In Problems in Youth Sports

The University of Kentucky just signed former Memphis Basketball coach, John Calipari to a 35 million dollar contract for 8 years. also agreeing to drop a paltry $200,000 to pay off what remained of his obligation to Memphis. Who ever said that our economy is in trouble?

So what if people are losing their jobs at our country’s colleges and universities from coast to coast! Who cares if college endowments have been crippled by the stock market drop and state schools are hurting because of massive budget cuts. So what if the professors at many of our fine educational institutions have had their wages frozen, cut back or have been given their pink slip! And so what if other “less important” college sports programs on both the men’s and women’s sides have been dropped! All is right in college basketball and obviously, that’s all that counts. Calipari is now the highest paid college coach in the country. Rest easy! We can all sleep peacefully tonight.

So is there anything wrong with this picture? Can someone please tell me where our priorities are that a college basketball coach can be paid such an obscene amount of money while the very foundations of many of these educational institutions that coaches are supposed to represent are crumbling all around them?

What’s that you say? College basketball is really important. It brings in tremendous revenues to the college, keeps the alumni happy and fan base strong while simultaneously attracting thousands of new students a year to the school, especially when the basketball team has had a successful season?

Oh, I think I get it now! College basketball and football drive our universities and colleges. These sports are central to the healthy development of any worthwhile educational institution. They are the central cog in the wheel of undergraduate education. Without a highly visible and successful college basketball or football program, the instiutution of “higher learning” can not perform it’s educational duties of developing our next generation of leaders and free thinkers!

I remember when I went to college. They wouldn’t let me play varsity my freshman year because they actually thought that freshmen should take the time to acclimate to the school and concentrate on academics. I’m glad they’ve stopped that archaic and misguided practice! To think that someone in college actually believed that academics was more important than sports! What pea-brained dinosaur dreamed that one up? Please!

I wonder how many players Calipari graduated when he was at UMass? How about when he was at Memphis? But, wait a minute. Graduating players isn’t why Johnny gets paid the big bucks. It’s for winning and there’s no question that he’s pretty good at that! See, here’s the really confusing thing. We’re supposedly talking about college sports, as in AMATEUR SPORTS. However, this whole thing looks, sounds and feels just like PROFESSIONAL SPORTS.

Speaking of the pros, Calipari now easily makes more than a lot of NBA coaches! And his “student-athletes” are more heavy on the “athlete” side than the “student” one. Makes me think that all of the “policing” that the NCAA does to make sure no-one breaks any rules is a total sham. This is amateur sports and the coach is being paid over 4 million a year? It’s all just a bit twisted!


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