“I’m going to have to let you go,” says coach Tim Koth to another formerplayer as he adds another notch to his belt. “It’s nothing personal, I likeyou,” he says, “but I have to look at this as a business. ” Is that what itis? I always looked at sport as an outlet, or even an opportunity; but sport isa business, that has become the cruel reality of modern day sport. This paperwill discuss various aspects and show different examples of some ways in whichthis fact is apparent. I am a unit, specifically, a mere employee within acorporation earning just around four thousand dollars per year.Order now
QuincyUniversity (as well as other universities) represents the corporation; it isbecause of Quincy University that I will never see my four thousand dollars peryear. The volleyball team, and other teams belonging to the corporation, are themanufacturers. . . the moneymakers. So when I, or any other employee, is notworking out efficiently, then the boss needs to “let me go.
” As much as they(meaning, the coaches) might say that they care for the individual, their careis only skin deep. Every individual on a team is expendable, and everyindividual, at one point or another, will be replaced. Coaches will typicallyform relationships with their players on an authoritative level. The coacheswill normally develop a method in which they control nearly every aspect of theplayer’s life (Sage 149). It can be anything from eating habits, extracurricular activities, and training for the associated sport, to such things asdating behaviors and other social characteristics of the normal life of acollege student.
. . it’s a trap. This is the situation: a high school studentwith an exceptional athletic background and satisfying grades is recruited to adivision one school with a healthy scholarship to play basketball. He acceptsthe offer and signs his National Letter of Intent which declares that if thestudent wishes to play for another institution he must first take a full yearoff from playing his designated sport.
In that effect, the student athlete isbound to this institution; however, the institution is not bound to the athlete(Eitzen 111). The student has no qualms about signing this piece of paper; hefeels that this is just a small price to pay in the way of higher education. After the first year of college, however, the student finds that he is incapableof competing at such a high level, and what once was a way to pay for thegreater part of his education has become his downfall. His contract isnon-renewable, non-negotiable; the once caring coaching staff has “let himgo. ” Since signing his letter of intent, he has no chance at playingbasketball for even a division two or three school, and is left with no way topay for his education. .
. it’s a trap. Colleges should, in the future, offer twoto four year scholarships to exemplify their commitment to athletes as studentrepresentatives (Eitzen 118). In college, the athlete considers himself orherself to be an elite, which is true based on a table of progression within theNational Federation of State High School Associations data, stating that onlyfive percent of all high school athletes are able to carry their athletic careerinto a collegiate level (Sage 52).
This is one example of the business aspect ofsport. If this were not true, then anyone that wanted to play in a particularsport, could. College sport has grown from simple intramural and recreationalfacets of life to large-scale commercial entertainment. We have come to an erain which sports are not only a part of our everyday life, but they almostcontrol us.
The topic arises in nearly every conversation, example: “how?bout them Bears?!” The mention of a sporting team is a means of casualconversation, an icebreaker, and even has certain politics involved as well. Then you have your schools, the corporations, which have come to rely on sportsas a means of attracting more students and other gratuities (i. e. majorendorsements and other various sponsorships).
One can be sure that nobody goesto Ohio State because of its outstanding fine arts division. Ohio State is firstknown as a competitive football producer, it is realized secondly as aneducational institution. Ohio State, because of its past successes, isenthusiastically endorsed by the Nike Corporation and also has an enrollment ofwell over thirty thousand students. There is a buzz that resonates in the airand the minds of those in “Buckeye Land,” and the state-of-the-artfacilities are directly related to this impact. Another, yet crueler, aspect ofcollege sport as a business is an example that was made public by the Universityof Central Florida football program in 1997. With Heisman Trophy candidate DanteCulpepper as one of the team’s greater successes, the coach of the UCF Knightsaccepted a division 1 schedule, which included powerhouse teams such as Nebraskaand Georgia State for approximately one million dollars in return.
The coachcommented by saying that he does not mind getting crushed mentally andphysically, and that one million dollars will more than satisfy any medicalneeds. As it was, UCF was nearly obliterated by Nebraska physically, the playersbeing treated merely as the aforementioned “expendable units. ” Is it notdisgusting that universities are becoming so commercialized that student seatingis often raffled off in a lottery (Eitzen 106)? Participating, whether playingor spectating, in sports was originally meant for the interest and entertainmentof the students. Would it not be more ideal to have a lottery for the communityoutside of the university? It is, after all, the university that created thecommunity.
These are but a few examples that have opened my eyes to collegesport in the business perspective. I feel somewhat guilty in that I am aparticipant, and will continue to participate, in college sports even aftersearching into the background for these facts. Although I do not foresee much,if any, change in the future of sport, I will be ever more wary when it comestime for my blood (my children) to enter into the commercialized world of”higher education.” “Not only is collegiate sport concerned with business,but its leaders go to great lengths to conceal this fact (Sage 191).”