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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Flynn: At Temple, other sports pay to keep football alive

Johnnie ain’t the only Temple hollerin’.

Baptist pastor Russell Conwell began Temple College, which we know as Temple University today, in the basement of his north Philadelphia church in 1884 to give working men (and later women) the opportunity to better themselves through education.

Friday’s announcement by the university’s bean counters to eliminate seven sports – but, oh, no, it’s not because of football – must have the good pastor rolling in his grave.

Athletic director Kevin Clark said the elimination of baseball, softball, men’s gymnastics, men’s crew, women’s rowing, and men’s indoor and outdoor track and field would save $3 million from the department’s $44 million annual budget. The costs fall disproportionally on men’s sports for Title IX reasons – Temple is far from compliance – and on sports that require travel to far-flung outposts in Temple’s latest athletic home, the American Athletic Conference.

Facilities for these sports – baseball and softball have to travel 12 miles, which can be an eternity in Philadelphia traffic, to the school’s Ambler campus, while the rowing teams have operated out of a tent along the Schuylkill River’s famed Boathouse Row because their building was condemned – don’t come close to meeting modern standards.

So 150 athletes and nine coaches lose their opportunity at Temple, whose officials took great pains to disassociate Friday’s stunning announcement from football.

...While the football program licks its wounds after a 2-10 season, Temple baseball will pack up its trophies after its 85th season. Men’s sprinters won’t take part in the Penn Relays after this spring. And Temple’s rowing teams won’t contend again in the Dad Vail Regatta, a rite of spring in the city.

Meanwhile, Temple president Neil Theobald floats the idea of an on-campus football stadium, the balloon he launched at a speech last month. It’s crazy to think that a program that eliminates seven sports would even consider such a thing. It could make a holy man like Conwell utter a few unholy words.

Repoz Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:06 PM | 134 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4613508)
I'm going to say that cutting all other men sports so guys continue to play a sport that turns their brains to mush is not a great societal trend.

If anyone out there is studying the sudden achievement gap between sexes or why boys are being left behind, let me spoil the ending, it's due to football trauma. There you go. Return the rest of your grant money.
   2. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4613511)
Football produces revenue, the other sports don't. Case closed.
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4613515)
Football produces revenue, the other sports don't. Case closed.

not at Temple, as this link explains:
"The average NCAA athletic program loses almost $8 million a year," Theobald said. "That would be right in line."

At Temple, football has lost more money than any other sport, starting with a $1.6 million annual payment to the Eagles to use Lincoln Financial Field for six Saturdays a year.
   4. GregD Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4613518)
I was talking a couple of weeks ago to a guy who was on the board of trustees at a school in a major conference that is not successful on the field and is dreadfully losing money on its football program. He played football there but has become disillusioned about both its health consequences and its increasingly bad impact upon the educational mission, so he asked at a trustees meeting held to consider a slew of problems in the athletics department if they shouldn't at least study whether to eliminate football altogether...to which the response was to ask him to leave the board of trustees quietly so that they didn't have to go through the work of publicly getting him thrown off. And this was a serious donor with the potential to deliver much money in the future.

It is magical thinking to the utmost degree. You have to keep football because it makes money, but football loses money hand over fist. It is important to have football to bring publicity to the university, but for most universities football only brings bad publicity.

I grew up in college sports country and still follow it, but we would be better off if colleges only had club teams.
   5. jdennis Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4613522)
only 25-30 schools make money on football. the others lose a bunch of money on it.
   6. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4613526)
Nucky's nephew was right to drop out.
   7. Bob Tufts Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4613529)
GregD - I'm with you - and have heard similar stories.

After the Michigan State-Ohio State game yesterday, a Fox announcer said "Florida State...Auburn....for all the money". That pretty much sums up the modern intercollegiate basketball and football situation. Schools chasing dollars without examining the risk involved in the supposed financial return.

More money, more fraud, more unqualified students, more university ignorance of the program's actions 9as long as the coach wins - otherwise they do an Inspector Reynaud "shocked" routine).

It comes down to answering the question "what is the purpose of athletics at the collegiate level"? And due to the sordid changes in the past thirty years, I see no academic/health reasons for sports to be played at this level anymore.

Drop an antitrust suit or two on the NCAA, sue them and the schools for brain injuries, take away not for profit status for the multi-billion dollar endowment institutions, tax their science deals with corporations.

Schools are the modern version of the monasteries that Henry the VIII attacked. The NCAA is the pope of the sports abomination and all deserve their dissolution.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4613532)
I just don't really get the point of football at non-BCS schools. There is a small, small chance you end up being a Boise State I guess, but most likely its just going to be a big money loser for years and years and you're going to be stuck playing in front of a few thousand fans.

I guess it raises the profile of your school a bit, but I can't imagine for most schools its worth the millions of dollars, and the profile it raises is going to be that of a mediocre to bad football team. The Atlantic recently made the case against sports in high schools, but you could apply most of those arguments to college as well. And by "sports" we really mean football.

And I say this as an alum of a school that just lost a chance to go to the national title game. Stupid Spartans.
   9. GregD Posted: December 08, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4613536)
+1, Bob. If I remember right, you teach at one of the places that does things right. Their teams are well organized but fundamentally irrelevant. Play in a very well run little conference that uses its games as alumni events in nice cities and emphasize having good coaches but not in a way that impacts the educational mission at all.

The argument used to be that football kept the legislators on the page to keep giving state money to the flagship campus, but that's been deeply discredited by the actions of state legislatures which have been slicing and dicing state subsidies in SEC and Big Ten country.

