“Over the past two weeks, two of the most historically successful [college basketball] programs have been in the news for all the wrong reasons.” – Bill Littlefield
Let’s consider the impact sports has on the average American family. This time of year kids and their families are spending 4-6 nights per week on the ball diamonds or soccer fields and to some extent summer basketball and camps galore. There is a cost to all of this but I am not really talking about the financial cost but the wear-and-tear it has on the kids and the families. It is tremendous how many parents “get into” the game and look for chances to make their child better and better. The financial cost is no object. After all, is he/she makes it big into professional sports they are set, as in the moms and dads involved, for the rest of their life.
But the whole moral compass to keep athletics on the straight and narrow is going down the tubes. It is a dog-eat-dog world that will stop at nothing to succeed in sports. Look around, look at the news makers in sports in the past year or so.
I am not saying anyone is guilty here, I am saying it made news.
In the high school and junior high ranks we find coaches attempting to put together summer teams, like AAU basketball, in hopes they can influence college coaches and garner money for the kids that they may share with their old AAU coach and he can buy more influence. Many times they are not doing it for the “love of the kids” but for the love of notoriety for themselves and influence pedaling.
In college, UNC and Texas, we have allegations that they have participated in academic cheating. Why would they do that, aren’t they a place of higher learning? Yes they are but that is not what people are interested in. It is having the local college succeed in athletics. It makes the university a lot of money and the athletes get noticed from the levels higher and money flows. Make the athletes eligible at any cost. They must play. As for the coaches, their salaries are in the millions of dollars to coach for one year. They are signing 5-10 year multi-million dollar contracts because they are successful. It behooves them to win.
The pros have issues too. We have the football scandals that involves finding a way to help your team win. It is all about the money now and in the future. The deflate-gate is spot on for that. Right now, the Cardinals are being investigated for computer hacking into the database of another team. Maybe to gain a competitive advantage? We shall see how that turns out.
Players are using performance enhancing drugs to help them have great seasons. The list is far from exhaustive.
Look at the World Cup resignations this past month. That was about pay-offs for countries to host the Cup and bring in large sums of millions.
What can we do? It has gotten so large it will be hard to ever return to ground zero. It only is going to grow and have more and more and larger and larger issues with athletics. This is a sad time.