Jake Highton

Jake Highton
Reno, USA
January 01
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, Nevada.


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JUNE 22, 2012 10:57AM

U.S. football priorities wrong

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College football should be banned but it won’t be. It is too deeply engrained in Americana. As is so often the case, America has its priorities backward.
Europe is quite different. Soccer is wildly popular there but it is kept in its place: athletic clubs.
Buzz Bissinger, author of “Friday Night Lights,” a damning account of a city’s obsession with high school football, rightly says “college football has no academic purpose.”
Some college football coaches make obscene millions. Alumni judge their alma mater on the quality of the football team not academic excellence. States constantly boost tuition while slashing funds for higher education.
College players at major football powers tend to have low graduation rates. At Florida State it’s 64 percent, Auburn 63 and at Oklahoma a disgraceful 44.
College sports in which most athletes graduate, such as swimming and track, are often eliminated to “save” football and basketball.
Meanwhile, sports betting, which is not only harmless but adds spice to a fan’s life, is anathema to the powers that be. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says betting and the NFL don’t mix.
That’s yesteryear thinking.
Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press sports columnist, argues strenuously for legalizing sports betting.
“There’s nothing criminal about making a bet,” Dahlberg writes. “Wall Street traders do the same thing every day only they’re betting on companies instead of teams.
“Legitimize it as in England where there are betting shops on almost every corner. Even soccer stadiums have betting kiosks for fan convenience.”
In short, legalize betting in America too.

Author tags:

gambling, sports, football

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