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K-State's Snyder: College athletics 'in a bad place right now'

  • KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said college athletics is “in a bad place right now” to the point that his departure from the game might “not [be] too far away.” The remarks were made on a Kansas City-based sports radio station on Wednesday morning.

    “College athletics, particularly football, has changed dramatically throughout my career,” Snyder said on 610 Sports Radio KCSP. “I think it's in a bad place right now. It's in a bad place for a variety of reasons. We've allowed it to become money driven. We've allowed it to become TV driven. We've allowed athletic programs or football programs to mean more to a university than what the university is really supposed to be all about.”

    Snyder didn't specifically refer to conference realignment. But since 2010, Kansas State's conference, the Big 12, has lost four members while downsizing to 10 schools with the addition of TCU and West Virginia. Kansas State was particularly vulnerable in 2010 and again in 2011, when the Pac-12 attempted a raid of the Big 12 that could have left Snyder's school scrambling for a conference.

    “The last I heard, we were educational institutions,” Snyder said. “Certainly there is an education that takes place in football, and I understand all the parameters. But it's not driven by values; it's driven by dollars and cents.”

    Asked by a host if the current state of college athletics makes Snyder consider if he wants “to be in it much longer,” the coach replied: “You're not too far away. You're absolutely right.”

    Rest of story:

    K-State's Snyder: College athletics 'in a bad

    Veteran coach Bill Snyder of Kansas State, with new contract, humbly said college athletics is in a bad place because it has become money driven.

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  • It is hard to argue that the fundamentals of the change have verged on insanity. The fact we are now at the point of getting a steady drumbeat that we should pay college athletes beyond the scholarship they receive embodies that perfectly. Right now we have something like 10% of athletic programs that pay for themselves. Legally you are not going to be able to just pay the sports that make money. Once payments of any size begin, there might be 10 programs that end up breaking even. You will fracture into pay/non-pay divisions just as we have scholarship and non-scholarship. Is that a good thing? Who knows for sure, but a College Pay Division with about the same number of teams as the NFL is not out of the realm of possibility in the next 20 years with the current lobbying.

    Snyder sounds tired of fighting it. I believe him to be perhaps the greatest coach in the history of college football because of what he has been able to accomplish with a middle of nowhere program and second tier talent. You can compare the KState years with and without him for a majority of the resume. Hopefully he retires soon to a nice fishing hole.

    This post was edited by rozell99 12 months ago

  • With all due respect to Coach Snyder (& I have a great deal of respect for him & his accomplishments), but college athletics being "driven by dollars and cents" started long before he took over @ KSU

    If this is a problem that's driving him out of football, he's had blinders on for quite a while

  • The old ball coach is entirely right. It may have started before he got to KSU but the evidence that thigs are as he described is incontrovertible. For crying out loud we are now recruiting sophomores. How long before we are recruting high school freshmen? What is the message to the kids; "You only need to go to high school to prepare for college football."

    We are now developing scouting departments at the college level. Some schools have had it for quite some time buried in other titles to circumvent rules. We are on the cusp of to pattern college programs being run like the professional rank.

    Already the college football athletes spend all year playing football--spring, summer and fall--they get no break. It is a wonder that they are able to find time for an education at all.

  • Coach Snyder has some good points. I worry about the corrosive effects that big money athletics has on a university, including UT. Academics almost becomes an asterisk to what defines bigger programs. Though that is really not true, the perception is that sports becomes the most recognizable aspect of a school, even becoming its ego.

    Though I'll bleed orange until I die, I am concerned about the pitfalls that good people get trapped into during their quest to be the best, and pressure from the fan base that is largely unrealistic, not dealing well with the cyclical nature of success. The push to win can become toxic, altering what is really important, and contributing to lack of compliance with rules. Most of us are powerless to change this process. It will proceed to its logical end - whatever that might be.

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    "Football doesn't build character. It eliminates the weak ones." DKR