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Bill Snyder: College football has sold out

Bill Snyder AP

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is about as old school as they come these days in the world of college football, so his comments about the current state of the sport in general on Wednesday should come as no surprise. Snyder lamented on the state of the game with the topic of autonomy continuing to swirl, stadium and conference expansions and increasing media rights deals leading to record profits for schools.

It does not take a wizard to see what has happened over the years, but Snyder shared his reflections with the media following a football practice.

”It’s changed. I mean, college athletics, football in particular, has changed dramatically over the years,” Snyder said in a story by the Associated Press. ”I think we’ve sold out. We’re all about dollars and cents. The concept of college football no longer has any bearing on the quality of the person, the quality of students. Universities are selling themselves out.”

The criticisms shared by Snyder are nothing new, and the sentiments shared by the Kansas State head coach have been shared by politicians looking to grill the NCAA for allowing this all to happen.

”It’s no longer about education,” Snyder said. ”We’ve sold out to the cameras over there, and TV has made its way, and I don’t fault TV. I don’t fault whoever broadcasts games. They have to make a living and that’s what they do, but athletics – that’s it. It’s sold out.”

Snyder also made reference to schools building larger football stadiums and expanding and renovating facilities, something that has been seen plenty around the Big 12 in recent seasons, including Kansas State.

”Everybody is building Taj Mahals,” Snyder said, ”and I think it sends the message – and young people today I think are more susceptible to the downside of that message, and that it’s not about education. We’re saying it is, but it’s really about the glitz and the glitter, and I think sometimes values get distorted that way. I hate to think a young guy would make a decision about where he’s going to get an education based on what a building looks like.”

Helmet sticker to the Associated Press for the quotes.

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28 Responses to “Bill Snyder: College football has sold out”
  1. laxer37 says: Aug 6, 2014 9:01 PM

    He’s old school, but he also happens to be right.

  2. canetic says: Aug 6, 2014 9:07 PM

    “In my day, we wore leather helmets, and I don’t recall anyone complaining about it…”

  3. irishlad19 says: Aug 6, 2014 9:19 PM

    It is almost impossible to run a competitive football program with true students.
    A few schools still do it, but it is a shrinking number.

  4. lastdukestreetking says: Aug 6, 2014 9:27 PM

    It’s 2014 and he’s realizing it now? A little slow on the uptake….

  5. ronace says: Aug 6, 2014 10:18 PM

    When Bill Snyder talks, people need to listen. Kids need to be kids. There’s plenty of time to become an adult. It’s not going to happen, but I’d love the see college football be more about the marriage of education and athletics and less about power, money, and big boy schools jerking around the “student athlete”. It’s hard to recruit at K St. Bill Snyder wins the old fashioned way, but superior coaching.

  6. dejadoh says: Aug 6, 2014 10:50 PM

    Snyder is completely correct on this. They have sold out. It’s a vicious cycle. Being a coach is living the dream for most of these guys. The feds should come in and regulate the coaching salaries, force public institutions to lower coaching salaries below the President’s salary. Snyder complains, but he’s making $2.4 million more than Obama and KSU President and $2.7 million more than the Kansas governor. It’s ridiculous.

  7. irishdodger says: Aug 6, 2014 11:15 PM

    @dejadoh:

    Yes but Snyder has had more success than Obama. Head football coaches can be fired for inferior performance….POTUS cannot.

  8. draconian1111 says: Aug 6, 2014 11:25 PM

    As a Nebraska fan, born and raised, I have nothing but respect for this man.
    He is one hell of a coach – period. He’s not coaching a glamour team – but he makes them compete – ALWAYS. The man knows the game and is a credit to it.

    As far as posters referencing salaries – who cares? It is what the demand allows. Making 2.4 million more than Obama? Well, I am FAR from an Obama fan…soooo…..Also consider that Obama’s salary is just that – he doesn’t pay for MANY things that you or I do – plus – when he is out of office (there should be a holiday for this!) – he will likely get a great job, doing nothing (which he is prepared for) – plus his pension from being an ineffective president. I am not going to cry for him.
    Okay…so…I don’t like Obama….or pretty much any of these idiots that run or get elected.

  9. vols84 says: Aug 6, 2014 11:33 PM

    I love Bill Snyder. In today’s college football, coaches are high priced mercenaries and car salesman. Snyder is what is good about college football. Has anyone else been to Manhattan, KS? To be able to recruit kids to the middle of KS and get the most out of 2 and 3 star recruits says a lot. He is the best “coach” in the country.

