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Letters: Reining In College Sports

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Letters: Reining In College Sports

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Letters: Reining In College Sports

Letters: Reining In College Sports

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Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners about colleges under pressure to rein in their football programs.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's time now for your letters.

Penn State is facing unprecedented penalties in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal. NCAA president, Mark Emmert, said the sanctions imposed carry a warning to other schools to not let sports programs become too big to even challenge.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

But, as we heard in our report yesterday, about the University of Miami's reform efforts, the warning isn't exactly new.

Listener Charlotte Snyder of Baltimore writes: As long as colleges and universities are willing to serve as farm teams for the NFL and the NBA, and spend millions on fancy stadiums and all the hoopla that surrounds sports, there will be corruption and complete disregard for the actual goals of higher education - to wit, education.

SIEGEL: In our story, University of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan said even the college president can't shake the system.

BRIT KIRWAN: I don't think there's any university president at a big-time program who could unilaterally announce that they were going to de-emphasize athletics and, you know, shift the funding into the institution.

SIEGEL: To which Adam Brozynski(ph) of Chicago points out: It did happen once. Mister Brozynski goes on to write this: The University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten conference, but withdrew in 1946 on the order of President Robert Maynard Hutchins, who famously declared that football, fraternities, and fun have no place in the university. The school has since softened its stance on all three, but remains better known for the '85 Nobel laureates in its faculty than for the fact that it is the only team undefeated against Notre Dame in football.

CORNISH: Thanks for your letters. You can contact us at NPR.org.

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