I knew someone who was a college president, once at a place with a competitive athletic program and once at a place with a loved but fundamentally minor athletic program, and he said there is no position as helpless as waiting for the call about the next disaster to befall an athletic program you can't control.

When Richard Brodhead went to Duke, he got a very clear lesson on where he stands vis a vis sports from Coach K on his first day.
   10. OCF Posted: December 08, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4613545)
My own university (Cal State Long Beach, whose athletic department uses the name Long Beach State) dropped football in the midst of a financial crunch about 20 years ago, and Cal State Fullerton did the same at about the same time. Before then, the Long Beach team was playing its home games in a 15,000-seat municipally owned stadium adjacent to a community college, 6 or 7 miles from the university campus. And not filling that venue.

Every now and then, there's a student political campaign or a student petition drive to Bring Back Football! (For some reason, this seems to be a favorite of the right-wing students, for reasons I don't particularly understand.) And every campus president so far has smiled gently when accepting the petition, muttered a few platitudes, and done nothing about it. We're between presidents at the moment, but if the next one is anything but a blithering idiot, he or she will do the same.

I'll say this: when you haven't had football for 20 years, the case, financial or otherwise, for re-instituting football can be seen clearly as a loser.
   11. Bob Tufts Posted: December 08, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4613573)
We should rip the tree out by the roots and turn high school - and below - back into a place where we have actual physical education programs and not Nike etc. sponsored teams for the few.

Supposedly 70% of kids drop out of organized youth sports by age 12 - we adults are obviously doing something terribly wrong.

My solution: if you play for a travel team, you don't get to play at the local school. Let the wannabe pros have their own leagues (and pay for them out of their own pockets) and use interscholastic sports for physical education for the masses not the select few - and also for learning to deal with failure in a controlled environment.
   12. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4613639)
I'll say this: when you haven't had football for 20 years, the case, financial or otherwise, for re-instituting football can be seen clearly as a loser.

The University of Chicago killed it's big time football program, then brought it back as a club sport and finally a D3 team. It's great as it now is -- football adds a little something to the campus atmosphere, it makes a nice centerpiece for alumni weekend, and when the big moment of the season is the Senior Day game against Carnegie Mellon you don't have to worry about the sport becoming too big to smack down when necessary.

Resurrecting a D1 program is never going to be a good idea.
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4613643)
Football produces revenue, the other sports don't. Case closed.

I didn't realize there were still people who think this. This is true at places like Texas, Michigan and Auburn. Hardly the typical situation.
   14. Obo Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4613652)
We should rip the tree out by the roots and turn high school - and below - back into a place where we have actual physical education programs ...

I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.
   15. McCoy Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4613653)
I'd be really really really shocked if my alma mater ever started up a football program.
   16. theboyqueen Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4613659)
My solution: if you play for a travel team, you don't get to play at the local school.


This is a terrific suggestion. The only problem will be that private schools won't have to follow any of these rules.

I say this as someone who thinks private schools and private school tuition should be exhorbitantly taxed.
   17. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4613670)
<blockquote>Football produces revenue, the other sports don't. Case closed.<blockquote>

Except for the part where this is absolutely not true at all, sure.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4613673)
In case anyone was curious, Temple's baseball program has produced one bona-fide star (Bobby Higginson) and several other players with ML careers of note (Dick Gernert, Jeff Manto, John Marzano, Joe Kerrigan, and Pete Filson).
   19. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4613685)
We should rip the tree out by the roots and turn high school - and below - back into a place where we have actual physical education programs and not Nike etc. sponsored teams for the few.


Bob, the excellent article linked in #8 included this nugget:

At Spelman College, a historically black, all-women’s college in Atlanta, about half of last year’s incoming class of some 530 students were obese or had high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, or some other chronic health condition that could be improved with exercise. Each year, Spelman was spending nearly $1 million on athletics—not for those students, but for the 4 percent of the student body that played sports.

...

That April, after getting approval from her board and faculty, she gathered Spelman’s athletes and coaches in an auditorium and announced that she was going to cancel intercollegiate sports after the spring of 2013, and begin spending that $1 million on a campus-wide health-and-fitness program.


So there are some people out there thinking along these (totally logical) lines. It's not as easy in college of course since you probably can't mandate physical education at all but in high schools and lower this kind of thinking could make a huge difference if it spreads.
   20. Bob Tufts Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4613694)
The only problem will be that private schools won't have to follow any of these rules.


There are some private schools that are mini-sports factories (South Kent, Fork Union. the fake schools formed by ESPN in Vegas.... But, the schools that I visited during my daughter's four years at boarding school had a proper view of the place of athletics in the student's life. The coaches were teachers, advisors and mentors - not merely coaches - and added value to the student-athletes in full.

And If you pay taxes and choose to send your child to a school without metal detectors, you are effectively paying into a system that you don't use and helping it financially.

Jim - I saw the Spellman piece before. Thx to RR and you!



   21. puck Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4613697)
Football produces revenue, the other sports don't. Case closed.

I didn't realize there were still people who think this. This is true at places like Texas, Michigan and Auburn. Hardly the typical situation.

BCS-level college football reminds me of international soccer. Except instead of the Russian oligarch/mobster owner or Qatari sheikh owner pouring money into the club, the booster owners do, and you can't really compete unless these people are putting in hundreds of millions for facilities.

College sports are tremendously fun, though. I wish there were a better answer to the whole thing.
   22. OCF Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4613720)
The University of Chicago killed it's big time football program, then brought it back as a club sport and finally a D3 team.

Interesting thread, having now invoked my graduate alma mater (U Chicago) along with my current employer (Long Beach State); maybe we'll find a way to work in my undergraduate alma mater (Rice) as well.

