To the Editor:
D. G. Myers [“Why College Sports,” December 1990] is right that the ideal of the student-athlete in big time college sports has become a contradiction in terms. But to suggest, as Mr. Myers does, that colleges should therefore end their association with competitive sports is unrealistic and, more important, not in the interests of the colleges, the sports, or the athletes.
Why, Mr. Myers asks at the end of his article, does the collegiate sporting enterprise need academic connections at all? If by “academic connections” he means university affiliation, the answer is simple: they need the colleges for the direct administrative and psychological access to the students and alumni who buy tickets to games. Otherwise football teams at Texas A&M, Mr. Myers’s institution, could never hope to fill Kyle Field’s 71,600 seats from the 80,000 people in Bryan and College Station, where A&M is located. Colleges also provide large and specialized coaching staffs and state-of-the-art stadiums, arenas, and training facilities which an unaffiliated team playing at the sub-professional skill level of college teams could never otherwise afford.
About the Author