|A book worth reading, but you won’t, will you?|
It’s another of my periodic reminders that Dave Zirin is among the select few sports writers worth reading, for the simple reason that he refuses to view sports outside a broader societal context: Our games, and the games we play.
Bob Stoops and the Geyser Cesspool of College Football, by Dave Zirin (The Nation)
The 2014 video of Oklahoma University player Joe Mixon breaking the jaw of a female student is exposing, yet again, the rot of college football.
It is an insult to cesspools to call Division I college football a cesspool. Cesspools serve a legitimate societal function as a gathering point for putrid waste. College football sprays that waste like a geyser, contaminating everyone it touches. Every year there are examples of putrescence. In fact, the endless parade of scandals are critical to keeping the system afloat. Our eyes are so glazed over by the annual flip book of impropriety and misconduct that we don’t recognize how we have normalized a sports system that has become anything but normal. (This makes college football very similar to a certain recent presidential campaign.)
Money? Indeed, and Zirin follows it.
A question that those who might not be familiar with the geyser cesspool that is college football might ask themselves is how Bob Stoops can live with himself. It’s easy. He makes $5.5 million a year in a state where one in four people under 18 live below the poverty line. He makes $5.5 million a year at a school where adjunct professors make $17 an hour and in a state where first-year public-school teachers make $31,000 a year. He makes $5.5 million a year, while his players make meal money. But Bob Stoops is not here to educate. He’s here to win football games and ensure that football in Norman, Oklahoma, maintains its place as a tent pole of the neoliberal university.