Kirkham's Korner: Sept. 5, 2006

By Steve Kirkham published September 5, 2006

As I drove to work today I overheard a "joke" on the radio:

Q: "What do a classroom and an end-zone have in common with a football team?"

A: "They both only see a couple of the players each week."

It amazes me that this type of labeling still occurs and is a sign of complete ignorance of the facts.

Within the NCAA there are four divisions of football. Less than 25 percent of the players in the NCAA are on a full scholarship. Division III allows no athletic scholarships and it is the largest division with 230 schools that play football. There are only 117 DI football programs but of course they are all you read about. Even in DI you have schools such as the military academies, Vanderbilt, and Northwestern who no one would put in the football factory category.

In Division i-AA and Division II, very few of the players receive a full ride and almost none of these players ever will play professionally.

The bottom line is that the vast majority of collegiate football players attend class, get their degrees and contribute to the overall campus and community environments while in college.

It is time to put to rest the concept left over from the 60's that "jocks" are somehow the root of all evil on college campuses. It wasn't true then, even though many people were allowed to expound on a false premise, and it isn't true now.

Almost all collegiate athletes play a sport to help pay for school and because they love it. Not because they will make millions or see themselves as superior.

The truth is most collegiate athletic departments, like that of UCCS, have higher GPA's and retention rates than the overall student body!

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