That's news to me; I would have assumed that football was long dead and buried at Chicago. The D3 route is probably not available to Long Beach, as it belongs to a D1 conference, the Big West. That's for most sports, headlined by basketball and baseball; for volleyball, it's the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Big West is a D1 conference, but it's not a football conference. Some of it's former schools that still play football, like Fresno State or San Diego State, have departed for other conferences, and the few Big West schools (Hawaii, for instance) that do play football have another conference affiliation for that.
   23. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 08, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4613750)
maybe we'll find a way to work in my undergraduate alma mater (Rice) as well.


I have no Rice-related anecdotes to add but I'm sure they're a great example of a school that would be far better off if they ditched their FBS football program.
   24. OCF Posted: December 08, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4613754)
Oh, for sure. A lot of us thought that when we were students, and that was back when the Southwest Conference existed. Rice is one of the smallest-enrollment (if not the smallest) universities trying to play big-time football, and it's a selective-admissions private school. (Although somehow that last circumstance hasn't stopped Stanford.)
   25. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 08, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4613758)
and it's a selective-admissions private school. (Although somehow that last circumstance hasn't stopped Stanford.)


Or Notre Dame or Miami, though both are much bigger than Rice.
   26. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 08, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4613764)
And for fun, according to answers.com, Tulsa is the smallest FBS school. Rice is #2, and Wake Forest is #3
   27. GregD Posted: December 08, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4613768)
Or Notre Dame or Miami, though both are much bigger than Rice.
I am sure their size is the only relevant difference!

Seriously it is fascinating to see how differently athletic admissions functions from college to college. Jason Kidd had offers from Duke, Berkeley, Michigan, and several other top schools at a time when his SAT was below 700 (he did eventually get over that mark.) Coach K has several times had scholarship offers to students who hadn't yet qualified for the NCAA minimum; one coach I knew thought William Avery was the single-worst academic candidate playing ACC basketball, though Duke also had--by a wide margin--the very best students in the conference, too.

The schools that tried to hold to standards that were at all relevant to the rest of the student body--not as high but at least plausibly in the ballpark--suffer tremendously. Vandy admissions famously rejected both Ron Mercer and R.A. Dickey even though Dickey was a graduate of a very fine academic high school.

Is Vandy still holding that position? I doubt it. Notre Dame's admission rejected some highly coveted guys, including Walter Payton's son; I know that was a bone of contention for the alumni. What it's like there now, I don't know. How many other schools hold to any realistic standards? Rice, I would guess. I don't know how Stanford's admissions office functions.

Ed to add "of" after R.A. Dickey
   28. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4613772)
It's amazing too that the service academies can sometimes be competitive.
   29. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4613776)
though Duke also had--by a wide margin--the very best students in the conference, too


Duke is a "good school" in the sense that it's on TV all the time.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 08, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4613791)
several other players with ML careers of note (Dick Gernert, Jeff Manto, John Marzano, Joe Kerrigan, and Pete Filson).


You must take very, very thorough notes.
   31. Textbook Editor Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4613887)
Temple dropping crew and track and field is a big, big deal locally--perhaps even more than the dropping of softball and baseball. And they truly are lunatics for trying to chase down money by attempting to be a "big time" football program. It's just utter lunacy. Even Temple alums I know who actually go to football games think its lunacy. So why does it persist? The hell if I know. Temple football's basically been a joke locally outside of the Paul Palmer days for 30 years.
   32. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: December 08, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4613926)
Is there a more recent report available than this one showing how few collegiate football programs are in the black?
   33. stevegamer Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:19 AM (#4613936)
A few things to note, since this about a school I worked for roughly a decade from student employee to administration member, and have 2 degrees from there. I was there until the mid 90's. I knew guys who played on various teams. Trust me that crew was better than football for campus prestige.

1. Temple's "moneymaker" is basketball, not football. It's not even really close. Football has lost money at the Vet, they lost money examining whether to refurbish their stadium which was also outside the city. When I saw the new billboards, I laughed. I know people who go there because they like the tailgating experience and tickets are cheap. The problem is the teams are awful.

2. Their best financial solution would've been to drop down to 1-AA a while back. If they had done this, they likely would have been invited to the Big East sooner, instead of kicked out of there football, and sent to the MAC. The AAC is going to be killing them with transportation costs, and it's going to be ugly.

3. It's been a joke nationally for most of the last 30 years, not just locally. Luckily, Temple doesn't have to lower admissions standard for athletes - they had courses in arithmetic and remedial English when I was there, as part of a program for students who wouldn't normally qualify (read as "shouldn't be in") college. And they weren't all athletes.

The list of baseball players was published 1n various columns, so it was likely easy to research.
   34. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 04:25 AM (#4613985)
one coach I knew thought William Avery was the single-worst academic candidate playing ACC basketball


I was at Duke while Avery was there. He pretty much stopped going to class after the end of his sophomore season, which explains his decision to enter the draft earlier than he probably should have.

I was in classes with a couple of other basketball players (Jay Williams - still known at that time as "Jason", Mike Dunleavy, etc.) during my time at the school, and while none of them were rocket surgeons, they weren't morons, either. Well, I did see Taymon Domzalski get stuck inside one of those student desks with the folding tops once, but I think that had more to do with him being grossly over-sized and uncoordinated than with any sort of mental impediment.