  10. imaduffer says: Aug 6, 2014 11:42 PM

    irishdodger,

    And what the f do you do? Are you on your local City Counsel? How about the Planning Commission? Are you running for County Commissioner? How about Senator of the piss poor state you live in? Just what the f do you do?

  11. planecrashguy says: Aug 6, 2014 11:43 PM

    I’d be proud to have my son play for Coach Snyder.

  12. coolhorn46 says: Aug 6, 2014 11:56 PM

    I might be a Longhorn fan, but I respect Bill Snyder more than any coach I can think of, and not just for this stand.

    Snyder has always done things the right way. He has built an immaculate winning record at a place that used to have the losingest program in major college football. His teams play hard, make few mistakes, and are not an easy out for any program.

    The fact that Snyder is old school in no way makes him wrong about the current direction of college athletics. There is pro sports, and college sports, and if college sports isn’t the purely amateur thing that it used to be, it still should be just one facet of the college experience, and distinguishable from pro sports.

    I respect Snyder’s stand, and his courage in making it. He’s a terrific coach, and I think, even a much better person.

  13. pinchegringo12 says: Aug 7, 2014 12:35 AM

    Man has big footBALLS! Snyder swimming upstream and STILL gets his point across, respectfully, good for him and KSU.

  14. dacableguy35 says: Aug 7, 2014 1:04 AM

    About time it was said by someone with some clout. Money is ruining college athletics and will soon set it’s sights on our high school kids. It’s already happening…

  15. goodfieldnohit says: Aug 7, 2014 2:05 AM

    This is coming from the coach who had Michael Bishop on his team. Pot, meet kettle.

  16. longborer69 says: Aug 7, 2014 3:17 AM

    Well, he’s right, of course. But there’s another side, too.

    If we wanted to talk about money and fancy facilities, I suppose people would be thinking about my team, the Ducks. But Mariota returned for another year to complete his degree, which he’s done in three years. Ifo would have been a first round pick, but said he wanted to complete his education.

    FSU is hoping Jameis does what he said, and stays another year for his education.

    Alabama has a little bit of money in their program, I suppose. They just gave a scholarship to an injured player who will never play a down so he can get his education.

    There are a lot of good stories in college football.

    Name your school, you can find the guys who certainly appear to have an understanding of what >college< football is all about. So while Snyder is obviously right that things get way out of perspective, and there are a lot of problems, it seems to me that college football is pretty much exactly what I was told college itself is, when I went to school all those many years ago.

    College is what you, the student, make of it, you will determine what you take out of it by what you put into it. True of college, true of college football.

    There have always been kids who didn't put in anything worthwhile and didn't take out anything worthwhile, and there have always been those who grabbed the opportunity and benefited from it. The only thing that has changed is that revenue college sports, football and basketball, make it easier for some of the first kind of kids to put in nothing and take out nothing.

    "And I found out a long time ago. What a woman can do to your soul. Oh, but she can't take you anyway, You don't already know how to go."

    Cross out "woman" and put in "college football." It isn't taking anyone anywhere that they didn't already know how to go.

  17. brownsmakemecrazy says: Aug 7, 2014 4:32 AM

    Nice Eagles reference longborer69. Props to you.

  18. whenwilliteverend says: Aug 7, 2014 7:52 AM

    I am not a huge fan of Snyder but he happens to be right about this. Money has changed professional sports, and not for the better in my opinion. Now it’s doing the same with college sports. These kids now believe they can do anything because they are big stars. Don’t believe me? Just look at all the trouble these kids get into because they’ve been coddled their entire lives and feel like they can get away with anything. And why not? They see all the money in these programs and feel like they should be getting a piece of it too. They are no longer happy with getting an education (I worked my tail off to get my degree). That’s a joke anyway. They take classes that specifically for athletes (like North Carolina) to keep them eligible. The idea of them getting an education anymore is a joke. Everything else is secondary to playing sports. The sad fact is that 99% of those kids will never make a living playing sports but they don’t realize it and they are ruining their own future. I used to think college sports was more entertaining than professional sports but now that the college athletes have started behaving like they are entitled to do anything criminal and coaches discipline them by sitting them down for a play is ridiculous. Ray Rice may only have gotten two games but it’s more than these kids get in college. I watch more tennis now than anything which I would have considered sacrilege twenty years ago. However, when was the last time you heard about a tennis player getting arrested for DUI or domestic assault? They reason they behave is because if they don’t, they don’t make any money. The kids today that play big-time athletics have no reason to behave given how lax the discipline is. And that all comes down to money, money, money. If you can play and win games, that’s all that matters.

