All summer, there are talks of what is wrong with college football. Some go so far as calling the NCAA divisions a farce. They say that major universities pay their players instead of focusing on their education, meaning that students who want to learn do not have a chance of getting an education. Yet, Division I football has not been harmed by any of these allegations, not even when they have been proven to be true. This is something that Jack Elway has been researching.
Jack Elway on What Makes Division I so Special
Division I has some real endurance. It has overcome very serious scandals, including underhanded officiating, arrests, cheating, steroids, and points shaving. However, it seems the public is always read to forgive. Some say that this is endemic of a failed system. They say that it is the flaws, the greed, and the corruption that make the game so great. Others say that these flaws are indicative of true passion. But the truth is that Division I football is simply fantastic. Getting rid of those flaws would only make it better.
College football is true and it is pure. College players don’t get paid for it, they simply get a chance to go to college. And they will never become more professional than that. Only a tiny minority will go on to the NFL, but nobody knows who that will be, so everybody has to do their best. They play because they love the game. Of course, a free education is a significant compensation and, for some, that is enough to play a game they are not truly in love with. But they tend to fall through the cracks sooner or later and don’t complete their four years, meaning that, if they want to have a degree, they have to pay for the rest of their education themselves.
Overall, players in the NCAA division one are players who sacrifice and work hard. They know that, if they lose, they could lose their position. Coaches, meanwhile, know that they could lose their jobs. And all of them still do it, even though they know that it is unlikely they will ever become famous for it. It is no surprise, therefore, that the fans love them so much as well. The fans know that the Division I players exemplify what it means to be a true athlete and role model. They know how hard these players are working to maintain their GPA, spend every free minute they have on the field, and play game after game to support and promote their school. They see these players as role models.
Sure, there have been scandals in NCAA Division I. Yes there is greed and corruption, but that is found in every organization, all over the world. But this division is special, and it will always be able to rise above those stories, simply because of the commitment, the passion, and the heart of the players and the fans.