When a major university football coach calls out schools for selling out to television, people tend to listen.
Kansas State University head football coach Bill Snyder was speaking at the team’s media day to discuss the Wildcats’ upcoming season. Suddenly, Synder broke into a lengthy speech lambasting the current state of college football.
The 74-year-old Snyder argued that TV has assumed too much control of college sports, education has become a second thought and the entire endeavor “distorts” the values of young people, reports ESPN.
“It’s changed. I mean, college athletics, football in particular, has changed dramatically over the years,” Snyder said. “I think we’ve sold out. We’re all about dollars and cents. The concept of college football no longer has any bearing on the quality of the person, the quality of students. Universities are selling themselves out.”
The timing of Snyder’s rant is interesting. Snyder’s comments came just one day before the NCAA Board of Directors are to vote to allow the five wealthiest college football conferences the autonomy to make rules and pass legislation without the approval of the rest of the Division I schools. The five conferences are the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, plus Notre Dame. (UPDATE: the NCAA Board Of Directors voted 16-2 for the autonomy bill, the bill has now passed).
“It’s no longer about education,” Snyder said. “We’ve sold out to the cameras over there, and TV has made its way, and I don’t fault TV. I don’t fault whoever broadcasts games. They have to make a living and that’s what they do, but athletics — that’s it. It’s sold out. Now, that’s only my opinion.”
Snyder added, “I’m not upset with the people that promote some of that stuff because they’re trying to do their thing. That’s what they do. But I think we’ve lost sight of what college athletics is all about.”
CBS Sports reports that Kansas State will host Auburn in week 4 in the new Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. According to The Associated Press, the stadium recently underwent a $90 million renovation, with another $65 million in work scheduled to begin after the season.
“Everybody is building Taj Mahals,” Snyder said, “and I think it sends the message — and young people today I think are more susceptible to the downside of that message, and that it’s not about education. We’re saying it is, but it’s really about the glitz and the glitter, and I think sometimes values get distorted that way. I hate to think a young guy would make a decision about where he’s going to get an education based on what a building looks like.”