Lessons For Professors

Professors at Rutgers and Texas miss the mark

College Football Preview: Week 6

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> Braff: Some Upsets Not So Surprising  |  Hart: Making Sense - And A Ballot - Out Of It All
> Trev: Don't Hate On South Florida  |  LSU The Weekend Pick   |  Blackburn: Rivalry Seeing Red
> Caparell: Polled Over  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions   |   B.J.: Quit Spinning, Texas
> Sorenson: 10 Most Underrated Things About College Football  |  Caparell: Meyer’s Seen This Before

Oct. 1, 2007

By Brian Jones

Special to CSTV.com



Brian Jones is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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Wow! What a week in college football we just experienced! And I'm not just talking about the on-the-field action. Of course, it was amazing to watch as Top 10 team after Top Ten team succumbed to defeat. I don't believe in the history of "amateur" college football that there's ever been an occurrence like we had this weekend. Has there? Class...anyone...Bueller?


Okay, there you have it, never before.


Keeping with the "never before" theme, never before have I seen so many critics of big-time NCAA athletics in one week.


The off-the-field action commenced Monday in my local paper, the Austin American-Statesman. University of Texas Classics professor Thomas G. Palaima asserted that UT athletes win on the field, but lose overall as a result of participating in athletics. Then, on Wednesday, you had Rutgers English professor William C. Dowling detailing his annoyance with Greg Schiano's Scarlet Knight football machine, as well as other Rutgers athletic programs.




While there is validity to some of their arguments, their main premise is way off the mark. It is true that we place enormous importance on our sports culture. I don't know why; I even sometimes marvel at how goofy I and others get over our favorite sports teams. So, I feel your pain, Professors Palaima and Dowling, our sports-crazed society is a trip!


Secondly, it's extremely difficult to disagree with the two Profs when you have a beloved, superstar athlete on 60 Minutes saying, and I quote, "caint nobody tell me nuthin'."  That being said, anyone that has ever watched me on Crystal Ball or caught one of my football broadcasts will tell you, I ain't too warm and cozy with the King's English, either.


But here's where I differ from the Professors. I think they are gravely flawed in their inability to recognize the benefits of participating in athletics. As I stated in a rebuttal to the op-ed piece by professor Palaima in the aforementioned Austin American-Statesman - which the Statesman still has yet to print, but I digress - as a direct result of sports, I win every day in life! Would you like to know why? Because athletics instilled in me the intangible qualities necessary to keep on persevering in this dog-eat-dog world. Athletics has taught me to take it a step further and on more than one occasion, athletics has saved my life.


Athletics was a father to this young boy from the ghetto of Lubbock, Texas, who had no father. It was the daddy that taught me hard work. It was the daddy that taught me "tough times don't last, tough people do." It was the daddy that whispered ever so quietly, "don't quit!" It's those lessons that carry me when I'm down, when I'm overwhelmed, when I'm close to throwing in the towel.


Yes, I call on my faith, but my experiences on the field and the court have played a vital role in helping me overcome so many obstacles in life. So, I take exception to the notion that "student-athletes lose." Nothing could be further from the truth. The student-athlete, like non-athlete student, loses if he or she is not able to fully grasp the extraordinary opportunities of college. And, despite the well-publicized misdeeds of a few, most student-athletes at The University of Texas and other schools throughout the country take advantage of the gifts afforded to them by athletics.