Penn State officials lost sight of the fundamental reason for the existence of the higher education system, to educate, when they stonewalled the Sandusky crimes. They didn’t want to bite off the hand that was feeding them — a winning football program. It was a big business and a terrible business decision was made.
Go beyond Penn State to our higher educational system in general. College administrators have encouraged the development mega athletic conferences. Conferences that could be described better as “de-facto minor pro leagues”. They have nurtured a system where gifted athletes attend college only for exposure to the pros, few ever graduate, and they don’t get paid to play in college. Only the networks and colleges (and NCAA) share in the TV revenues. Should the kids fail as professional athletes, and so many do fail, the college system has failed them. What else has the system prepared them to do? What hypocrisy!
College administrators need to re-focus on what should be their primary objective of education at the expense of de-emphasis on athletic excesses. They should encourage truly “student athlete” programs if our colleges and universities are to maintain any real academic stature in this new highly competitive world.
Don Knapp, Laguna Beach
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