College Sports and Money

College Sports and Money

By: Gary Edwards

I don’t want to talk about the FBI’s investigation into college basketball. Everyone seems to be so surprised and shocked about $100,000 payments to recruits, but impermissible benefits to

five-star recruits have been going on since our universities decided to dance with the revenue producing devil.

Did you know the United States is the only country in the world that sponsors big-time sports at its institutions of higher learning? Perhaps the rest of the world understands it is like mixing oil

and water; you can try to do it but it doesn’t work very well.

College presidents, please spare me the mock indignation. You and your institutions sold your souls long ago to the television networks and shoe companies.

You decided to take their money, and you will continue to take their money (the Power Five conferences each generate over a billion dollars in revenue each year), while you wring your hands and feign astonishment that a family from the inner city of Detroit would accept a $10,000 bribe.

But I am not going to talk about that today. I am going to talk about Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon, who purposely missed a free throw the other day to protect the record of Hawkeyes legend,

Chris Street.

Chris Street was a great player for Iowa who died in a car accident in 1993. He held the record of 34 consecutive free throws made, but Bohannon was set to break it in a game against

Northwestern.

With Street’s parents in attendance, Bohannon pointed to the sky and clanked what would have been his 35 th consecutive free throw off the front of the rim. Chris Street still holds the

record.

I want to talk about Purdue’s 7’2” 300 pound center, who broke down and cried like a baby when thanking the Boilermaker crowd on Senior Day for their support of his epileptic sister,

Erin.

It seems they raised money for Erin to have a support dog, Nick, and it has changed her life for the better. They also raised a significant sum for the Epilepsy Foundation in her name.

Finally, I want to talk about Francis Marion’s own John Jenkins. John didn’t have any family to walk out with him when he was introduced on Senior Day, so our entire team walked out with him.

True to form, when John played in the game, instead of trying to score himself, his final collegiate play was a pass to a teammate for a wide open shot.

I prefer to talk about true student-athletes who maintain the purity and, yes, the magic of athletic competition. All the other actors in this sad play are not worth the ink.