Is the NCAA Knocking Down the Gods of College Sports?

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About Liam Day

Liam Day has been a youth worker, teacher, campaign manager, political pundit, communications director, and professional basketball player. His poems have appeared at Slow Trains Apt, and Wilderness House Literary Review. His op-eds and essays have appeared in Annalemma Stymie, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. He lives in Boston, where he works as a public health professional. He is the Sports Editor at The Good Men Project. You can follow him on Twitter at @LiamDay7.


  1. So tired of the attacks on Paterno. He graduated more kids than any of ‘em.

    • So tired of so many of the Penn State fans who place a football program over rape victims. (Not that Penn State is unique in that regard.)

      So tired of the Penn State students who rioted not because a pedophile coach had been allowed to continue his dirty doings on their beloved campus, but because their little god JoePa had just been fired.

      So tired of the Penn State students who mocked the victims by turning the surname Sandusky into a verb, as attested to by the sister of one of the victims who had to put up with her classmates’ cruel remarks.

      So tired of the way one of the victims was treated at his high school after he had been outed by a coach there in whom he had confided. So tired of the grandmother of one of the Penn State players who walked up to the victim’s mother and in a sickening display of complete self-centeredness and a lack of empathy and compassion actually said to her face, “Now the football team is going to lose, and it’s all your son’s fault!” (Oh, really?) So tired of those of his classmates who held him responsible for the tarnishing of JoePa’s reputation and started bullying him so much that he had to drop out of the high school before he could complete his senior year. So tired of the lack of outrage on the part of Penn State football fans over what happened to this young man, who was victimized again — all in the name of Penn State football.

      So tired of all the Penn State students and football fans who rejected the findings of the Freeh report and moaned and groaned over a statue being taken down.

      So tired of all the football fans who have neither shame nor conscience. Winning is everything.

  2. The problem there Bill — and in all these other examples, like UConn — is money. “Winning” isn’t everything…MONEY is everything. Winning is what produces more money, and then the schools can use the money to subsidize academics and other athletics. (Men’s football, and in some cases basketball, essentially subsidize entire major athletic programs.)

    This isn’t a new thought of course — there are fantastic scientists and TED talks on how the need to promote competition uber alles is what drives the economic machine, and the economic machine “has” to keep going. (I don’t know if anyone has stopped to ask why, but that’s the thinking.)

    If you are speaking merely to the fan perspective, I’d suggest that many of the extremists (“fanatics”) haven’t actually thought about their relationships with these sports programs. Deriving pleasure or pain, producing violence and despair…these are unhealthy relationships. Dehumanize people for a uniform is an unproductive strategy.

    • Ben, your point is well made. The problem is that, more and more, due to the investments required to build a competitive program, particularly a competitive football program, schools are having to subsidize their athletic departments. In fact, only 10% of large public universities maintain an athletic department that turns a profit. The University of Maryland was forced to cut 8 sports due to a $17 million athletic department deficit.

  3. Yes, the spartan race does burn fat…when done right


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