Scholastic, 1950

Jul 05, 2013

This student writer was six decades ahead of his time!...

What's the Future of College Football?

Life magazine carried an article on college football in last Friday's issue entitled "Football is Pricing Itself Out of Business." The article stated in precise terms what has generally been acknowledged since the rise of football after the war. Football's biggest problem is that it's getting too big. "The tendency," says North Carolina's Carl Suavely, "is to dip into gate receipts to go out and get more players to build bigger and better teams, then build bigger stadiums to get bigger crowds to get more money to spend on more players to build bigger and better teams."

For the result, take a look at the rankings of the ten top football teams in the country. What do you find? Seven or eight are tax-supported institutions, the others are heavily endowed. The lone exception — Notre Dame.

Moral: if you've got dough, you can get yourself a football team. Notre Dame didn't lose to Purdue two weeks ago. It lost to Purdue in the spring of '49 when this year's Sophomore Class was being formed. From this class were to come the ballplayers that would have to take up the slack left by such players as Hart, Martin, Sitko and the rest. Notre Dame just couldn't get good enough men. Here's an example. In the Spring of '49, a highly rated high school back in a Western state openly signified his intention of entering Notre Dame in the Fall. With this announcement, football scouts redoubled their efforts to land him for their school. He never arrived at Notre Dame. He's now at a state university in the West and is his team's outstanding player, even though only a Sophomore. In the three game's he's played so far this season, he has averaged almost nine yards per carry in pretty tough competition. His coach calls him the best back he's ever had in his coaching career, and that coach has been around for quite a number of years. This is just one instance but it's happened many times in the past and will happen many more times in the future. If this general trend keeps up, the time may not be too far away when great Notre Dame teams will be a thing of the past. The honor of playing for Notre Dame and a chance for a degree won't be enough to attract the football players Notre Dame needs to stay in the big time.


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