In the recent years, college sports have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons due to a litany of scandals that continue to erupt. It becomes shocking news when it becomes a reality that certain students have been secretly using his colleagues to get money through college sports, of course with the help of the administration. However, such incidents are often blamed on the very structures of college sports. According to literature, they have been designed in such a way that they only generate money for the university and a few private companies, leaving the students with absolutely nothing. It must, however, be appreciated that people are coming to terms with this reality and sooner than later, people responsible for that will be punished.
The author of Varsity Green forcefully emphasizes the subject of college athletics that is mostly avoided by the vast parts of the writers. He exposes the rot of corruption and money making, which has almost replaced athletics as a sporting activity. According to him, college athletics has since ceased to be a sport, as most people associate it with an opportunity to make money. In fact, the athletes themselves do not take the sport seriously. In most instances, they are literally searched to go and compete, as they do not focus on the sporting aspect of athletics. They find no fault going into bars and restaurants as late as hours to their sporting. In the end, competitions are often delayed for hours in order to give them time to feel a relief from their drunkenness. This is how unfortunate things have got in the past. Another unfortunate trend that is associated with college athletics is immorality, because the young athletes often do not know how to manage their funds. They hardly have any financial education or thoughts of investment. In the end, they only spend their money on luxurious lifestyles at the expense of the sport. This paper presents a detailed account of the inside story regarding television revenues and coach salaries, as well as merchandise rights associated with athletics. According to literature, the issue of money in college athletics becomes a matter of concern upon realization that college coaches were earning more than college presidents. However, it was hard to believe this because most of the coaches certainly had nothing to show for their handsome pay. It became apparent that this money was either not being put into proper use or was just a property of the wring people. It is this unfortunate situation that Mark Yost intended to expose in this book. It remains to be seen if this expose will eventually lead to its cessation (Parker-Pope, 2011).
College sports have always been associated with a mad rush for material wealth. However, Mark’s expose reveals the extent of influence that money wields the culture of sporting in colleges. According to literature, academic institutions are known to capitalize on the success of their athletes as well as their athletic programs to enrich themselves, stock their laboratories, and train better to maintain the trend of athletic success. While it is good to use the talents to develop them, the immoral aspect comes in due to gross corruption and misappropriation of these funds. In most cases, the athletes never benefit themselves from their hard-earned cash. It is the moneyed elites that significantly benefit from this money at the expense of the hard working athletes. Yost particularly focuses on the trend that has lately taken shape during the past decade where persons in positions of leadership in such colleges become multibillionaires within a stint of time. At some point, Yost’s analysis of corruption and immoral culture that drives schools to take an active role in sports goes beyond college. According to him, it is an unfortunate culture that intends to develop sportsmen instead of academics from learning institutions. In this regard, schools focus on the short term economic gain instead of long term academic ones. Although the book dwells on the lives of athletes and stakeholders in athletics, it is suitable for fanatics of any sports because it is basically the same thing that happens elsewhere. As for policymakers, they should understand exactly what happens behind the scenes in order to formulate policies that would make the society better that it currently is. However, it still remains to be seen how successful Yost would be in changing the money culture is college athletics (Yost, 2009).
The issue of corruption in college sports will only rest when college athletes are paid a share of the money generated through their athletics programs. If this does not seem to happen, questions are bound to be asked. For instance, the Knight Foundation has been actively involved in trying to de-commercialize college sports. According to the institution, sports should first be seen as a form of entertainment before it is looked at as a source of livelihood. It notes that things become a bit dangerous when non-participants unfortunately become the lot that wants to make commercial gains in the end. The worst thing that usually happens is that the real players remain abandoned, with hardly anyone to buy them necessary materials for training. The institution has also given itself the role of scrutinizing all the agreements made between colleges and private firms on behalf of the players so that latters are not treated unfairly. In the past, such details would not be availed to students due to fear that they might demand for their share (Yost, 2009).
While the world continues to laud the United States for having some of the strongest college sporting teams, the country is struggling to conceal the stark reality in their colleges. For instance, the University of California was recently sanctioned when it got to the public domain that certain individuals within the institution had used unscrupulous means to get money from the sports kitty. One wonders why this money should be kept somewhere when players are never paid. Indeed, it looks as though the decision to keep it is intended at making it available for corrupt deals (Calkins, 2010).
Where Does the Money Go?
There is no doubt that college athletics raise lots of money from media agreements as well as ticket sales. However, the manner in which it is spent raises more questions than gives answers. For instance, it was noted that over 60% of the revenue was used in paying for sports memberships, thereby effectively taking the money away from the people who generated it. Of the remainder, a significant amount is used to fund particular events related to sports and academics. Indeed, this raises doubts considering that most school activities are often funded by the government. It is only a small portion that is well utilized in the general improvement of sporting facilities as well as the welfare of the athletes. According to literature, the expenditure that sustains all the athletic programs, services, as well as supports athletes during championships, only constitutes a meager 40%. This means that a whopping 60% is either not properly accounted for or simply used in a manner that does not benefit the people who generate the money. It is this immoral expenditure that Yost intended to expose in his book Varsity Greens by use of which he manages to let people know certain secrets that would otherwise have remained hidden to the general public. It stimulates people’s thoughts to demand for accountability not only in athletics but also in other college sports where corruption is rampant. Indeed, his work can be considered a great success in the sense that it dwells in area that has always been avoided by writers. Such issues as corruption could easily put a writer at loggerheads with the culprits. For people who do not wish to get into controversy, they would rather avoid such topics instead of taking a bold step towards making the society a better place (Yost, 2009).
The book boldly exposes the issue of corruption in college sports. It faces a subject that many writers would like to avoid. In doing so, Yost shows a rare commitment to serve the community and work towards making it a better place. The book particularly suits young people who would wish to engage in college sports, as it cautions them against allowing their talents to be used by selfish characters for personal gain. In addition, it enlightens them about the social evil, a corruption, and the ways how to avoid it. Indeed, the book is a must read for every college student who wishes to live a decent life of integrity (Parker-Pope, 2011).
In conclusion, college sports have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons due to a litany of scandals that continue to erupt. That is why the author of Varsity Green forcefully emphasizes the subject of college athletics, which is mostly avoided by most writers. He exposes the rot of corruption and money making that has almost replaced athletics as a sporting activity. According to him, the issue of corruption in college sports will only rest when college athletes are paid a portion of the money generated through their athletics programs.