College sports has lost its school spirit

University athletics should be about unity and spirit, not money and fame.

by Cassandra Sundaram

College sports have always had the ability to bring people together. They encourage physical fitness and personal health while giving athletes a chance to make a difference by giving role models to kids and giving schools something to rally around.

Unfortunately, the recent scene in collegiate athletics has not been so inspirational. With a football scandal epidemic plaguing the nation, it is clear that universities and coaching staffs view the sport they claim to care so much for as simply a way to make money. 
College athletics should be about the game. It should be about plays, players and the excitement of the unknown. But Division 1 athletics have fallen short of their ideals âÄî where players are students first, where coaches are more famous for their season records than their scandals and where the pride of competing for your school is better motivation than the potential to earn millions of dollars in professional leagues.
In this generation, more pressure is placed on players during the recruitment process, and they donâÄôt get the same chance to obtain a degree as their classmates might. Sure, a full scholarship to a four-year institution is wonderful; combine that with the opportunity to play a sport you love, competing at the highest level, and it seems like a dream come true. 
But what happens when coddled athletes donâÄôt make the NFL and are forced to face the bleakness of their future without having been taught the same crucial skills as other students and without having been prepared for alternative career goals outside of sports? 
When players are thought of solely as moneymakers for universities, the integrity of the game is lost, and we can quickly forget why we came to love the game in the first place. We enjoy college athletics because of the sense of community it provokes in us and because it inspires us to fulfill our potential. In the chase for fame and fortune, that spirit has been forgotten.