Monday, September 6, 2010

Is Sportsmanship Reaching a New Low with NCAA Football?

September 5th, 2010

Given the widespread and long-standing practice of running up the score in one-sided football games and the subsequent rewarding of such a practice in national press association rankings, one has to wonder does the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) truly care about sportsmanship in men’s college football?

I mean…, when a highly-ranked football program/team amasses a score on the level of fifty to nothing (50 to 0) against a team that is obviously out-matched and not ranked in the national standings, other than bolstering the winning team’s national rankings, is there anything to be gained by continuing to run the score up to a final score of seventy-two to nothing (72 to 0)? Case in point, Eleventh Ranked Oregon: 72, New Mexico: 0. Is the goal in college football now to humiliate the opposing team to better one’s national rankings? Does such a practice of padding the score help to foster sportsmanship on any level - as the NCAA claims sportsmanship as one of its goals? (

Are we as a culture no longer to care about sportsmanship? Or has sportsmanship now evolved to a state of ultimate fighting clubs where the upright competitor betters his position by endlessly kicking the downed opponent until the out-matched competitor openly submits and removes himself from the competition, as if college football is now nothing more than a street fight between gangs of ignorant punks? I am aware that running up the score on the opponent for higher national rankings is nothing new: But….wtf ?!?!?

I commend the underdog school for playing such a highly ranked team, as well as the higher ranked program for allowing the other school a chance to play them. But, if the teams are so unevenly matched as displayed by the final score, maybe they shouldn’t be playing one another anyhow.

Other examples from yesterday’s season opener games which seem to display questionable sportsmanship and padding of the scores include (regardless of when the second string athletes took the field):

No. 1 Alabama: 48, San Jose State: 3
No. 2 Ohio State: 45, Marshall: 7
No. 8 Nebraska: 49, Western Kentucky 10
No. 13 Miami (FL): 45, Florida A&M: 0
No. 17 Arkansas: 44, Tennessee Tech: 3
No. 20 Florida State: 59, Samford: 6
No. 23 Georgia: 55, Louisiana-Lafayette: 7
No. 25 West Virginia: 31, Coastal Carolina: 0

Totals From Scores Listed Above:
Ranked Schools: 376, Smaller Unranked Schools: 36

I’m just wondering what’s going on with all this and how the NCAA views these outcomes to be in keeping with any goals of sportsmanship. Does anyone else share my concerns on this matter?

Adam Trotter / AVT

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