Letters to the Editor

Irving Koppel: Sponsor college teams

Granted, there may be such a thing as a student-athlete, but it is common knowledge that the majority of those who are called such are more athlete than student.

The basic job of a university is to educate and to do research, not to play basketball or football. We’ve had enough of the athletic tail wagging the scholastic dog.

Why, if some teams are so profitable and support the lesser sports, shouldn’t universities sponsor their own teams just as professional teams are sponsored by commercial entities? The team could carry the name of the sponsoring university on each individual jersey, but athletes should not be required to attend the school. Playing football or basketball at the college level has become a full-time job. Thus, they should be paid for their efforts. Should any of the players truly wish to earn an honest degree, they could be granted a four-year scholarship after having played for four years. These phony classes and easy graders have been around since the games have been broadcast over the radio in the 1920s.

Rather than subject academia to scandal after scandal, the separation of big-time athletics from the real job of higher education would protect the reputations of the schools and the athletic departments.

Irving Koppel