Sunday, June 9, 2013

Class Distinctions as Seen Through the Lens of Big Time College Athletics

Trey Smith

The elites just hate it whenever someone brings up the issue of class divisions. We are a classless society, they say, and, when you bring up the issue of class, all you are trying to do is foment class warfare. (How is this possible if our society indeed is classless?) Of course, the real reason they don't want the minions to focus on class is that THEY have been instigating class warfare for decades!

We see class distinctions all throughout the way society operates. To offer one example, our justice system is basted in class. If you happen to be a member of the upper class and your financial institution is caught red-handed laundering billions of dollars from drug traffickers, you don't need to worry about seeing the inside of a courtroom or going to jail. You only have to pay a teensy fine and you can go on your way.

If you don't happen to be a member of the upper class and, in most states, you are found to possess even small amounts of marijuana, chances are very good that you will definitely see the inside of a courtroom plus the inside of a jail cell.

In a piece written by CBS Sports National Columnist Gregg Doyle, we see another example of the class divisions in society and the patently unfair way one class is given significant freedom while the other is not.

In big time college sports, the upper class is made up of head coaches (and athletic administrators). While most of them supposedly value loyalty to one's school, they have a funny way of showing it. If another school dangles better benefits and higher pay in front of their eyes, few head coaches will say no. So, after telling recruited athletes the vital importance of loyalty to the school, the head coach abruptly leaves for a bigger pay day.

The head coach that Doyel writes about is Brian Kelly of the University of Notre Dame.
When Kelly was at Cincinnati -- I live in Cincinnati, not that it matters; Mark Dantonio of Michigan State left Cincinnati in 2006, and he's my favorite football coach -- he left for Notre Dame. And he didn't leave at a good time, either.

He didn't leave, for example, in June.

Kelly left Cincinnati in December 2009. After Cincinnati had gone 12-0 in the regular season, but before the Bearcats played Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Cincinnati had a shot at perfection, at magic, but Kelly was gone. Why? Because he could. Because the system let him. Because Notre Dame was a better job and who cares if Cincinnati was in the middle of its season?
The irony here is that Head Coach Brian Kelly has decided to make life very difficult for one of his current college football recruits. This young man -- who just graduated from high school -- signed a National Letter of Intent to play for/attend Notre Dame, but then he changed his mind. The young man decided he wanted to stay closer to home by attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). But Coach Kelly doesn't want the young man to change his mind. He wants him to honor his commitment to Notre Dame.

Kelly has refused to allow this 18 year old kid to opt out of his letter of intent. By doing this, the young man either must go to a school he doesn't really want to go to OR he can attend UCLA without a scholarship and this star recruit won't be allowed to play football this year either. And why is Brian Kelly being such an insensitive hard ass in this situation? Because the system allows him to be this way!

To recap. Kelly signed a legal contract to coach football at the University of Cincinnati, but then welched on his signed contract to take a better job at Notre Dame DURING the football season. Kelly was afforded the ability to do this without penalty because he is a member of the big time college athletics upper class. The 18 year old football recruit is not a member of this upper class and so he must pay a steep price for changing his mind even though he has yet even to enroll at Notre Dame.

If you want to understand most facets of American life, you need to brush up on the distinctions of class in our "classless" society.

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