(I did hear from fellow classmates that both Trajan Langdon and Shane Battier were extremely bright by athletic standards, and could've held their own academically even without the whole basketball thing. For whatever that's worth.)
   35. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 09, 2013 at 07:54 AM (#4613990)
Count another puzzled alum. As 33 and 31 say, basketball, and to a lesser extent crew, are much bigger deals than football. Temple has long wanted to feel more like a traditional university rather than an urban community college, but football isn't necessary for that goal. They already have the basketball arena on campus and use that as the athletic unifier. Sad news about crew, and surprising that they couldn't get a fundraising drive going to save their boat house.
   36. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4614007)
It is magical thinking to the utmost degree. You have to keep football because it makes money, but football loses money hand over fist. It is important to have football to bring publicity to the university, but for most universities football only brings bad publicity.


Point taken. But, as with everything at the university level, it's about politics. A big-time school that gives up football basically gives up the right to be called big-time. Temple's football team is a joke, but they're not going to willingly give up their seat at the grown-up's table no matter how much money they lose.

My alma mater is Eastern Michigan, which has had exactly one winning season since the 1980s, when they made their one (1) bowl appearance. (1987 California Bowl champions, baby!) They've changed the nickname, to much dismay, and draw maybe a couple thousand a game. (The fact that there's a much bigger football school a few miles down the road doesn't help.) But EMU will probably never drop football, or even drop down to 1-AA: that would mean admitting defeat. It's better to be a joke and lose millions of dollars than to admit defeat.
   37. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4614010)
Notre Dame's admission rejected some highly coveted guys, including Walter Payton's son; I know that was a bone of contention for the alumni. What it's like there now, I don't know.


Still the same. I don't think it'll change any time soon. They have too much money to have to bow to boosters over something they value that much.

I love college sports and think March Madness is the greatest sporting event of the year, but I think scholarship athletics should end. And the NFL needs it's own minor league system.
   38. Hack Wilson Posted: December 09, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4614011)
Bill Cosby was once a fullback at Temple, but I think he was a much better high jumper.
   39. GregD Posted: December 09, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4614025)
I was at Duke while Avery was there. He pretty much stopped going to class after the end of his sophomore season, which explains his decision to enter the draft earlier than he probably should have.

I was in classes with a couple of other basketball players (Jay Williams - still known at that time as "Jason", Mike Dunleavy, etc.) during my time at the school, and while none of them were rocket surgeons, they weren't morons, either. Well, I did see Taymon Domzalski get stuck inside one of those student desks with the folding tops once, but I think that had more to do with him being grossly over-sized and uncoordinated than with any sort of mental impediment.

(I did hear from fellow classmates that both Trajan Langdon and Shane Battier were extremely bright by athletic standards, and could've held their own academically even without the whole basketball thing. For whatever that's worth.)
That makes sense to me and comports with other things I've heard about Duke bball at other times--overall solid academic guys a few truly bright guys and often 1-2 people who would be struggles to get in at a community college. Would be interesting to look at how many of those guys were worth it in the big picture--Corey M didn't really add much to Duke in his time there and many of their really good players were guys who seemed to at least fight the academics to a draw, if not do much better than that.
   40. McCoy Posted: December 09, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4614030)
The funny part for me is that having lived in Philadelphia during the 90's and early 00's I viewed the Temple football team as a complete joke yet I went with my buddy to the Maryland vs Temple football game a few years back and Maryland got their butt kicked.

Another basketball heavy college that for some reason feels the need to have football despite not having the money to carry it.
   41. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4614058)
(The fact that there's a much bigger football school a few miles down the road doesn't help.)
Jeez, man, it's a solid hour from Ypsi to Bowling Green. That's no excuse.
EMU will probably never drop football, or even drop down to 1-AA: that would mean admitting defeat.
It would probably also mean getting kicked out of the MAC. Not that the MAC is a destination conference, but I'd imagine athletic revenues are substantially lower in the Summit League than they are in the MAC.

I'm certain that the difference in conference revenue is much smaller than the amount of money they lose on football, but it has to factor into the calculations somewhere.

Also, it is a widely-known thing that EMU essentially gives its sponsors thousands of free tickets in exchange for signage space so they can claim a higher average attendance and stay in FBS? Most schools can use sponsorship revenue to defray some of the cost of football, but EMU isn't even in a position to do that.
   42. bunyon Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4614060)
When Richard Brodhead went to Duke, he got a very clear lesson on where he stands vis a vis sports from Coach K on his first day.

They did it the first day because they didn't do it with his predecessor and nearly had to fire her when she tried to rein in athletics. Word on campus is the board told her, bluntly, that if she made them choose between her and K, she would be out the door. Which should have been obvious to her (this was 1994 or so) but wasn't.

Well, I did see Taymon Domzalski get stuck inside one of those student desks with the folding tops once, but I think that had more to do with him being grossly over-sized and uncoordinated than with any sort of mental impediment.


I'm not sure what became of him, but Taymon was a very good student. And seemed to really enjoy working in the lab. At one point K did tell him to spend more time in the gym than the lab but I suspect Taymon made the right choice there. He really wasn't very coordinated. Anyway, a quick check of the internets shows he graduated as a history major but I know he was hanging around the chem labs a good bit. He also appears to have earned an MD from the Duke Medical School and was named scholar-athlete of the year in 1998. So he was no academic slouch.


Interesting note about Avery - he was slightly after my time so I didn't realize he struggled as much as he did. It does explain his leaving. D-1 basketball and football are full time jobs. I don't know how even an average student can do good school work with the additional load. They really ought to only require players to go one semester per year while playing and reserve the rest of their scholarship for after they use up eligibility.

I'd guess any D-1 basketball or football player who appears to be a good student while playing would be upper echelon academically if they weren't playing. Folks seem to understand that it takes a lot of time to be a productive athlete or artist but think that doing well in academics (I'm not talking about GPA but about actual intellectual development which, sadly, isn't always the same thing) is just a matter of being "smart".

