Why you definitely want to be in the college football business
On Nov. 9, a group of students at U.C. Berkeley decided to set up tents on campus to support of the international Occupy movement and to demand their own economic justice. At the end of the night, 39 students and one professor were arrested for unlawful congregation on school grounds.
A video of U.C. police officers beating a group of students who were peacefully forming a human chain quickly spread around the Internet.
The next day, in University Park, Pennsylvania, 1,000 to 5,000 Penn State students walked into the streets surrounding the campus in support of Joe Paterno, the Penn State Football coach who reportedly did not take proper action against Jerry Sandusky, an assistant coach at Penn State, when he learned of his alleged misconduct with a minor in the Penn State locker rooms almost 10 years ago.
The outraged students at Penn State proceeded to topple a news van, smash windows of local businesses and – reportedly - harass police officers.
According to The Christian Science Monitor, “three people were escorted away by police but it was not immediately clear if they were arrested. A police spokeswoman said she was not aware of any arrests.”
So the students at Berkeley are protesting a proposed 81-percent tuition hike over the course of ten years which comes on top of at least a decade of tuition increases with cuts in teacher and employee benefits. An increase that could halt the educational goals of many Californians
The students at Penn rioted to support a football coach that didn’t fire a colleague who was allegedly caught sexually abusing a ten-year-old boy in the schools locker room.
Now, the most obvious way to get at this story is to continue to highlight the great disparity in why students at U.C. Berkeley are protesting and why students at Penn State rioted.
Digging a bit deeper, one could highlight the contrast between U.C. Berkeley police’s response to a peaceful protest and the Penn State police’s response to a riot and how ridiculous that whole thing is, or you could talk about college football.
College football is a three-billion-a-year industry that runs on the devotion of fans and the dreams of student athletes. Three billion dollars is a lot of money, and Penn State is putting a lot of it in their pockets.
Before his firing last week, Paterno was the head couch of Penn State’s football team for 45 years, that’s a long time.
He won 409 games, 24 bowls, and two national championships. The man has a statue on the Penn State campus, for god’s sake.
He’s pretty big and powerful, so revealing that an alleged child abuser was not only working on campus, but also committing these acts in the school’s locker room wasn’t an option, because it would most definitely disrupt that lusciously filled gravy train that is Penn State college football, but that’s a whole other story.
Now, for all of Joe’s good work at the school he only received a 1.1 million in salary in 2010. You might be saying to yourself that’s a hell of a lot of money to pay a football coach at a public school. Well, Joe Paterno’s 1.1 million dollars is only half of what Jeff Tedford, the head coach of U.C. Berkeley makes.
In 2010 Jeff’s salary was a comfortable 2.3 million dollars. What’s that about a deficit at California public schools?
Moral of the story: love that college atmosphere, but are frightened of that whole public educator paycheck bit? Just be a college football coach. Not only will you make good money, you could probably snort cocaine off the back of a 16-year-old hooker while yelling racist insults in front of your dean and get away with it.