Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

"The University of Texas System Board of Regents upped coach Mack Brown's total compensation from $3 million to $5 million a year." If I were Mac Brown, I would turn down this raise and say that I am doing so in acknowledgment of all the hard working U of T faculty and staff who have been forced to do more with less during these tough times. This might help to dispel the notion that cutbacks don’t apply to those who are juiced in to the administration. Coach Brown, the University of Texas, the NCAA could not spend $2 million and get better PR than that. Furthermore, I would suggest that at some point in the news conference where Mac Brown refuses this raise, he should speak up publicly to remind Lavar Arrington that, although thousands might not turn out to watch someone teach, millions don’t go to college to watch football either.

Anthony Feschyn

Bloomington, IN

Jan 13 2010 - 1:38pm

Web Letter

Athletic arguments that departments make huge amounts of money are totally flawed and biased. Students' tuition and citizens' tax moneys have allowed for stadiums to be built and for fan bases to be increased. If all students were given free admission to games, players were paid for their services and considered professionals, all faculty were given proportionate increases to their salaries, and all donations by alumni and others to athletics were not tax-deductible, then I think it would be fair to increase the salaries in a skewed manner for those running the team.

Get rid of the students and faculty and you have nothing but a professional football team of students being abused for the good of those in control and the media industry. Athletes with lifetime injuries should also be compensated for life.

The sad part of all of this is that those in control of the process feel they are better than others. They need to look at themselves in the mirror and admit they are nothing but users and exploiters for personal gain.

Stephen Kimbrough

Jonesborough, TN

Jan 8 2010 - 10:20am

Web Letter

I think this is digusting--it's a disgusting use of taxpayer moneys. While we wail because Johnny can't read and because our children can't compete scientifically, we sit by and allow this kind of blantant abuse of the system that we call education occur. Shame on all of us if we sit by and allow it.

Mary Ellen Dunlap

Fort Smith, AR

Jan 7 2010 - 9:56pm

Web Letter

Mack Brown's salary will come from that $87 million that UT football brings in. The football program gives money to the school for academics. No teacher will have their salary or position cut and no student will have their tuition raised to pay Brown's salary.

Will the football revenue drop to a point where it cannot fund Brown's salary? We will have to see, but I highly doubt it. They have been profitable for a long time and will likely continue to be.

In 2007, when UT football gave $4.7 million to academics they also brought in $9.4 million to Travis County for each home game. Their profits also helps to support other UT athletic programs.

You can say what you want about Texas, college football, athletic programs at colleges, college tuition, faculty pay and the goals of colleges in general. Paying Mack Brown a huge amount of money is a separate issue.

David M. Kleiman

Austin, TX

Jan 7 2010 - 5:44pm

Web Letter

The authors might have added that besides being unpaid, subject to crippling injury and unqualified for college work (majoring in "recreation" and "communications"), fewer than 10 percent of college players can possibly hope for a professional or coaching career. They are made circus animals, given fine rations for a few years and then turned out like so many show ponies to the glue factory. Their efforts build student and alumni "spirit," but rarely enough to make the enterprise profitable. And the whole spectacle diminishes the university's core academic function, without which it wouldn't exist. Chicago gave up football, Vermont is giving it up, and we can only hope that some day, Texas will have nobody left to play against.

David Dunlap

West Plains, MO

Jan 7 2010 - 4:23pm

Web Letter

"If schools are reduced to football factories where they happen to teach classes, everyone loses: particularly unpaid players who generate millions and are told they are being paid with academics. Without the academics, they nakedly become chattel, delivering a new contract for their coach and a whole lot of school spirit without even the pretense of a functioning college in return." That pretty much summarizes all that needs to be said.

Lailah Hart

Los Angeles, CA

Jan 7 2010 - 1:57pm

Web Letter

I was born in Texas, played high school football in Texas and I love watching the game. But, I have no illusions about the totally corrupt culture that surrounds big-time college athletics. It is totally corrupt and institutionally hypocritical. The media hype that the NCAA uses to depict the players as "student athletes" is totally ludicrous. To believe that the players are at a university primarily to receive an education is to believe a fairy tale.

As early as 1966, when I graduated from high school, the University of Texas and other universities sponsored recruitment trips for teammates of mine who could barely read and write. Recruitment incentives included copious alcohol and prostitutes. These men eventually received degrees from Baylor University. It stretches credulity to believe that they ever completed a legitimate college course.

The entire major college sports scene should be acknowledged for what it truly is--semi-professional sports. The players should be paid for their services. We should stop pretending that they are college boys seeking a degree.

Colin Wright

Orlando, FL

Jan 7 2010 - 12:45am

Web Letter

The state recognizes the fact that the dumber the citizens are the more likely they are to vote Republican. I am surprised they even bother to hold classes anymore.

Matt Cook

Detroit, MI

Jan 6 2010 - 2:38pm

Web Letter

As a college professor, I heartily agree, but really what I think is worse is the whole notion of college football. Given that (finally) the NFL is losing the battle to suppress the evidence that playing football frequently leads to brain injury, shouldn't we be discussing the fact that students are given scholarships to college for performing an activity which might very well mean they end up developing dementia by the time they turn 50?

Jeffrey McGowan

Glastonbury, CT

Jan 6 2010 - 1:16pm

Web Letter

The same myopic vision and misguided thinking that put GWB in office as governor and cheered him on as POTUS also builds high school football stadia faster than we can build healthcare clinics, fund unemployment or food banks, pay adequate teacher's salaries and then heaps praise on the construction of billion-dollar edifices, in which the Dallas Cowboys can romp.

The general rationalization offered for bloating the salaries and bonuses of football coaches (especially at UT) is that gate recepits provide huge amounts of funding for academia: if this were the case, the "belt-tightening" would not be required for the university, on the whole.

Many believe that any competent (non-Texas) CPA firm examining the books would find that the lavish expenditures for the mythic granduer created around Mac Brown and his boy's club is done to promote and promulgate stature, testosterone and fame and not much else.

Ivan Hentschel

Wimberley, TX

Jan 6 2010 - 12:50pm

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