Concerned about college sports

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 11, 2014 

I believe the completion of the brand-new Cougar Football Complex at WSU in Pullman is the latest reminder that the people behind big college football programs are as readily bought and sold as United States senators. WSU athletic director Bill Moos sounded tearful with pride when he commented, "This is where football teams are made." Funny. I thought football teams were made in crummy rural or inner-city high school facilities that practiced and preached quaint-sounding values such as teamwork, selflessness, respect and hard work unenhanced by pharmaceutically honed conditioning and sleazy product sponsors. And served under coaches who produced either good or not-so-good teams without the obvious advantage of having individual air-quality systems in their bedroom-sized lockers. Cougar athletes now have their own cafeteria (with European chefs!), a locker room that's "as good as it gets" (question: how good can a locker room get?), and a weight-room floor "built on 400 springs to absorb the impact of weights." I need more than that to absorb the dead weight of this money-obsessed college football reality. Even as NCAA athletes sue to be given a portion of the revenue from lucrative TV contracts and alumni wealth, the plantation owners make it harder for athletes in college to resist working for free. Just give Cougar football players a few exotic goodies and everybody's happy.

Rick Hermann

Bellingham

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