The University of Alabama-Birmingham announced the demise of its football program yesterday, the first major-college program to get cut since Pacific did it in 1995. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this in the future, as colleges recognize the drain on resources that big-time football means at most campuses.
The indefatigable Margaret Soltan pointed me at the article I linked, and she emphasized a quote from one UAB player, but I found this one far more telling (emphasis mine):
Ja’Won Arrington was a walk-on UAB football player who came from Alabama A&M and got put on scholarship by Clark.
“Now you’re telling me I’ve got two more years left to play and I’ve got to give up on football and settle for an education?” Arrington said. “Now an education is good and everything, but what about the dreams you have? You still want to accomplish them. It’s just crazy.”
Once, some years ago, I was involved in an NCAA investigation, sitting in on numerous interviews with former players. When it was over, the investigator shook her head. “The question they always ask me is, ‘Is there any way I can get another year[‘s eligibility]?'”
But eventually that ends. And I hope that Mr. Arrington eventually finds that the education for which he may have to “settle” provides him with the knowledge of what’s wrong with his question.