Anticipating Collateral Damage
March 23, 2018
When major college sports sneezes, high school sports usually catches a cold.
Throughout history, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has made changes in response to problems in college sports that have resulted in harm to high school sports.
Who can argue that relieving college coaches from the burden of being members of the instructional faculty did anything but weaken the connection between intercollegiate athletics and the educational mission of the sponsoring institutions? That major college football and men’s basketball coaches are the highest paid employees at many universities demonstrates the disconnection.
Who can argue that the creation of athletic grants in aid – scholarships – did anything but raise the pressures on college programs to win and to recruit hard at the high school level? Who can argue that this process got any more upright and above board when NCAA rules were changed to push most of the recruiting process to non-school venues and corporate concerns?
Who is surprised now that the corruption has moved beyond the NCAA’s ability to control and has resulted in investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and indictments followed by player ineligibilities and coach firings?
The worry now is that the NCAA and the National Basketball Association will strike again. Aiming to solve their problems, they likely will add to ours.