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How shocking that sex is used to recruit football players

Andrew Gmerek
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When news of the University of Colorado football recruiting scandal hit the press, I was shocked and amazed. And flabbergasted.

I was definitely flabbergasted, because I couldn’t believe what I’d read in the papers and seen on the television news.

I wasn’t particularly surprised to discover that factions in the CU community were using hookers and booze to recruit young, star football players to the team, because, well, I’m pretty sure it happens all the time.



What really shocks me is that everyone from coaches to college administrators to politicians are acting stunned that this has been going on at an institution of higher learning right here in Colorado, and that somehow this is a blemish on our fine state.

It does make me snicker when I listen to all the people currently spewing righteous indignation about the whole sex scandal, as if anyone that has ever dealt with sports of any kind actually believed none of this was going on for years.



Did something change since I’ve been out of grade school, high school or college? Has our society somehow stopped worshiping football, basketball, hockey or baseball players as if they were gods come down from Mt. Olympus?

In our country today, the minute a parent or coach discovers a special athletic talent in a peewee football league or at a Little League baseball game, the sky suddenly opens, sunbeams rain down and a choir of angels descends to earth to announce the coming of a new sports star.

In many cases, school administrators, teachers, community leaders, parents, law enforcement officials and the justice system bows down in homage.

Back in my Catholic high school days, I saw this kind of favoritism every day for four years. Since football was king at my school in Indiana, the football players got away with just about everything without fear of being treated like us “common” students.

When a teacher friend of mine attempted to fail one of these jocks for refusing to do his homework, she was summoned to the administration office and her job was threatened.

Eventually this fine teacher quit the profession because of this, which was a sad day for kids that might have learned something from her, but it did turn out to be a happy day for high school football fans everywhere.

Then, when I moved on to Indiana University, I saw the special treatment shift to the basketball team.

There was a time when some friends and I watched as one of the basketball stars parked his expensive convertible in a handicapped space in front of the main library.

To tick him off and to strike a blow for us “regular” guys, we called the police to report his crime. But to our amazement, when they arrived they checked out the car’s license plate, talked for a few minutes and then left, even though this basketball star was definitely not handicapped and didn’t have a window sticker or a special license plate.

We thought about calling the newspapers to report the incident, but then someone tapped the keg, and, as they say, that was that.

Just watch the evening news any day of the week, and it’s obvious just what kind of hero worship society heaps on athletes in America.

When the Nobel prizes are announced, even though winners are striving to make the world a better place, the evening news might do a 15-second spot on the proceedings.

And yet, when John Elway was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Channel 9 news aired something called the five days of Elway, which not only included an almost endless retrospective of his life in football, but also included a profile of all the Broncos that wouldn’t make the Hall of Fame this year.

The examples of our country’s sports bias go on and on.

From Kobe Bryant’s rape accuser being attacked in the media to pro baseball players living under probably the most lax drug rules on earth, sports heroes exist on a different planet than the rest of us.

And breaking the rules and sometimes the law, well, that’s just part of the game. A game, it would seem, that some of our daughters pay for with their tears.

Go Buffs.

Andrew Gmerek writes a Friday

column for the Summit Daily News.

For some reason, to this day, he still gets parking tickets. He can be reached at agmerek@hotmail.com.


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