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Actual USFL News, And Bissinger On Banning College Football
Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, recently penned an editorial in the Wall Street Journal that called for the end of college football. The arguments in the article probably aren't any anyone casually following the topic aren't anything new, but the arguments are made as well in this article as by anyone, but I think it's really the weight of his reputation that makes the article matter more than if it were written by the common journalist.
It's short, so I won't excerpt any, but read the whole thing. Also see the slideshow that accompanies the article, and the embedded audio of WSJ's 'The Daily Wrap' with host Michael Castner interviewing Bissinger on the article.
For intelligent comments to the article, I'll link the thread started by Ricochet's Peter Robinson's reaction to the article. I consider Ricochet's comment section to be the best in the blogosphere, so whenever I link a provocative article, I should also link to a Ricochet thread about it, so that you can quickly find intelligent perspectives on it.
I see no permalink available, but here's a good one from Paul Rahe:
At a Rhodes Scholarship interview, I once asked a senior from Oklahoma State University what an OSU degree was worth. When he responded with an honorable defense of his alma mater, I drew his attention to a recent graduate — then employed by the Washington Redskins — who was being touted as a model for American youth because he had announced that he was learning how to read."
Football at Dartmouth may not be a problem. At the big state schools, it is. When I pressed the OSU senior, asking him what should be done about the problem, he suggested that the players be paid what their efforts are worth. To that I would not object.
In Bissinger's article, he claims that 43% of Division I football programs are unprofitable. There are 120 such programs, meaning that of the 57 percent that are in the black, we have 68.4 programs. Round that down to 68.
I propose that the esteemed universities housing these 68 programs spin them off into publicly-traded ventures. I further propose that, while converting these college programs into professional clubs, that the idea of offering free classes and board not be abandoned.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press picked up what I've been talking about for some time, that a new ownership group holds the rights to the USFL, and plans to launch next year.
It has been my understanding that a couple of years ago, a fellow named Mike Dwyer picked up the rights with the sincere goal of relaunching the 1980s spring league in full revival. I don't believe he was ultimately successful in attracting start-up capital, and recently sold rights to something called EndZone? Sports Management, which, we're left with the impression, has more resources to actually put teams on the field.
This site claims that Dwyer held on to the rights to put a club in Los Angeles. A good move, since no NFL, arena, or indoor team plays in America's second largest metropolitan area.
The new league website, in it's FAQ, says the league will be a single-entity outfit. I wouldn't know how long they could hold for that. Operating a whole league can be expensive, as start-up costs inevitably mean the first few years will be in the red. Ask Vince McMahon? about how expensive one year of the XFL was.