Contradiction In College Football

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The “contradiction at the heart of big-time college football,” as Michael Oriard describes it, is the competing demands of marketing and education. The 1890s proved to university administrators that there was an enormous market for collegiate football, which postulated opportunities for university building. Since this ubiquitous realization, there has coincided this blatant, yet unchanging contradiction that academic institutions are permitted to profit off of the services provided by its student-athletes while the athletes must idly accept that they are amateurs, donating their efforts to their respective schools. The schools then direct this revenue toward strengthening their athletic departments, and thus continues this seemingly endless growth of big-time college sports, all while athletes remain uncompensated and academics continue to take a backseat. The term “extracurricular activity” is defined as follows; “unpaid activities not pertaining to ordinary school classes” (Won). The adjective “commercial” is defined as “viewed with regard to profit” (Merriam-Webster). It is absurd to think that college football can be both a commercial spectacle and an extracurricular activity. “Extracurricular” implies that education comes before sports, however this idea is misconceived. After World War II, the College of William and Mary wanted to elevate its football program to national recognition, so the school altered transcripts of incoming high school students making
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