I used to be a fan!
Written by Dr Jim Tunney on April 1, 2019
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 1, 2019, #737 Up Next… I used to be a fan! After further review… No this is not an April Fool’s joke! In my early years, ages 9 -13, I had the privilege as well as the honor to accompany my dad to football games that he officiated. As he progressed in his officiating skills and advanced to major college games (now called Division 1), I sat in the officials’ dressing room before and after his games and often sat on the home team bench during the game. One of my favorite venues was the Los Angeles Coliseum where both the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) both played. It was an honor to walk out of the dressing room, which, BTW, was at ground level in an area directly below the press box, not in the tunnel where it is today. We entered the field at about the 50-yard line! What a thrill!
In those years USC and UCLA were my favorite teams. The National Football League did not establish its presence in southern California until about 1947when the Rams arrived from Cleveland. To be able to sit on a major college bench and watch college players close-at-hand was the reason I wanted to attend either USC or UCLA. However, when I graduated from Alhambra High School in southern California, my level of athletic talent was far from what was needed at those institutions. I attended, played all three sports, and graduated from Occidental College – and glad I did.
After graduating from OXY, I attended USC for my master’s in education degree and later completed my doctoral work there earning an Ed.D. During that era, I admired USC and was delighted with its educational and athletic standings. However, I am dismayed, more like disgusted, with USC due to the recent scandal that puts them at or near the top of those colleges now in question of their admission standards. USC has lost this fan!
It is obvious that greed and hubris have befallen USC as well as other colleges. Of course, financing institutions of higher learning today is of a far greater need than it was many years ago. Is winning at any cost part of this equation? Has integrity fallen so far behind the need to establish a college’s place in the hierarchy of prestigiousness that we must lower – no, ignore – the standards that got them this far?
While my history identifies these southern California colleges, the same can be said for many of what we used to call the “best” colleges in our country. It is sad!
Will you log-in your thoughts why some colleges have succumbed to scandal?
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