  19. dejadoh says: Aug 7, 2014 8:54 AM

    @irishdodger
    Obama had a 4 year contract. The Republican party thought enough of him to run a stiff like Romney to ensure another 4 year contract. Most of these coaching salaries are guaranteed and obscene. 107 of the 126 FBS schools are public institutions. These coaches should be paid higher than the executive of these states or more than the university presidents. It’s obscene. When obsessed boosters cannot come to grips with this reality that teaching advanced PE, a job all of these guys would do for $100k a year, is not more important than the professor teaching mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, economics, business, law, engineering. College is for education 1st. Careers are 2nd. The university presidents, and especially the state legislatures and governors are to blame for this. They have corrupted the foundation of the university systems. And the coaches and their agents feed on it. The media serves it up.

  20. rolltide510 says: Aug 7, 2014 10:15 AM

    I guess by Bill Synder’s comments, one can assume all of his players are majoring in engineering? Not a sports management degree to be found in Kansas State, because he’s all about the education, boss?

    (No need to address the predictable comments from Notre Dame fans, as we know in between organic chemistry classes and threatening the lives of cops there’s no time left for football up there)

  21. texasbornlsufan says: Aug 7, 2014 2:51 PM

    100% correct Coach!!!!! Damn Shame

  22. trdiii says: Aug 7, 2014 3:18 PM

    Bill Snyder makes almost $3 million per year. He’s not working for minimum wage. That’s money created by this current system he’s talking about. I do agree with him that college sports has certainly lost its soul. But he is part of the machine. If I remember correctly, he left once and came back into this very system voluntarily.

  23. coolhorn46 says: Aug 8, 2014 5:28 PM

    Nobody, least of all Bill Snyder, claims he is some plaster saint. However, he’s honest, and has a track record of speaking his mind, and the truth.

    Reference how much Snyder makes…IF he’d decided to shop himself on the open market, and given his success at KSU, he could be making a whole lot more than three mil a year. Snyder has shown something a lot of other head coaches are lacking in, namely, respect for his employer…and he has more than rewarded KSU’s faith in him.

    Who cares what his players major in? They graduate. A lot of high profile programs out there aren’t as dedicated to their players getting degrees before their eligibility runs out.

    Something was brought up about a troublesome player from KSU’s past. Name me one school out there, including my favorite school, that hasn’t had its’ share of scofflaws. KSU, under Snyder, has had substantially fewer players with run-ins with the law than most other major programs.

    Nobody says anybody has to agree with Snyder on his stance toward the current state of college athletics. However, he has as much right to speak his mind as anybody posting here, and I suspect he has a better track record of being right than most of us too.

  24. waynefontes says: Aug 11, 2014 11:33 AM

    Bill Snyder is one of the most underappreciated and underrated coaches in the history of college football.

    What he has done at Kansas State is amazing.

    He’s also right.

  25. longtallsam says: Aug 11, 2014 11:06 PM

    As for those complaining about the obscenely high coaching salaries, I agree they are ridiculous, but when it come to salaries in most any profession, it is simply supply and demand.

  26. friarjack61 says: Aug 12, 2014 12:45 PM

    When you do not have to attend classes, or have the Athletic Dept. robots submit a wonderfully written assignment, for a A, from a student who cannot speak the Kings English, who in the university cares……not the Athletic Dept.
    At many schools, professors submit to the demands that the jocks be given special exemption, and never fail, attendance not required; but keeping the eligibility in tack, until he turns pro ! Most players, today, have NO interest in acquiring a degree, BECAUSE, the pros do not care if you can’t spell cat. They want jocks, with muscles between the ears.

    Snyder is correct.
    The colleges have sold themselves to the NFL, where employment only requires that you can sign the bottom line on the contract.
    The Ghetto culture wins, and education, becomes a meaningless word.

  27. mikeevergreen says: Aug 12, 2014 1:40 PM

    You want to go back to the old days? Here’s the plan:

    This college football playoff? Forget it.

    BCS? Forget it.

    Orange Bowl: Big 8 champion
    Rose Bowl: Better record of B1G or PAC 12.
    Sugar Bowl: SEC Champ:
    Cotton bowl: Big XII champ

    Highest-ranked team of these MUST take on highest-ranked not tied to a bowl. Next-highets vs. next-highest, etc. Who GAF if we don’t have a national champ on the field? The winter’s long bar arguments werw always better.

  28. ancientcougar says: Aug 14, 2014 9:32 AM

    Hey mikeevergreen,

    Isn’t the Big 8 now the Big 12?

    I think you have the right idea, but I believe you need to redefine the bowls better?

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