes" are getting the short-end of the stick with this new system.
The notion of "pay for play" in college athletics has been widely discussed for decades. While this has obviously been a major issue, especially as of late, there are other injustices that are occurring within many academic institutions in the United States.
The United States is the only country in the world that has placed such a large emphasis on collegiate athletics. While these places of higher education are advocating missions that are solely academic, it seems as if athletics is playing a larger role in Division I schools. In many universities, there is a thin line between academics and athletes. There are numerous instances in which players are not adequately prepared to succeed academically and do not have a future outside of sports. It is evident that there is an ever-growing hypocrisy that is present within these institutions.
That genius hyphenated creation, "student-athlete," is what allowed the powers that be to maintain this corrupt system. While these universities claim that they are putting these individuals in the best position to succeed, that is obviously up for debate.
University presidents and conference commissioners say that while they benefit financially from these lucrative contracts, they take advantage of the majority of black athletes who may not have access to the resources they need. As former Nike marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro said in Taylor Branch's book The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA, "This goes beyond race, to human rights. The least educated are the least exploited."
So before you jump for joy and get excited about this playoff system, there are deep-rooted issues to think about. Do you think this Presidential Oversight Committee will enjoy this system? It's safe to say they will. And you can take to the bank. They sure will.
Erick Fernandez is the creator of I Want to Thank My Hood & My Psychiatrist
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