[football] Every application, every brochure and every flyer that past, present and future students receive in the mail from your university displays the proud Spartan “S” as a symbol of the school. However, instead of then exhibiting the great prestige and academics MSU represents, the next image is always a colorful action shot of the football team. Not only should these pictures not characterize the impression MSU sends to the general public, they ought to not represent the aura of an academic institution.
The other day, as I was walking through the air-conditioned corridors of Case Hall, home of our beloved James Madison College, I noticed the large amount of rather buff-looking people wandering the halls. At first, I wondered why the fields of political science and international relations required such tough looking students. I thought to myself, “Dude, are American diplomats just trying to intimidate all the rest of the countries of the world into doing what it wants? Or, are all the really smart people truly 6 feet tall and weigh at least 200 pounds?”
Soon, it occurred to me that I was being completely ridiculous. Of course these weren’t James Madison students; it was the football team! Rethinking my obvious oversight, I recognized the necessity of the football players living in Case Hall. The stadium stands right next door and since athletes practice everyday, it’s very reasonable that they live next to the athletic buildings.
[sport] Yes, it is reasonable that they live next to the athletic buildings and Spartan Stadium, but is it reasonable that they have their own cafeteria, tutors on demand to do their simplest of homework assignments and the right to register for classes earlier than the rest of the university?
Every student should have access to the same quality food, academic help, and course opportunities as a football player. They are, after all, student-athletes; the student aspect of the title comes before the athlete. Each one of us are students also; no one should be treated as a second-class citizen compared with football players. Intense tutoring, for example, should be offered to all students struggling with school work, not just to athletes who might not have time to finish homework assignments. Student-athletes should not have such “props” handed to them solely on the basis that other students can’t catch or throw or hit as well as they can.
A less insignificant, yet prime case of the superior treatment football players receive is the fact that they have their own dining room in Case Hall. Word on the street is that their food is much better than all the rest of the food served on campus. This must be because the football players need better food in order to win more football games. Or rather, athletes need a stricter dietary plan to keep in shape. However, if football players have the opportunity, why shouldn’t everyone be offered meals at “Club Spartan?” Maybe then the freshmen-15 would be less of a problem.
It is because of the way MSU panders its athletes that it becomes very difficult for other students to not believe in the “dumb jock” stereotype. It is very easy for all the rest of us to think that these players would have never succeeded without all the special treatment they receive from being a part of the athletic program.
MSU then uses these student-athletes in order to keep a good name. Everybody knows that State is notorious for being in the Big 10, and without these athletes we would be just another unknown public school. However, the fact that the university uses its football team as a selling point to earn money and prestige is utterly absurd. Even many athletes themselves feel as though MSU exploits them to create a larger reputation within the realm of academic institutions.
A university should be known for its academia. State should use its courses, professors, and academic prestige to attract more students. Although athletics is a significant part, and will always play a significant part in the aura of MSU, it should be put on the back burner when compared to intellectual studies. As a school, let us put the 7 points aside so that we can concentrate on the most important point of all: the 4-point.
Noticing D. Scrimination