SBJ/June 27 - July 3, 2011/Opinion

Pressure on NCAA could help ‘endangered’ sports

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Absolutely great article concerning college football/business (“NCAA must admit big-time college football is big business,” SportsBusiness Journal, June 13-19).

On May 12, 2001, I gave a presentation at an NCAA Title IX Seminar concerning the loss of nonrevenue sports due to escalating tier one budgets, and I quote: “Looks like college athletics is becoming a big business.” The room got quiet. Apparently, that was not the time to discuss “big business” in college athletics.

The 1937 movie “Saturday’s Heroes” was about the business of college football: Students wanted a return for their efforts; presidents wanted to get back to education and less emphasis on football. And again in 1940, when in the movie “Knute Rockne” discussions prevailed regarding the same issues — higher graduation rates and ethics were/are more important than playing football. But who was listening 70-plus years ago?

Again, keep up the pressure, and we just might see some “endangered” Olympic sports, i.e. men’s gymnastics, (17 remaining teams) returning to collegiate competition.

Dick Aronson
Newton Center, Mass.

Aronson is executive director of the College Gymnastics Association.
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