Should college football be reformed?  

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you are asking about a playoff system rather than the BCS, then yes, I think college football should be reformed. While the bowls were once exciting and unique to college football, there are now so many of them, that it's no longer a true honor to play in most of them. Similarly, I think that most players would appreciate the opportunity to go through playoffs just like they did in high school and will do in the pros (if they go on to the NFL).

If you are asking specifically about college football from an ethical standpoint, I would agree with the previous posters that it needs reform, but then so do most college sports that receive a lot of national attention. It troubles me that many college athletes leave college with no true education which is what they really should have attended college for in the first place. Adults involved in college athletics seem to have no problem with taking class time away from student athletes or with counseling them according to what is best for the team rather than for the individual's future.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends a lot on what kind of reform you are talking about.  To me, college football does need reform badly in the sense that it needs to make sure that the players who make so much money for the colleges and TV networks are compensated fairly.

Lots of people would say the players are already compensated by getting scholarships.  But the value of these scholarships is diminished by the way the players are treated.  They are often pushed to take easy classes so they have more time for football.  They are not really helped that much to actually learn and get the most from their scholarships.  So, too often, they do not graduate and don't get the full value of the scholarships that are supposed to be their compensation.

So I think that there needs to be much more emphasis on getting the players to graduate and I think there needs to be consideration given to paying them some sort of stipend so they can be like normal college kids.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not know what colleges are in the ken of posters, but the colleges in states in which I have lived have tutors, mentors, etc. for the players so that they can learn.  The problem sometimes with their achievement is due to the exhorbitant amount of time spent practicing, but other times it is due to the fact that super athletes are let in without the skills required of others, or they do not go to class sometimes even when they can.  Far too often announcers speak of various football players who have B or A averages in science (no easy coursework there!) or Finance, and other majors besides Basketweaving for the public to believe any longer that they are not "compensated."

So, if there is to be reform, perhaps scrutiny could be applied to the character of the football players who are recruited.  e.g. Florida State's now retired coach was renowned for recruiting those convicted of crimes, not to mention other negative characteristics.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The BCS system is a wreck, so sure, some reform there seems necessary if a national championship is going to carry any weight with fans and sportswriters alike.

There are certainly other areas to reform too, such as more consistent enforcement of recruiting rules, some clearer guidelines on how and why scholarships or financial aid can be offered to prospects, and a playing and practice schedule that still reasonably allows for some college education to take place during football season would all be positive steps in my opinion.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Agreed on the disaster called the BCS (although I love it when  it works in my team's favor, of course) is flawed and allows too much room for debate regarding the best team(s) in the nation.  Also agreed on the idea that recruiting and keeping the best players often violate ethical standards.  As long as money is the overriding factor in the game of college sports, these ethical problems will persist.  Without question...just like politics.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with many people that there should be a playoff system like any sport, however, the cool thing about bowls is that a ton of people get to be involved.  I was lucky enough to get to attend two bowl games, and it was a lot of fun.  Additionally, in college basketball only one team gets to end their season with a win, but in college football about thirty get to end their season with a win.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it should be required that anyone who gets a football scholarship have high academic standards.  I would have no problem giving a free education to the kid who can earn it with grades as well as his ability to kick a little ball so very far.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would agree that the current system of crowning a National Champion is flawed. I don't really know why the bigger schools can not do the same as the division 2 schools and have a playoff system to determine its champion.

thewanderlust878 | Student

I definitely think that college football should be reformed in some ways. I am a HUGE NFL fan, but really not a fan at all of college football. I believe that perhaps one of the reasons I do not like college football as much is because it is played differently from NFL. While the length of the football field is the same, and the fact that players play with a football and wear pads and uniforms, is about the extent of the things that are exactly the same. Everything from the size of the goalposts and the hash marks on the field to the actual rules of the game are different. 

Watching the college players in the NFL draft and combine is sometimes heartbreaking. It is difficult to see these players get thrown into a completely different environment than what they are used to and expected to play like the 5 year veterans. While they will eventually get used to it, I think that one thing to change for college football would perhaps be make the rules and other things closer to what they are in the NFL, so the players can focus more on playing the game than remembering what the differences in rules are. 

Hope this helps!