   43. bunyon Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4614062)
And for fun, according to answers.com, Tulsa is the smallest FBS school. Rice is #2, and Wake Forest is #3

Three schools that would be better off without D-I football.
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4614066)
I'd guess any D-1 basketball or football player who appears to be a good student while playing would be upper echelon academically if they weren't playing. Folks seem to understand that it takes a lot of time to be a productive athlete or artist but think that doing well in academics (I'm not talking about GPA but about actual intellectual development which, sadly, isn't always the same thing) is just a matter of being "smart".



Athletes also have a lot of tutors and academic support, much more than the average student gets, FWIW. And that goes for non-revenue sports too, at least at the schools I went to.
   45. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4614075)
At one point K did tell him to spend more time in the gym than the lab but I suspect Taymon made the right choice there. He really wasn't very coordinated.


Yeah, he was a hard worker on the court, but I think he went about as far as his natural ability would allow him to go.

I'm glad to hear that he ended up with a solid degree - he seemed like an OK dude.
   46. bunyon Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4614082)
Athletes also have a lot of tutors and academic support, much more than the average student gets, FWIW. And that goes for non-revenue sports too, at least at the schools I went to.

It's there but, at least in my (admittedly limited) experience, it is aimed completely at keeping poor students eligible. If you show you can keep yourself eligible, they aren't going to spend time or money helping you excel.
   47. Jeltzandini Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4614090)
I live near Old Dominion, a school that recently restarted football, and done pretty well at it. They were in FCS (formerly I-AA) and immediately succeeded. They had winning years, made the playoffs, and sold out their 19,000 seat stadium. Now they're moving up to FBS, where they'll probably be cannon fodder.

I don't know if they make money or not. The story I got was that that wasn't really important to the administration, as long as losses weren't ridiculous. They brought back football to attract male applicants. College has gotten more and more female. If a school approaches 60-40 female students, the male applicants drop even further, and you either lower standards* or become a de facto women's college. On campus football supposedly helps.

I don't vouch for this line of reasoning, but that's what I was told. If it's true, it would be a contributing factor to Temple's decision to keep football as well.

*This is an ordinary third tier state university, so they already get average students and would have to dip into the marginal waters. That sort of slide has its own costs.
   48. Traderdave Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4614091)
Football has always bored me to tears, and I have never understood its popularity (hey, I never said I was normal...)


Stories like this start to push me from apathy to antipathy toward that sport.

(Oh, and I agree w/ everything Bob Tufts says in this thread)
   49. McCoy Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4614104)
Saw Maryland play Old Dominion this year and OD made Maryland look good. Not an easy thing to do. That's just how big the difference is between the tiers in college football.
   50. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4614113)
Football has always bored me to tears, and I have never understood its popularity (hey, I never said I was normal...)



I love football, but college football is incredibly boring to me. If you love missed tackles and blown pass coverage assignments and think that makes for "exciting" play, then I guess it can be your thing, but I like to see competence on both sides of the ball.
   51. jmurph Posted: December 09, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4614140)
If you love missed tackles and blown pass coverage assignments


And quarterbacks, of teams competing for national championships, that simply aren't capable of throwing the ball down field.
   52. McCoy Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4614151)
I get that professional football is on a whole different level than college football but the idea that the teams have to be flawless in order to be entertaining is just ridiculous.
   53. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4614167)
I get that professional football is on a whole different level than college football but the idea that the teams have to be flawless in order to be entertaining is just ridiculous.


Agree, which is why I said "competence" and not "flawlessness."

Now you kids get off my lawn.
   54. Jeltzandini Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4614179)
There's obviously no question that the NFL is played with a skill level miles above even the top college teams. A side effect of that is that college can feature ridiculously entertaining players who may not even merit NFL jobs. Specifically dual-threat or run-first QBs. Players like Braxton Miller, Denard Robinson, Pat White, and Vince Young. Watching them dominate in college is great fun. That sort of improv usually doesn't work in the pros where the defenders are so fast and QBs have to be able throw very accurately at exactly the right time. But the inability to utilize the Vince Young skill set makes the NFL less fun than it would be otherwise.
   55. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4614182)
But the inability to utilize the Vince Young skill set makes the NFL less fun than it would be otherwise.


Heisman winners Tim Tebow and Charlie Ward agree

edit: and Tim Crouch.
   56. McCoy Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4614197)
Agree, which is why I said "competence" and not "flawlessness."

Call it whatever you want but the point remains the same. Making tackles and employing good pass coverage is not a simple feat when the other side is actively trying to make you fail.
   57. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4614216)
Tim Crouch
...who was the result of a freakish experiment to combine a classic Nebraska option quarterback and a Hal Mumme air raid QB.
That sort of improv usually doesn't work in the pros where the defenders are so fast and QBs have to be able throw very accurately at exactly the right time.
I feel like the Pat White-style QB doesn't work in the NFL, not because the defenders are bigger and faster, but because they're asked to run offenses that don't match their skill sets. Drew Brees can't run a triple-option attack, Braxton Miller can't run a West Coast offense, and I can't perform a tracheotomy. It's not what we do.
   58. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4614246)
My boy is studying Sports Administration at the school with the most profitable athletic department in the country. So I am getting a kick out of these comments.
   59. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4614262)
My boy is studying Sports Administration at the school with the most profitable athletic department in the country. So I am getting a kick out of these comments.


