When colleges first started playing football, it was just one of many extracurricular activities -- and it was played by true student athletes. And perhaps most important, the football programs did not drain college budgets and take from the main purpose of a college -- to educate students.
That is no longer true. College football is now a big business, and it takes an enormous amount of money to maintain a viable football program -- especially in the major college programs in the NCAA.
The common argument to justify the huge expenditure to maintain a college football program is that the programs make money -- money that can be used to help the college in other areas. That is simply not true. Only a few programs actually make money, while the huge majority lose money. And this loss is paid for too many times by cuts in other programs (including academic programs).
We live in a time when the cost of a college education is high, and that cost is preventing many students from having access to a college education -- and that hurts the overall health of our nation and its economy. It is a valid question now to ask -- has college football priced itself to high to continue? Can we justify continuing this program that sucks money from colleges, and causes them to raise their prices for all students?
Consider this excellent article written by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress: