Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Still Playing Games with Education

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Still Playing Games with Education

Article excerpt

Still Playing Games with Education

Try as we might to keep our coverage of athletics to a respectful minimum, we are far too often forced into dedicating a significant number of our pages to this subject. Such is the case with the edition you hold in your hands.

The tragic account of former Auburn University and Cincinnati Bengals football star James Brooks' inability to read is something we would rather not believe continues to happen. But the reality is that it does and will continue to happen over and over again in the "keep-them-eligible-for-four-years" mindset of collegiate sports. The irony is that it was not Brooks' illiteracy that landed him in jail but his failure to support his children. If illiteracy was his only crime, then everyone involved -- including his parents, the people at Warner Robins High School, Auburn University, the Cincinnati Bengals and his agent -- is to blame and should serve a portion of his sentence.

I don't know about you, but I have little sympathy for a grown man who fails to support his children. Black men with far less educational or financial resources than Brooks have been taking care of their families and children since they got off the boat from Africa.

In the article by Jim Downton (page 18), this sorry state of affairs bears witness to the fact that despite all the posturing about the integrity of college sports, it is -- like its professional counterpart -- first and foremost about making money. Otherwise, how do we explain why college games are scheduled during primetime, the hours when most college kids are studying. …

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