I think it's an open question as to whether administrators or assistant football coaches come out ahead in schools' quest for football program inspired donations.
   60. jmurph Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4614273)
I think the much more likely answer is that those guys just aren't good enough to play in the NFL. To blame the poor play of Vince Young and Tim Tebow on the NFL's "inability to utilize" their skill-sets is to essentially wish that NFL players were worse at their job, in order to accommodate those lesser players.
   61. Ron J2 Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4614274)
#38 I dropped in to post the same thing. Temple football routine

"I had never seen a hole playing for Temple...."
   62. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4614277)
think that doing well in academics (I'm not talking about GPA but about actual intellectual development which, sadly, isn't always the same thing) is just a matter of being "smart"


Academia is the easiest scam I've ever participated in. I haven't gotten a B since I was 14 years old, and it never required much work. And I went to a fancy private college that was supposed to be "hard", ie, you were expected to show up for class. This is why so much dumb ######## passes for thinking.
   63. Jeltzandini Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4614295)
To blame the poor play of Vince Young and Tim Tebow on the NFL's "inability to utilize" their skill-sets is to essentially wish that NFL players were worse at their job, in order to accommodate those lesser players.


Not what I'm saying. They definitely weren't good enough to play in the NFL. At just about every other position than QB though, by and large the best college players become the best pros. Tebow and Young were absolutely dominant college QBs and bad pros. I'm not blaming the NFL for that. It's more of a regret, because guys like that are fun.
   64. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4614299)
Academia is the easiest scam I've ever participated in. I haven't gotten a B since I was 14 years old, and it never required much work. And I went to a fancy private college that was supposed to be "hard", ie, you were expected to show up for class. This is why so much dumb ######## passes for thinking.


I did really well in school, thanks mainly to galloping insecurity, but in large part I got where I did (& could've gotten a lot further) because I happen to be very good at taking standardized tests.
   65. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4614306)
A big-time school that gives up football basically gives up the right to be called big-time.

Which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the warped priorities in this country. It's just ridiculous that the reputations of universities ride on the masses saying, "Oh, they have a good football team -- it must be a good school."

The solution to the problem of college sports needs to start with: (1) capping the salaries of coaches and administrators; (2) resorting freshman ineligibility; and (3) ending stupid game times that interfere with classes.
   66. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4614307)
The Flutie effect is real though. Football and basketball attract students and money.
   67. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4614314)
At one point K did tell him to spend more time in the gym than the lab

Make changing this (4) on the list.
   68. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4614320)
To blame the poor play of Vince Young and Tim Tebow on the NFL's "inability to utilize" their skill-sets is to essentially wish that NFL players were worse at their job, in order to accommodate those lesser players.
No, I don't think that's it at all. I think there's a pretty massive incentive for NFL coaches and front offices to employ strategies that conform to conventional wisdom. If you try something new and it doesn't work, you're out of a job and your NFL career is over. If you roll Chad Henne or Jason Campbell out there for 16 starts of 5-11 football, you get to continue to collect your seven-figure salary until you get fired, then you get an assistant job somewhere.

In addition, it's quite a bit harder to tailor an NFL roster to a run/pass option quarterback because there's less turnover. In college, you turn over 50+ percent of your roster every two years, and you can get players with skill sets that complement the style of play you'd like to employ.

I mean, we've spent most of the past year hearing "that will never work because NFL defenses are bigger, stronger, and faster than college defenses" about Chip Kelly, and now the Eagles are top three in yards, yards per play, rushing yards, rushing yards per attempt, and they're in first place on December 9. Football's football, regardless of where it's played. If you get the ball to an area of the field where you have more guys than the defense, you will succeed. If you don't, you won't.

Now, if you want to argue that Young and Tebow didn't get the ball to the correct area of the field frequently enough, that's fine. I can buy that. Young has the football IQ of a turnip and Tebow is a bright guy without the physical ability to put a football where he wants to put it. He's an H-back. That doesn't mean these types of offenses can't work, it just means that you need the right personnel doing the right things.
   69. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4614326)
If a school approaches 60-40 female students, the male applicants drop even further,

Since it would be easier to get chicks with a higher ratio, I'm not sure the males that don't apply are smart enough for college anyway.
   70. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4614327)
Also, I think guys like Young and Tebow succeeded in college because of the teams they were on. If you put Tim Tebow on Northern Illinois, he's Jordan Lynch.

That's a good player, but it's not a guy who gets an NFL contract.
   71. bunyon Posted: December 09, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4614328)
Football and basketball attract students and money.

Evidently, in response to Keohane trying to oust K early in her tenure, Duke did a study which showed that applications tracked with how the men's basketball team did in the regular season and acceptances (students accepting offers) matched up well with how they did in the tournament. There was a sharp decline in both in 1995 and 1996.

It boggles the mind of eggheads (of which I am one) that 18 year olds don't decide where to go to school based on who published the best papers in a given year.


It's also a sign of the priorities of a school that "doing well academically" often doesn't require lots of time and effort and is scored by standardized exam. Schools are in business to make money and earn administrators power and prestige. Handing out grades like lollipops and big time athletics do both of those.
   72. OsunaSakata Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4614344)
I get that professional football is on a whole different level than college football but the idea that the teams have to be flawless in order to be entertaining is just ridiculous.


So please stop with those "Could Alabama beat the Houston Texans?" questions.
   73. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4614345)
My son chose his school because if the quality of the academic program. Of course the academic department is good because of the success of the athletic department.
   74. jmurph Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4614348)
Dan 68: I'm not sure we're disagreeing about the specifics in question. We both (seem to) agree that Tebow and Young aren't good enough to play in the NFL, right? That was the totality of my post (60).
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4614351)
I'll say this: when you haven't had football for 20 years, the case, financial or otherwise, for re-instituting football can be seen clearly as a loser.

