I chose the topic of college football scandals because I feel like it’s a beautiful game that’s being ruined by money and greed. This can relate to Socrates’ apology because I am apologizing for the fact that the game is being destroyed by the scadals. I am also defending the game in it’s own and the fact that I’m protecting its integrity.
SM’s Speech on Abuses of Football from Carlos Pittella-Leite on Vimeo.
THE GAME CHANGER
What if I told you that getting a college athlete to sell his soul was like taking candy from a baby? It’s a new game. Boosters, AD’s, and assistant coaches almost have a new occupation. For the most part it’s providing their beloved players with cars, tattoos, prostitutes, and whatever they please. Although, this seems to not always be the case.
In State College, PA, there’s a university that seemed to always stay true to their roots. A coach that has been on the sidelines for nearly fifty years, plain color jerseys, no thugs, or tattooed players, a school that was almost religious about discipline and respect… Or so we thought.
Over the past two months, Penn state has been in the spotlight of the college world. Former defensive coordinator, and current booster Jerry Sandusky is now being charged with the molestation of 8 boys. As more and more stories begin to unravel, Penn State coaches and officials seem to have no excuse as to why they never reported any of the molestations to the authorities. The scandal led to the firings of the school president, The AD, and the 50 year head coach, Joe Paterno. As more and more cases come into the lime light, it seems that the Penn State scandals almost symbolize the college scandal epidemic.
College football hero Cam Newton is on top of the world. Heisman trophy winner, national champion, and #1 draft pick. Near the end of his stellar season at Auburn University, scandals about his father taking money offers from different universities came to spotlight. Although Cam had no involvement, (or so we think) he, his father, and the schools that made the offers still kept it quiet. When the scandal got to the press, it blew up. Just as it did for Penn State, the fathers and coaches can ruin it for the kids.
Just as Socrates likes to explain, there is no one who can teach the children. They always turn out to be just as gullible and ignorant as the last. When coaches and boosters approach these kids like father figures, offering them their money, their daughters, cars they had never even seen before, it isn’t hard to turn them to the darker side. But we must ask ourselves, is it a bad thing? Spoiling unfortunate kids in exchange for their heart and dedication? So maybe it’s a good thing, maybe having a father figure isn’t bad, maybe their showing these kids a side of humanity they’ve never seen before. Perhaps these boosters and coaches are the Socrates of the sports world, opening the eyes of the blind. So, maybe before we point fingers we should ask ourselves, is this a bad idea? As convincing as the argument may seem, you must of course establish a line that cannot be crossed, Right? Wrong.
University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro has been on the U’s sidelines since the 80’s. Until this past year, he was just another booster that bought equipment for free tickets to each game. Or not. This past March it hit the media that Shapiro had been supplying the players with vasts amount of values. He gave them items like thousands of dollars in cash, all the way to small speadboats. A little bit overboard? I think so. Players such as Devin Hesster, Ray Lewis, Johnathan Vilma, Jon Beason, and Vince Wilfork have been involved. Drugs, money, cars, women, etc. at the snap of their fingers. So looking back, maybe it’s not the best idea for your child.
When looking back on the situation, it almost seems like Penn State symbolizes college football in it’s entirety. Stern, happy, excellent at building minds.We are watching the game, along with Penn State, crumble. So perhaps Sandusky symbolizes the Cecil Newton’s and Nevin Shappiro’s of the world. And maybe the passing of Joe Paterno symbolizes the death of great coaches such as Joe Pa, Bobby Bowden, and Bear Bryant. Now we have the Chip Kelly’s and Lane Kiffin’s. I call this the apology of the game because I am defending what I want in college football. I also give it this name because I am apologizing to the fans just like me.