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The 'Good Sports' In College Athletics

Do college sports exist for students to participate in, or just to watch?
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Do college sports exist for students to participate in, or just to watch?

One of the great misunderstandings about college sports, which the big-time schools love to slyly imply, is that other sports on campus must be forever grateful that football and basketball pay for their right to exist.

Moreover, there is the concomitant threat that if ever colleges had to actually pay salaries to their football and basketball players, well, then, the athletic departments would be forced to drop those other "beggar sports" that don't bring in revenue.

This is, of course, utter nonsense.

And it is disgraceful that so many of the big-time schools field so few teams relative to the size of their student bodies. More often, it's the smaller colleges that feel a responsibility toward students who want to share in the athletic experience. They're the good sports.

Click the audio to hear Frank Deford's take on sports in colleges.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Frank Deford died on Sunday, May 28, at his home in Florida. Remembrances of Frank's life and work can be found in All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and on NPR.org.
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