The University of Chicago killed it's big time football program, then brought it back as a club sport and finally a D3 team. It's great as it now is -- football adds a little something to the campus atmosphere, it makes a nice centerpiece for alumni weekend, and when the big moment of the season is the Senior Day game against Carnegie Mellon you don't have to worry about the sport becoming too big to smack down when necessary.


Yeah, but you gotta admit those were the days.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Evidently, in response to Keohane trying to oust K early in her tenure, Duke did a study which showed that applications tracked with how the men's basketball team did in the regular season and acceptances (students accepting offers) matched up well with how they did in the tournament. There was a sharp decline in both in 1995 and 1996.

It boggles the mind of eggheads (of which I am one) that 18 year olds don't decide where to go to school based on who published the best papers in a given year.


The only reason I applied to Duke was because of a SPORT magazine article about their baseball program. And the reason I got in off the waiting list was because my high school coach sent a nice letter to Ace Parker, the Duke baseball coach at the time. 18 years olds can be funny that way, though my first choice at the time was a somewhat lesser athletic powerhouse called Swarthmore.

   76. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4614352)
I think they are athletic enough to play in the NFL just not quarterback in an NFL system.
   77. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4614355)
Absolutely, jmurph, we agree on that. I bristle at the "can't work, fast defenders" meme, but completely agree that Tebow and Young aren't good enough to play in the NFL.

edit to add: I think there's a massive difference between quarterbacks who run (Manziel, Mariota, Griffin) and runners who play quarterback (Braxton Miller, Tebow, Denard Robinson). The former can play at any level on any team. The latter can only succeed, IMO, when they're surrounded by exceptional talent.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4614356)
I get that professional football is on a whole different level than college football but the idea that the teams have to be flawless in order to be entertaining is just ridiculous.


So please stop with those "Could Alabama beat the Houston Texans?" questions.

I'll only promise that if Mike Shanahan doesn't wind up with the Houston head coaching job.
   79. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4614362)
If a school approaches 60-40 female students, the male applicants drop even further


Further proof men can be dumb. More targets of opportunity is a GOOD thing boys.
   80. jmurph Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4614367)
I think Griffin is an interesting one, because what we're seeing this year is that he basically can't read defenses. He's totally locked in on one receiver, and if that doesn't work, he's either getting sacked, throwing a pick, or taking off. The taking off part is frequently pretty successful, but I don't see anyway this can last for more than another year or so unless he gets much better at the passing game.
   81. McCoy Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4614375)
So please stop with those "Could Alabama beat the Houston Texans?" questions.

Weird segue
   82. OsunaSakata Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4614394)
Double Post. Sorry.
   83. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4614398)
Schools are in business

Schools, properly understood, aren't "in business." Yes, they take in money and spend money ... but handling money doesn't make an enterprise a "business." Calling them businesses is MBA-speak run amok.(*) Same thing applies to college athletic departments.

Not to get too far afield, but the recharacterizing of any entity that handles money or has bills a "business" over the past 30 years or so is yet another marker of societal decline.

(*) And of course the reasons why this is done are twofold: (1) it's a way of rationalizing the corporate invasion of college sports; and (2) it's a way of rationalizing huge increases in the pay of college admistrators.
   84. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4614403)
So please stop with those "Could Alabama beat the Houston Texans?" questions.

Weird segue


What in the heck ever happened to that Lion of the Senate guy?
   85. bunyon Posted: December 09, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4614414)
SugarBear, I mean that schools are run by people who are trained in business in order to maximize "profit". It isn't "profit" technically because they can't keep it but they can spend it profligately on things that have nothing to do with the core mission of the school and which is to the benefit of a relative few at the top of the heap.
   86. Sunday silence Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4614444)

Supposedly 70% of kids drop out of organized youth sports by age 12 - we adults are obviously doing something terribly wrong.


maybe you can provide a reference for a statement so outlandish?
   87. Jeltzandini Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4614449)
I think they are athletic enough to play in the NFL just not quarterback in an NFL system.


That's where I disagree, and that's why the college QB-pro QB difference is greater than for any other position. College QBs have to be able to throw some, but it doesn't require the laser accuracy of the NFL. There are more open guys, and they're open for longer. They're especially more open when the defense is really worried about the QB taking off. So Vince Young in college has huge value because he's a big running threat but has a good enough arm that he'll hit open guys.

But if he isn't an NFL QB, which we all agree he isn't, all the value he had in college because of his arm is gone. Being able to throw better than the other RBs or FBs or WRs or wherever you think he can play is of near-zero value. He has to be better than other guys at that position strictly in terms of the skills of that position. Which is hard. It's like asking an Olympic decathlete to compete with the world's best in any single decathlon event.


   88. Kurt Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4614452)
What in the heck ever happened to that Lion of the Senate guy?


Oddly enough, he disappeared around the same time Tebow did.
   89. AROM Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4614453)
Supposedly 70% of kids drop out of organized youth sports by age 12 - we adults are obviously doing something terribly wrong.


