What’s Interesting About the Missouri Protests

posted in: College Football | 0

cropped-9898602293_c42e30e1ce_b.jpgI’m sure most of you have already read about the Missouri football team joining in a campus protest and refusing to play or practice until the University President resigns.

I’m not going to analyze the protest itself, that’s been covered, and frankly, I’m not on campus and don’t really have anything to add.

What I do find interesting, however, is what this says about football programs at the college level. This is a group of athletes recognizing their position at the school, and placing significant financial pressure on the university. If nothing else, this is a tacit acknowledgement of the financial importance of football. Not being able to play football games would be a huge financial loss, and a black eye to the school’s reputation.

So, if the university wants to continue to profit from playing football games, they are going to have to step in and do something to get the team back on the field. If they do, we’ll have the one thing that the NCAA has pretty much refused to publicly say for all these years, official acknowledgement by a university president that football is a for-profit business.

After all, if football players are just students who happen to play a sport, the correct response to this protest would be to simply shut down the program for this season, take away all of their scholarships, and start over next season. That won’t be the response, but if the NCAA wants us all to view football scholarships as “payment” for playing the game and bringing in millions of dollars of revenue for the school, isn’t that the only choice they have? Or do the players actually have more power than the NCAA wants to admit?

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