Even Bill Snyder says college athletics has sold out

College athletics, as we know it, will never be the same. Whether that?s good or bad is up for debate.

But the genie is out of the bottle when it comes to NCAA Div. I athletics. Without a doubt, television is the driver for most of the money and power and growth in college athletics.

The debate is not whether student-athletes should be paid, but how much should they be paid. Never mind that many student-athletes get a free college education. That?s not enough. If college athletic departments are raking in millions because of the athleticism of these student-athletes, shouldn?t they also pay them to play?

The late Howard Cosell would have been proud of K-State football coach Bill Snyder for ?telling it like it is? when Snyder strongly expressed his displeasure on the way universities have given in to outside demands, such as TV networks.

?It?s changed,? said Snyder. ?I mean, college athletics, football in particular, has changed dramatically over the years. I think we?ve sold out.

?We?re all about dollars and cents. The concept of college football no longer has any bearing on the quality of the person, the quality of students. Universities are selling themselves out.

?It?s no longer about education. We?ve sold out to the cameras over there, and TV has made its way, and I don?t fault TV. I don?t fault whoever broadcasts games. They have to make a living and that?s what they do, but athletics?that?s it. It?s sold out.?

K-State is not alone in building new and better athletic facilities.

?Everybody is building Taj Mahals,? Snyder said, ?and I think it sends the message?and young people today I think are more susceptible to the downside of that message?and that it?s not about education. We?re saying it is, but it?s really about the glitz and the glitter, and I think sometimes values get distorted that way. I hate to think a young guy would make a decision about where he?s going to get an education based on what a building looks like.

?Our professors… I have an office I could swim in. They?re in a cubbyhole somewhere. Yet, they go out and teach and promote education every day, and I value that,? Snyder said.

The successful Wildcats head football coach also appears less than thrilled with the length of the season.

When he was a graduate assistant at Southern California in 1966, the Trojans opened the season on Sept. 17, played 10 games and were done with their regular season the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They played in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

This year, Kansas State will play its third game on Sept. 18 and wrap its regular season Dec. 6. If the Wildcats made the national title game, they would play Jan. 12.

?Now tell me how that stuff happens,? Snyder said. ?To me, that?s not what football is about. Now, that?s only my opinion. I?m not upset with the people that promote some of that stuff because they?re trying to do their thing. That?s what they do. But I think we?ve lost sight of what college athletics is all about.?

His words probably weren?t heard by the decision makers. They were too busy counting the money to hear anything.

The fact is Snyder said these things the day before the NCAA board of directors voted on an autonomy proposal for the nation?s five biggest conferences, which include the Big 12. As a result of that vote, those conferences will be able to make rules and pass legislation without the approval of other Division I conferences.

What does that mean? Well, for starters, it could further increase the spending that goes on in major college football.

Snyder didn?t point to any solutions, nor will he refuse to accept his big salary. That doesn?t make him a hypocrite; it simply means that nobody has come up with a solution.

The revenue from TV and corporate sponsorships isn?t a bottomless pit, however. It will be interesting to see what happens to college athletics when the golden goose starts laying eggs of fools? gold.

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