What purpose do college athletics serve in the grand scheme of our social construct? Originally, they served to connect the institution to its surrounding community for the mutual benefit of both. Today, the notion of amateur athletics is distorted to the point of a giant lie. The amount of capital consumed by this mega business is disturbing, when you consider the actual benefit. 16.9%, or nearly 1 million people live in poverty in Alabama, yet their football budget is $140,831,439. Feeling as though you belong to something bigger than just your life can be uplifting to a certain degree, but there is a point where that inspiration diminishes. My Saturday used be determined by the success or failure of the Razorbacks in their game outcomes. Unwinding that emotional entanglement doesn’t occur without some dedicated intentions. The stadium doesn’t expand without the financial commitment of the fan base and the prostitution of their loyalty by the University of Arkansas. Where is the actual return to the state from this relationship? None of that capital seeps into academics, nor does social benefit start with football. The Physics department is world renowned for its nanotechnology advances, and the benefits can be measured in innovation and life changing developments for all humans, not just the football fans. Functional Literacy rates are less than 15% among adults 16 and over, meaning more than 85% of residents don’t possess the capacity to utilize their literacy to change their lives or the lives of others…we lost to Kentucky in football?
IMO the distortion of the grand scheme of social construct was the cause of the failure of all previous empires on earth. We are next.
Sadly true…yet theoretically avoidable
Functional literacy rates of less than 15%? I think you might have inadvertently flipped the statistic for ‘literacy’ and ‘illiteracy’.
I’ve got no doubt that the revenue generated by college athletic programs has now gotten absurd. But most of that money wouldn’t be going to the academic side of the institution if athletics went away.
The athletic departments contribute greatly to the local economy with jobs, taxes, etc. Gives kids opportunities to better themselves athletically and academically.
Athletic departments are a good marketing tool to prospective students.
Some of the 16.9% are in poverty because of their own doing and some aren’t.
I do understand where you’re going though. I see so many things each day that makes me realize what the Razorbacks do in football, basketball, baseball and other sports aren’t quite as important as I thought years ago. I think that comes with age.
Wait until you get into your 80’s Richard, then things really change.
I’m fairly certain the nanotech building on Dickson Street was paid for, in part, through a $1 million-per-year pledge from athletics. The athletics department also promised $23 million toward the construction of the classroom building that was built on Dickson about four or five years ago.
In the Grand Scheme, there are many more important things than football, but in my dim uneventful life here in Mississippi, (Memphis Metro) it does not stop those illiterates from expounding on why their program(does not matter which one) is so much better than mine.
when DD wrote that he could not be a Razorback fan and do his job, my initial reaction was to call BS and that was in large part because I could not see the Cowboys or Celtics as rivals for attention (yes to Cardinals). Now I regret having instilled Razorback loyalty and support in my daughter. 25 years at the UN of the SEC has made me more appreciative of the many programs surrounding us. Right now, I actually like to watch LSU with Coach O and Burrows which is hard to understand given my distaste and actually dislike of the Baton Rouge campus which I had to be on frequently in earning my master’s degree. I get the philosophical pontification and also know that the things like the green movement in young folks (almost kids) is the right thing to do but will be boo hooed and ignored by voters and Wall Street alike. My integrity is compromised by my need to be financially secure to transition to fishing instead of the operating room and I regret that as much as much as making my daughter a Razorback fan who still wears her Austin Allen jersey to a private school here in Nashville that pretty much just snickers at her for that choice of rooting interest. Saban makes so much money for Alabama that it is hard to argue the economic negative since I doubt any Karl Marx types are waiting to expose the wrong of the money distribution and social negativism noted.
Was this a real and sincere OP? I don’t get any comfort by agreeing that there are far more important issues that should shape my mood and outlook than Razorback wins. I was truly tried this weekend with the Hogs and Cards looking so ignominious and my Lightning losing to the Sens (inexplicble), only the Hog soccer and Saints made me think the world was all right. Just like in politics, I am resigned to hoping for believable leader that I can trust.