It's been 30 years since I was that age, but it sounds about right. Up to around 12 they find a place for any kid who wants to play. Once you get past that sports teams start being selective.
   90. Sunday silence Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4614456)
Didnt we just agree on the other thread that the Nelson Mandela monument is a glorified advertisement? DOesnt having a college football program at a school like TEmple amount to the same thing?
   91. OCF Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4614458)
I've talked about CSULB (aka Long Beach State) having dropped football with no realistic prospect of ever reinstating it. Other notes: for freshman admissions, we are beyond 60-40 female, sometimes approaching 2-1. (Transfer admissions are a little more balanced.) And roughly 2/3 of our students are either Hispanic or Asian (the latter category including plenty of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Filipinos.) And we're utterly swamped with applications. The "bring back football" movements tend towards a white male demographic. Guess what, guys - you're not particularly close to being a majority.
   92. GregD Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4614491)
The odd part about worrying about male applicants is that women applicants are so much better once you get beyond the very narrow slice of guys at the very top. The way to move up in rankings from a middling to more competitive school is to just embrace the large numbers of qualified female applicants...but so many schools offer hidden affirmative action to men to try to stay near balance that they hurt their own numbers. They must have a rationale for this that I don't see, and I can believe that there could be long-term challenges with being termed a school guys don't look at, and I definitely see that you want guys to apply to build up your rejection percentage which is very important, but the boost colleges (even very good ones) gve men is just strange policy to me.

The dominance of women in the groups at and just above to well above the median is just astonishing.

Of course this could explain football's continued relevance--it's a way to get guys through admissions.
   93. SandyRiver Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4614497)
I mean, we've spent most of the past year hearing "that will never work because NFL defenses are bigger, stronger, and faster than college defenses" about Chip Kelly, and now the Eagles are top three in yards, yards per play, rushing yards, rushing yards per attempt, and they're in first place on December 9. Football's football, regardless of where it's played. If you get the ball to an area of the field where you have more guys than the defense, you will succeed. If you don't, you won't.


This may not be too good an example, as Kelly's Eagles weren't very successful with a running QB, while their season took off when a more "conventional" dropback QB came in. However, last year's read-option frenzy (Kaepernick/Wilson/RG3) might be more supportive of a changing NFL offense.

   94. Poulanc Posted: December 09, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4614501)
only 25-30 schools make money on football. the others lose a bunch of money on it.



This just doesn't make sense. Conferences get HUGE payouts for broadcast rights to football games. Schools are getting in the neighborhood of $20 Million a year for the rights to show football and men's basketball games. What are realistic estimates of expenses for a year of college football at an average school?
   95. McCoy Posted: December 09, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4614509)
I think a lot of the whole most kids drop out of sports at age has largely to do with the reduced amount of roster space, the need to take it more seriously, and puberty.

I played organized sports from a very young age but dropped out right about the time that playing sports would have required me to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning so I could be at school early to workout and then stay late to practice practically every day.

I like playing sports and there should be more avenues for kids to simply play sports and have a good time. I remember in college we started up a soccer program. It started off as nothing serious. Basically the equivalent of a pickup basketball game except with us we simply arranged to all show up at a certain time at certain days and if the field was flooded we had a backup site. The skill level was mixed and everybody played. Fast forward about 10 years and that simplicity was gone. Now you had to try out for the team and occasionally practice. Gone were the days where 20 or so people simply decided to play a game of soccer after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and that is a shame.
   96. zonk Posted: December 09, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4614524)

This just doesn't make sense. Conferences get HUGE payouts for broadcast rights to football games. Schools are getting in the neighborhood of $20 Million a year for the rights to show football and men's basketball games. What are realistic estimates of expenses for a year of college football at an average school?


Very few conferences split revenues equally.... In fact, I think the B1G is the only one that divies up all the monies -- from its network, bowl payouts, TV contracts, etc -- everything gets split evenly by the member institutions (though, newcomers don't get an immediate even split IIRC.... I believe both Penn State and Nebraska scaled up to full shares and I believe teh same will be true for Maryland and Rutgers).

   97. GregD Posted: December 09, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4614530)
Poulanc,
Forbes estimated colleges in conferences with automatic bowl bids spent an average of $17 million per year on football from 2009-2011. I don't know how much that's changed since and also how much it varies within. Some programs are insanely profitable--Texas! the top tier SEC, Notre Dame. Some are chasing the big dollars and who knows they may be making the right bet? Though I wouldn't do it if I were them.
   98. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 09, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4614572)
It's been 30 years since I was that age, but it sounds about right. Up to around 12 they find a place for any kid who wants to play. Once you get past that sports teams start being selective.


Forty years for me ... well, 42, actually. That was the age at which little league baseball (there were no equivalents in other sports) stopped in my very small hometown. Supposedly, there was something called "pony league," but looking back I never heard any details about it & never knew anyone who played it ... must've been some sort of even-more-pointless-than-usual rural legend.

Anyway, yeah, after that, participating in team sports was a matter of making the 7th-grade basketball or football teams. (My school didn't launch a baseball program till I was a senior in high school.)

   99. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 09, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4614586)
Forty years for me ... well, 42, actually. That was the age at which little league baseball (there were no equivalents in other sports) stopped in my very small hometown. Supposedly, there was something called "pony league," but looking back I never heard any details about it & never knew anyone who played it ... must've been some sort of even-more-pointless-than-usual rural legend.


Maybe where I live is unusual, but we have enormous opportunities for organized youth sports beyond age 12, and most kids play something. We've got baseball, football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, swimming, wrestling, and sailing (yes, competitive sailing). All comers are welcome, but equal playing time is not guaranteed in the team sports except soccer (AYSO). There is minimum playing time, so no one spends the entire game on the bench. My 14 YO son (8th grade) plays football, baseball, and tennis. My 11 YO daughter does football and swimming.
   100. McCoy Posted: December 09, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4614589)
Well, anecdotally, it appears to me that sports for children is being taken far more seriously nowadays than even when I was a kid in the 80's and early 90's. I know we had a traveling soccer team and I would assume that we had a traveling baseball team but I never really saw the craziness that we have nowadays where it seems practically every single night half the kids in town are doing some sort of organized sport and then being carted off in the summer to some specialized camp or another dedicated to furthering their ability to be middling athletes.
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